from THE JAPANESE PROBLEM IN THE UNITED STATES: An Investigation for the Commission on Relations with Japan Appointed by the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America

by H.A. Millis

Professor of Economics

University of Kansas

(New York: The MacMillan Company, 1915)

 

CHAPTER X

THE PROBLEM OF ASSIMILATION

The Twofold Question of Assimilation and Amalgamation.—Can Japanese immigrants be assimilated? Does the question of assimilation involve race amalgamation?

Seven years ago the Asiatic Exclusion League of North America was organized. At its initial meeting in Seattle a constitution was adopted, the preamble to which read in part as follows: " The Caucasian and the Asiatic races are unassimilable. Contact between these races must result, under the conditions of industrial life obtaining in North America, in injury to the former, proportional to the extent to which such contact prevails. The preservation of the Caucasian race upon-American soil, and particularly upon the west shore thereof, necessitates the adoption of all possible measures to prevent or minimize the immigration of Asiatics to America." The editor of the Review of Reviews agrees substantially with the initial statement quoted from the League's preamble. In commenting upon California's alien land law he has written: " The Japanese are intensely distinct and self-conscious as a race and nation. Those who come here, come as Japanese. They have no thought of becoming Americans. The two civilizations will not readily assimilate when brought into close contact."

Generally held that Japanese cannot be Assimilated. Intermarriage Objected to.—In this negative answer to the question as to whether the Japanese can be assimilated nearly all persons conferred with are in agreement. The exceptions, who strongly assert the contrary, are comparatively few. Among those who maintain that the Japanese are not assimilable and that their immigration involves a race problem are many of their friends and most of those who advocate a limited immigration to serve economic ends. A few of them are close students of the race—one a former consul and another a newspaper man, both of them regarded as pro-Japanese. And, further, the feeling is widespread in California that any intermarriage between white and Japanese would be, in the language of Mr. Newman, " The beginning of the mightiest problem that ever faced the American people." Inevitably this question of race amalgamation will be introduced into any discussion of that of assimilation

The Writer's Conclusions relative to Assimilation; and Race Amalgamation.—The answers to the twofold question thus raised are opinions, hence the writer may be pardoned for presenting his own. His conclusions are these:

(I) That the Japanese have many personal qualities which make for rapid assimilation;

(a) That in their assimilation much progress has been made;

(3) That whether they could be completely assimilated under favorable conditions only time would tell;

(4) That assimilation depends upon numbers and circumstances as well as upon personal characteristics;

(5) That even with limited numbers the situation is such that assimilation is unlikely to occur in the desired degree;

(6) That with large numbers it would not take place;

(7) That the evil of race mixture is pretty much of a " bogie."

The object of this chapter is to record briefly the reasons for these opinions. No effort will be made, however, to support these conclusions seriatim.

Great Dissimilarity to be overcome, but the Japanese Sensitive to their Environment.—Assimilation involves bringing out of unlikeness cooperation and a sufficient degree of likeness so that there will be substantial agreement in standards and reactions to stimuli. Though in many respects the American and the Japanese races are alike, centuries spent in different environments have produced deep-seated dissimilarity. The assimilation of the Japanese involves less change than does that of tile Chinese or the East Indians, but more than does that of most, if not all, of the European races represented upon American soil. But it is true that while a very different environment has caused substantial unlikeness, perhaps no nation " has turned to environment so sensitive a front as the Japanese. Its history of twenty-five centuries is a record of unceasing adoption and assimilation " of things brought within its grasp.

They have taken Much from other Nations.— The Chinese language and culture early left their imprint. More recently Occidental industrial arts, forms of government, and educational systems have been studied, accepted, adapted, and made use of. The Christian religion has taken firm root there. The Japanese have not been steeled against change. Their rapidly changing civilization and recent phenomenal progress bear witness to this.

Japanese quickly conform to Certain Standards of the Adopted Country.—Most of the Japanese who have emigrated have done so for the sake of economic gain, and with the intention of returning later to Japan. Like other comparatively new immigrants, only a minority have ceased to look back to their native land. Yet they have come with the desire to learn and to make progress, and have been sensitive to their new environment. Literate, intelligent, studious, imitative, desiring to be recognized as equals and feeling offended when treated as a dissimilar and inferior race, they have quickly conformed to many of the requirements and customs of the adopted country.

Dress.—Except occasionally about the "camp" in the evening, the writer has not seen the native Japanese dress in the continental United States. The Japanese dress well and in American clothes.

They are sensitive and wish to conform to the standards set by others in such obvious matters as dress.

Furnishings.—The raised platform serving as a "bunk" is extensively used where Japanese men are employed and provided with shelter in groups. But in by far the largest number of the "bunk houses" observed, the improvised beds are like those used by other men in "camp," and the Japanese families invariably use the usual American bed. The same is true of nearly all of their furnishings, unless it be the "open fire" for cooking, which the average Japanese housewife is loath to discard for the American stove. Chopsticks continue in very general use, but in every one of the houses investigated the past summer, knives, forks, and spoons were found, and rather frequently they were more or less regularly used by the members of the Japanese households.

Diet.—Twenty years have witnessed a considerable change in the diet of the Japanese in the United States. While rice and fish still occupy a prominent place in the food eaten, the consumption of meat, breakfast foods, and other non-Japanese dishes has rapidly increased. Taking the families of Japanese and Italian farmers, the diet of the one is no more characteristic of the race than that of the other. Neither is their diet without desireable variety, nor less expensive than that of other immigrant races in similar economic positions.

Their Standard of Housing notably Inferior.--The one point in which the Japanese standard of living is notably inferior is in housing. This has been commented on in various parts of this report. While there is a distinct improvement where they own land and build their own houses, they are usually less good and less commodious than those built by white persons of equal means. The great majority of them, however, are living in rented houses or in shelters provided by their employers. In either case they have only a limited control over the character of the place in which they reside. The employers expect the Japanese to occupy the Chinese " bunk house" or a similar structure, while in the cities, they are usually practically segregated and assigned to an older locality in which the buildings have deteriorated. Moreover, landlords, influenced no doubt by their experience with the Chinese, are slow to make desired repairs. Yet this situation is not entirely the fault of the white employer or landlord. The Japanese have been willing to observe a lower standard in the matter of housing than the American or the average European, though not lower than that of the Greek, the South Italian, and some of the less desirable races of immigrants from South and East Europe, and he demands distinctly better accommodations than the Mexicans.

Standards of Work, Hours, Wages, Rent, and Profits.—A much more important detail in which American standards have not been readily adopted involves important economic considerations. In different parts of this report the work of the Japanese women has been commented upon. Frequently, and in the rural communities especially, they have neglected household duties for work in shop or field. In this respect the Japanese continue to set themselves off from all other important elements in the population except the German-Russians, who are found in large numbers in Colorado and about Fresno, California. With both the German-Russian and the Japanese farmers it is still a "workaday" life in "making" the rent or paying for the land they have purchased. The hours worked by Japanese farmers are long, and their work frequently continues the seven days of the week. This is truer of those in California than elsewhere, however, and in that state agricultural work is frequently engaged in on Sunday by others. It has been suggested that the length of the workday should be controlled by law. This suggestion, however, is not well taken, for while Sunday labor may be prohibited, how long one may work on his own account may not be restricted by law. Nor, as yet, have the courts permitted the regulation of the hours of labor of adult male employees except in dangerous occupations, such as underground work in the operation of mines. Moreover, as has been set forth, the standards set by other races as regards profit and the rents paid for land have not been generally accepted by Asiatics in the West. The reasons for the different standards frequently observed by them have been presented earlier in this report and need not be repeated here.

Learning to speak English.—In spite of the great obstacles, the Japanese in the United States have made rapid progress in learning the English language—an indispensable condition to Americanization. According to the Census of 1910, 45.8 per cent of the female and 62.4 per cent of the male Japanese ten years of age and over in the United States were able to speak our language. The corresponding percentages for the Chinese were 49.6, and 58.8; for foreign-born whites whose mother tongue was other than English, 77.4, and 77.0. In using these figures it must be borne in mind that in length of residence in this country, the Chinese had had a distinct advantage over the Japanese. So had the foreign-born whites taken as a whole. Moreover, many of the Europeans had immigrated as children, while few of the Japanese had done so.

The Japanese and Others of Non-English Mother Tongue.—The Immigration Commission applied the test of length of residence in making its comparisons between the Japanese and other immigrant races whose mother tongue was other than English. After proper allowance is made for previous residence of Japanese in Hawaii or Canada, and for the study of English grammar in their native high schools, the comparisons are found to be favorable to the Japanese as against many of the races embraced within the so-called "newer immigration." Among the details are these:

" The contrast between the Japanese and the Chinese employed in agricultural pursuits is striking. Although 94.9 per cent of the Chinese from whom data were obtained have been in the United States 10 years or over, and the great majority 20 years or over, a smaller percentage of them than of the Japanese speak English, although 90.4 per cent of the latter have been here less than 10 years and 56.5 per cent less than 5 years. Indeed, of the Japanese who have resided in the United States less than 5 years, 58.8 per cent speak English, as opposed to 66.9 per cent of the Chinese who have been here 10 years or over. This wide difference between the two races is not due to differences in their environments, for the conditions under which Chinese farm laborers live and work are substantially the same as those which surround the Japanese, but it is the result chiefly of the different attitude of the two races toward American customs and our language. The Chinese are self-satisfied and indifferent in this regard, whereas the Japanese are eager to learn the English language or anything pertaining to Western civilization. The same contrast between these races with regard to progress in learning to speak English is found in the other industries where Japanese and Chinese are employed in similar branches of work."

With reference to Japanese and Mexicans we read:

" Of those employed on street railways, for example, 58.8 per cent of the for Japanese speak English, as against only 17.4 per cent of the 539 Mexicans, and this in spite of the fact that 70.6 per cent of the former as against 57.9 per cent of the latter have been in this country less than five years.

Indeed, only 41.9 per cent of the 81 Mexicans whose period of residence is ten years or over speak English, while 50 per cent of the 72 Japanese who have been here less than five years have acquired our tongue.

" A comparison of the Japanese employed in the mining of coal with other races most commonly used in similar occupations in that industry shows that their progress in learning to speak English has been relatively rapid. Of the 199 Japanese who have been in the United States less than five years, 44.7 per cent speak English, as opposed to 38.8 per cent of the 129 Poles, 38.7 per cent of the 562 North Italians, 36.7 per cent of the 229 Slovenians, 3 l .8 per cent of the 44 Slovaks, and 28.7 per cent of the 216 South Italians. On the other hand, however, 48.7 per cent of the 152 Croatians, 51.8 per cent of the 170 Montenegrins, and 62.3 per cent of the 61 Finns in this residence group speak English. It should be noted, moreover, that with the exception of the South Italians, the Europeans whose period of residence was more than five years show more progress in this regard than the Japanese, indicating either that the percentage for Japanese who have been here a relatively short time is greatly affected by residence in Hawaii or Canada, or that they continue longer than the Europeans under conditions which retard assimilation . "

The effect of unfavorable conditions in retarding the assimilation of the Japanese will be discussed presently. In connection with the matter in hand however, it may be said that clannishness, isolated life, and difficulty encountered due to linguistic differences have prevented the Japanese who speak English from speaking it as well as the Italian or other European who has been in this country the same length of time. This difference impressed itself upon the writer during his investigations made during the past summer.

The Reading and Writing of English.—A considerable number of the Japanese investigated by the Immigration Commission had learned to read and write English. Of the male wage earners the percentage was 30.5, of the business men and farmers, 48.6. The corresponding percentages for the females in these two groups were 8.7 and13.3. The Commission in this matter again made interesting comparisons between the Japanese and other immigrants.'

" A comparison of the Japanese and Chinese males engaged in agriculture shows that 19.8 per cent of the former as opposed to only 1.6 per cent of the latter read and write English. Comparing the data gathered from immigrants employed in the mining of coal, a larger percentage of the Japanese read and write English than of most of the races from South and East Europe. Indeed, while 47.2 per cent of the 447 Japanese employed in this industry read and write English, only 34.2 per cent of the 225 Finns, 22.3 per cent of the 479 Slovenians, 20.7 per cent of the 214 Slovaks, 19.3 per cent of the 419 Croatians, 18.8 per cent of the 245 Poles, 17.6 per cent of the 193 Montenegrins, 14 per cent of the 1175 North Italians, and 9.9 per cent of the 485 South Italians have acquired these arts. These comparisons, however, should be somewhat modified because of the fact that many of the Japanese have resided in the Hawaiian Islands and Canada, prior to their immigration to the continental United States, and, further, that some of them have studied English in Japanese schools. With due allowance for these factors in their progress, the proportion of Japanese who read and write English is unusually high as compared to most of the immigrant races employed in similar kinds of work."

With the passing of time, of course, the percentage of Japanese who speak, or read and write English is much larger than indicated by the census of four years ago or by the Immigration Commission five years ago. We are interested here, however, only in the rapidity with which the Japanese gain command of our language.

Japanese Schools for instructing Adults in English.—The showing thus made by the Japanese is good. It represents much definite educational activity on the part of this studious and intelligent race. Reference has already been made to the schools conducted by the Japanese in different western cities. To quote again from the Immigration Commission:

" No less than 33, the primary aim of which is to instruct adult Japanese in the English language, were reported by agents of the Commission in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento, California, and Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.

Of these, several were designed primarily for the ' student class,' and embraced all subjects preparatory for high school, and in one or two cases for college work. The great majority, however, were conducted by the various religious missions and by private parties with the primary aim of imparting a knowledge of English to Japanese laborers."

Magazines and Papers read by Japanese. One of the most important factors assisting or retarding assimilation is found in newspapers and magazines read. Those subscribed for indicate, also, the extent to which immigrants have been assimilated and their standard of living. The Immigration Commission in its investigations obtained data with reference to these from the households investigated. The data for the Japanese are presented in the following table.

House-holds

#

Number taking

No news-

papers

Only news-

Papers

Printed in Japan-

Ese

Only news-

Papers

printed in English

News papersome of each

City

Farm

332

490

8

136

193

322

4

0

127

32

Thus 322 of the 490 farm households, and 193 of the 332 city households had only papers printed in the Japanese language. Some of these were published in Japan, but most of them in the cities of the Pacific States. They present Japanese and American news from the Japanese point of view. On the other hand, 32 of the farm and 131 of the city households had papers published in English. The schedules used showed that the Literary Digest, the Independent, the Outlook, the Review of Reviews, the Pacific Monthly, and Collier's Weekly were among the magazines taken.

After presenting the above data, the Commission made this summary statement of value for the purpose in hand:

" Without entering upon detailed comparisons, it is found that the number of Japanese subscribing for no newspaper is much smaller than that of the Italians and Portuguese. Moreover, the number of publications taken is very much larger. In all of these respects the Japanese compare favorably with the households of North European immigrants. It is true, however, that a far larger percentage of the publications subscribed for are printed in their native language in the case of the Japanese than in the case of city and farm households of most of the other races investigated. This fact is of importance for it shows at once the interests and an important source of information of the majority of the Japanese immigrants."

The Japanese Children.—Thus far the discussion has related to adult Japanese. At present, however, there are several thousand children, foreign or native born, in the Western states.

Observation and investigation show that they are receiving the benefits of good schooling and with results not different from those in the case of children of other races. They attend school regularly, are studious, comparatively few except those who immigrate from Japan are retarded in their studies, and they are generally well received by the other pupils. There is no reason to believe that as they grow up, they will be different from others except in color and physique inherited, and social rank and attitude as affected by the work, rank, and attitude of the adults of the Japanese race. In the near future they will no doubt be a most potent factor in the assimilation of the foreign-born adults.

Supplementary Schools.—In this connection the Japanese supplementary school found in most Japanese communities must be noted. The Japanese boarding schools are too few to be of any importance. The place occupied by the supplementary school has been accurately set forth by Mr. Kawakami in his Asia at the Door. As he points out, these schools are attended by the Japanese pupils after the public schools close for the day. They are for the study of the Japanese language, literature, geography, and history. Though the indirect effect may be to retard assimilation somewhat, and though " in rare instances Japanese teachers are inclined to inspire in the hearts of their youthful pupils such sentiments and creeds as would hinder their assimilation with American ideas and traditions," these schools are not intended to perpetuate the traditions and moral concepts of Japan. They are supplementary schools, and at the worst, there is much less in them to be adversely criticized than in the parochial schools attended by so many children of South and East European immigrants. No real problem is yet evident connected with Japanese children on American soil. The place they will occupy as adults, however, remains to be seen. It will depend to a considerable extent upon the place occupied by the older immigrants.

Many Facts indicate Much Capacity for Assimilation and Considerable Progress. But what of Certain Fundamentals?—But are not some of the things thus far considered superficial and of little consequence? No doubt some of them are. Yet, taken together they are significant. They indicate much capacity on the part of the Japanese for assimilation. They indicate, moreover, that while much remains to be done, considerable progress has been made in the adoption of American forms, customs, and language. Yet the central ideas in the thought of those who maintain that the Japanese cannot be Americanized appear to be that their color imposes an impassable bar between the races, that their religious conceptions cannot be overturned, their clannishness broken down, and their extreme loyalty to Japan transferred to another government.

The Christian Religion.—The Christian religion has taken firm root in Japan and a considerable percentage of the immigrants have become converts before leaving their native land. To these others have been added as a result of the work of the Christian missions in different settlements in the Western states so that about four or five per cent of the entire number are members of the different Christian denominations. In California, for example, there were last year 48 Japanese mission churches with a combined membership of 2430. The number of converts during the year was 447. These churches have become federated under the Japanese Interdenominational Board of Missions, organized in 1911. Cooperating as they do, conducting no fewer than twelve schools for the teaching of English and seven kindergartens, and sending evangelists to every part of the state where there are more than a few Japanese, not only to preach the gospel but to assist in anything making for right living anti right relations, these Christian missions are an important factor in assimilation. In the other states the same kind of work is being carried on but in a less organized way. Christianity is making progress among the Japanese. It is important that it should, for while the places of worship are for Japanese only and comparatively few of the race attend churches attended by others, so that the races are not brought into close contact, it does establish a bond between them. Moreover, the acceptance of Christianity seems to loosen the bond between the Japanese and his fatherland.

Buddhism.--- But, on the other hand, it is to be pointed out that the number of Buddhists is larger than the number of Christians, and that their temples have rapidly increased in number. Several schools for the teaching of English and a number of dormitories arc conducted by the Buddhist organizations, and they no doubt accomplish a considerable amount of good. Yet there seems to be a widespread feeling among the Japanese that much of their activity runs counter to assimilation. My limited observations lead me to regard Mr. Kawakami's remarks concerning this as entirely fair. He says:

"If the purpose of the Buddhists were to propagate the teachings of Buddha, pure and simple, the American people, I am sure, would have little to complain of. Much to our regret we find some of the Buddhist priests are inclined to link Buddhism with patriotism to Japan, knowing that this method of propaganda appeals to the ignorant masses. I do not see why the Japanese Buddhists could not be broad-minded enough, and clear-sighted enough, to see the folly of such a policy. Out of my sincere respect for their character and ideals, I prefer to believe that the Buddhist leaders themselves are absolutely innocent and positively disapprove such unscrupulous means as have been resorted to by their followers. It is also regrettable that the Buddhists keep aloof from the Christians and apparently have no desire to cooperate with them." '

Non-Christian Institutions retard Americanization.—Thus, while in the matter of religion we find in the Japanese the possibility of change, and while the institutions among them are doing much to further assimilation, the net influence of the non-Christian institutions is to retard Americanization. This is unfortunate, of course. It may be pointed out, however, that some of the religious organizations among the non-English speaking European immigrants likewise do much to retard and to prevent assimilation. Any difference is only one of degree.

Japanese Clannishness.—It cannot be disputed that the Japanese are clannish. While it may be said that this is true of other immigrant races, also, there are differences in degree. It appears to be true that no important group of Europeans in the population, unless it is the Poles, is as clannish as the Japanese. It is true, of course, that this clannishness is characteristic of any element when new in the population. It is true, also, that in the case of Asiatics it has been increased by the attitude of the white races. Yet these facts do not explain all that obtains. Individualism has nowhere in the case of the Japanese been characteristic. A former consul to Japan and an admirer of the race interprets much in its history and activity from the point of view of the clan. Their intense patriotism, he maintains, is merely the "larger clan idea." In his opinion they could never become loyal to any other as against their own country. But this is squarely denied by others equally well informed, and most of those who are in close association with the Japanese in the United States say that they would quickly avail themselves of the right of citizenship if they were permitted to become natu ralized. Mr. Kawakami,, an excellent student of race problems, maintains that their patriotism may be transferred to another country without diminution; while Dr. Gulick maintains that the Japanese would become as loyal citizens as any if accorded proper treatment in the United States. Unfortunately it is all a matter of conjecture; nowhere has there been experience to establish definitely either position. It remains true, however, that the relation between the Japanese government and its subjects on foreign soil is a peculiarly intimate one. In no other instance is it so close. It is true, also, that some of the representatives of the government have counseled the Japanese to be true to the fatherland, but, if permanently settled here, to become citizens if possible, and stated that such a change of allegiance would argue only a higher patriotism and not evidence a loss of patriotism or entail injury to one's national individuality. The pro-Japanese see in this a willingness on the part of the Japanese government to have its subjects identify themselves with another country. The anti-Japanese see in it evidence on the part of the Japanese to remain loyal to Japan, for, they ask, why should the Japanese be advised with reference to their duty in such a matter ?

Complete Assimilability of the Japanese must remain a Disputed Question. Will the West give Necessary Cooperation?—Thus the question as to whether the members of this race could, under favorable circumstances, be Americanized in all respects must remain a disputed one. But it cannot be disputed that assimilation of any race depends upon the attitude of the race to which it is to be assimilated and that a situation has developed in the West such as to render the assimilation of the masses of the Japanese well-nigh if not quite impossible until it changes in important respects. The question whether the people of the West will assimilate the Japanese is really more important than whether the Japanese can be assimilated.

Little Effort being made to remove Causes of Friction.—In the preceding chapters the widespread opposition to the Japanese has been noted and an attempt has been made to explain it. Barriers have been erected that few can succeed in surmounting. That " The Japanese, like the Chinese, are regarded as differing so greatly from the white races that they have lived in, but as no integral part of, the community " and that "a strong public opinion has segregated them, if not in their work, in the other details of their living," ' is almost literally true in California and only less so in the other Western states. The causes of friction have been numerous and except on the part of the Japanese organizations, there has been little effort to remove the causes and to bring about cooperation. The Christian missions have accomplished something. So has the Y. M. C. A. in some cities. The Japan Society of America is conducting an educational campaign to develop an appreciation of Japanese character and institutions, and to prevent the spread of misinformation and to offset the effects of agitation. A similar organization in Los Angeles is working less methodically to accomplish the same ends and here and there individuals are making an earnest effort to meet problems as they arise. But the effort being put forth is small compared with that required to remove causes that are removable and to develop the degree of cooperation required to solve a problem which will not be solved otherwise. And, with much greater effort, it would remain to be seen whether differences in color, standards, and possibly other things not so obvious, would not still tend so strongly to encyst the Japanese as a foreign element in the population, that it would not be overcome in the desirable degree.

Without a Restricted Immigration Assimilation would not take Place.—One thing germane to the question under discussion cannot be a matter of dispute. Without a narrowly restricted immigration and with a considerable influx of Japanese laborers, the desired degree of assimilation would not take place. However great the capacity of the immigrants for Americanization, the competition which would develop, combined with the present elements in the situation, would prevent it.

The Question of Race Amalgamation.—As already stated, the matter of race amalgamation is almost sure to be introduced when the assimilation of the Japanese is under discussion. And naturally so, for intermarriage between the races follows upon fairly complete assimilation, and the unions thus formed, if the attendant circumstances are satisfactory, become a factor in assimilating others.

Intense Opposition to Intermarriage in California. -In the West the marriage of Japanese and Caucasian is frowned upon. This results naturally from the American antipathy for a colored race and the widespread opposition to the Asiatics. In California an effort has been made to prevent it by law. Following upon an earlier amendment of the Civil Code to prevent miscegenation in 1905 the Code was again amended so as to make the marriage of white persons with Mongolians, as well as with negroes and mulattoes, illegal and void. Japanese are regarded as Mongolians. In fact the amendment of the law in 1905 was meant to relate especially to marriage between them and white persons. In California the feeling against any intermarriage has been used effectively in the agitation carried on. Thus when hearings were held in the spring of 1913 on the alien land bills at Sacramento, the remarks of Mr. Newman bearing upon this matter had more effect than anything else said. In the course of his remarks he said:

" Near my home is an eighty-acre tract of as fine land as there is in California. On that land lives a Japanese. With that Japanese lives a white woman. In that woman's arms is a baby. What is that baby? It isn't a Japanese. It isn't white. I'll tell you what it is. It is the germ of the mightiest problem that ever faced this state; a problem t hat will make the black problem of the South look white."

In Writer's Opinion the Question of Little Importance.—In spite of the strong feeling against intermarriage of white and Japanese, the writer is of the opinion that the question is of very little importance. Intermarriage is not essential to assimilation. Possibly it is not true, as Dr. Eliot maintains, that the Japanese tend strongly to retain the purity of their race. In fact, the writer is of the opinion that the Japanese have less of race antipathy than is exhibited by other races, and that Mr. Soyeda is right when after referring to cases of intermarriage between the Japanese and the Americans. He says " there would be many more if it were not for the artificial and unjust restrictions placed by law and usage." Some Japanese acquaintances have shown pride when commenting on instances of intermarriage in the West. Yet it is safe to say that only in the event that assimilation is fairly complete and the relations between the races considerably modified, will many intermarriages take place. Those which might then take place should present no particular problem. There are now about fifty instances in the West where Japanese men have married American women, and, with few exceptions, the couples have lived happily. There are now several offspring, and in so far as the writer has had the opportunity to observe them, they are not deficient in any respect. In physical appearance an American is likely to regard them as decidedly Japanese. The Japanese, on the contrary, are likely to regard them as decidedly Caucasian. It is natural that each should see the variation from his own type. In non-biological respects they are American, for what they are until they grow up depends chiefly upon the mother. Of course, were the mother Japanese and the father American, the result would be different, but that is a combination that would seldom occur because of the great deficiency of immigrant females. So far as experience shows there is nothing inherently bad in race mixture, if it takes place under normal conditions, and neither race is generally regarded as inferior and the offspring therefore given inferior rank, as in the case of the negro. But if the races are not given approximately equal rank and harmonious relations established, Japanese-American marriages must continue to be of infrequent occurrence and the number of offspring few.

 

 

 

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