The collection consists of interviews transcripts and newspaperclippings related to the life of Japanese-Americans in the
Inland Empire, particularly in Riverside, California, during the early half of the 20th century. Also included in the collection
are videocassettes related to the Chinatown excavation in Riverside.
Riverside, California saw a sizeable community of Japanese immigrants contribute to the city's economy by the mind-1890s.
Aside from working in the agricultural sector, many Japanese were business owners within the city-- owning grocery stores
and restaurants for example.
Between 1895 and 1905, White laborers in Riverside and neighboring cities began attacking Japanese laborers in fear of economic
In 1896, Japanese businessman Ulysses Shinsei Kaneko became a naturalized American-citizen. Kaneko's citizenship made him
the first Japanese in the Inland Empire of Southern California to obtain an American citizenry recognition.
In 1915-1917, Jukichi Harada, an Issei restaurant owner, challenged the Alien Land Law. The case was taken to the California
Superior Court under the name The People of the State of California vs Jukichi Harada. The court decided in favor of Harada,
marking a significant event for Japanese immigrants. Harada and his wife Ken died in the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah,
where they were evacuated to at the beginning of World War II. The Harada House is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Before the start of World War II, Japanese Americans had farms located primarily in the Arlington area and the northern part
of Riverside, California.
On May 23, 1942, Japanese Americans living in Riverside were evacuated to different internment camps in Poston, Arizona and
Manzanar, California. Between March and May of 1942, over 200 Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from Riverside and
roughly 180 returned after World War II.
Aside from Japanese influence in Riverside, there were also two Chinatowns built, both of which are now gone.
In the late 19th century, Chinese immigrants settled in Riverside and became central to the city's economy.
The first Chinatown was located in the downtown area, but was later destroyed by a fire. This then led to the establishment
of a second Chinatown in 1885. The second establishment was located in the Tequesquite Arroyo, which held a community of over
four hundred Chinese residents. In 1893, the second Chinatown was destroyed by a fire but then rebuilt quickly. By the 1930s,
the town's Chinese population was in decline due to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The last Chinatown resident was Wong
Ho Leun, or George Wong.Collection was created by Morrison Wong while working on his Ph.D. dissertation at UC Riverside in 1977.
5.34 linear feet
(3 record storage boxes, 4 half hollinger boxes, 1 cassette box, 1 index file box)
Copyright Unknown: Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition,
the reproduction, and/or commercial use, of some materials may be restricted by gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions,
privacy and publicity rights, licensing agreement(s), and/or trademark rights. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected
by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other
restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights holder is also required. Responsibility
for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
The collection is open for research.