Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 66.djvu/123

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119
CHINESE AND JAPANESE IMMIGRATION.

The Japanese has never been placed under the ban to which his Mongol brother, the Chinese, is subjected, because not until recently did Japanese immigration reach proportions of alarming size. The rapid increase of Japanese immigration is shown by the table given below.

 
Years. Japanese Arrived.
1898 2,230
1899 2,844
1900 12,635
1901 5,269
1902 14,270
1903 19,968
 

The Japanese coolie labor is (according to some observers who have made a special study of them) more undesirable than the Chinese. There are thousands of these Japanese working in the orchards, vineyards, gardens, hop and sugar-beet fields of California.

The investigations of the California State Labor Bureau show that the Japanese usually come here in gangs of twenty-five or more, and are controlled by Japanese boarding-house keepers in San Francisco, Seattle and other Pacific ports, the system resembling the 'pa drone system' of the Italians. These Japanese boarding-house keepers or bosses are in touch with so-called ' Immigration companies ' in Japan. Mr. Thos. F. Turner, in his able report upon Chinese and Japanese labor in the mountain and Pacific states, prepared for the Industrial Commission, and presented by it to Congress, December 5, 1901, says:

A contract is entered into by one of these immigration companies with every Japanese immigrant coming to the United States By the terms of the contract it is provided that the immigration company shall secure passage for the immigrant to the United States, with necessary passport, and that it shall provide for all his creature comforts while en route, and return him to Japan in case of sickness. Fully SO per cent, of all the Japanese who come to the United States are classified, as shown by the reports of the immigration office, as farmers. The wages of farm hands in Japan are 3 to 4 yen per month, or about $1.50 American money, without board or lodging; yet every one of this class of immigrants, after paying passage to the United States, is able to show to the immigration officer $30 in gold. It is understood by the immigrants that they must have at least this amount in order to secure landing in the United States.

It is a fact full of significance that of the hundreds of coolies who are constantly coming into the United States every one produces just $30 in gold; no more, and no less.

That the entire system of immigration companies, boarding-house keepers and Japanese bosses is but an elaborate and ingenious method of avoiding our contract labor laws, no one who has investigated the subject can doubt.

The following is an exact translation of one of the immigrant contracts referred to:

 

Contract

The Nippon Imin Goshi Company will contract, accepting the request for transportation, of Yoshida Ichitaro, who is a free emigrant, having the purpose to land in San Francisco, North America, and to secure for him work there, within the limitations prescribed by the immigration laws.