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Garden of the WorldAsian Immigrants and the Making of Agriculture in California's Santa Clara Valley$
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Cecilia M. Tsu

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199734771

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199734771.001.0001

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The World of Early Issei Farmers

(p.53) 2 Transplanted
Garden of the World

Cecilia M. Tsu

Oxford University Press

Focusing on the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the Santa Clara Valley at the turn of the twentieth century, this chapter takes up their establishment in agriculture and shows how they quickly entered economic niches already established by Chinese farmers and farm laborers. While white promoters and settlers placed a higher cultural premium on orchard fruit growing, setting it apart from the variety of horticultural production in the region and envisioning a labor system divided along the lines of race, gender, and crop, the Japanese, like their Chinese counterparts, engaged in all types of horticulture and were essential to the Valley's agricultural landscape. In the period of transition from Chinese to Japanese labor, interethnic relations flourished as well, reflecting the presence of an ethnic economy in the Valley that was not wholly dependent on whites.

Keywords:   Japanese immigrants, agriculture, labor, Chinese immigrants, interethnic relations

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