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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Leonard, Kevin Allen, 1964-
The 1920s and 1930s were a time of conflict for many people of Japanese ancestry who lived in the Pacific Northwest. They faced Alien Land Laws and Anti-Miscegenation Laws in many of the Pacific Northwest States. They found themselves limited in their school activities and in their career paths. This situation was remarkably similar up and down the coast, especially in areas where the Japanese settled in large communities. This paper presents a different story of the 1920s and 1930s. The town of Burlington, WA, located approximately half way between Seattle and the Canadian border, was home to two Japanese families, in addition to a small community in nearby Blanchard. Instead of facing the prejudice, discrimination and violence that many other Japanese Americans faced, these families found a way to integrate themselves into the community through church, school, and other activities. The story of Burlington demonstrates that even though racist attitudes existed in the area and were even espoused by the local newspaper editor, the people of Burlington were willing to live with and among the Japanese families until their internment and incarceration in June 1942.
Western Washington University
Subject – LCSH
Japanese Americans--Cultural assimilation--Washington (State)--Burlington; Japanese Americans--Washington (State)--Burlington--Social life and customs; Akita family; Takagi family; Burlington (Wash.)--Social life and customs
Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Vis, Alyssa J. (Alyssa Joy), "Where everybody knows your name: growing up Japanese in Burlington, WA, 1920-1942" (2013). WWU Graduate School Collection. 316.