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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Leonard, Kevin Allen, 1964-

Second Advisor

Hochstetler, Laurie

Third Advisor

Danysk, Cecilia

Fourth Advisor

Seltz, Jennifer


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

OCLC Number


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

Geographic Coverage

Burlington (Wash.)




masters theses




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