Riverside Metropolitan Museum

Reading the Walls Online Exhibit - Room #1 : Case 2

Riverside’s Japanese Community

<p>
					Riverside Japanese Women’s Society, 1908.  Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Harada Family Collection.</p>

<p>Ken Harada is seated second from right, with Mine seated at her feet.</p>

<p>Riverside’s Japanese community benefited from the unusual generosity and friendship of Frank Miller, founder of the Mission Inn. 


Frank Miller hosted many Japanese events, such as the traditional Boys’ and 
Girls’ day celebrations, at his Mission Inn which the Harada family attended. In the fall of 1917, Frank Miller held a banquet on the occasion of the Japanese Emperor’s birthday and invited members of the Japanese community.<p>
<p>
					Photograph, Riverside Japanese Association Picnic, 1926.  Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Harada Family Collection.</p>

<p>Four of the Harada children are in the photo.  Clark is in a white shirt and tie on the right.  His hands are resting on Harold’s shoulders.  Mine is the taller of the two girls to the left of Clark. Yoshizo 
is at far left with his hands behind his head.</p>

<p>Photograph, Japanese Boys’ Day Festival at Mission Inn, ca. 1930.  Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Frank Miller Hutchings Collection.</p>   
					<p>Riverside’s Japanese community benefited from the unusual generosity and inclusiveness of Frank Miller, founder of the Mission Inn. The Haradas, like others in the Japanese community, attended many events at the Mission Inn.  In the fall of 1917, Frank Miller, hosted a banquet on the occasion of the Japanese Emperor’s birthday and invited members of the Japanese community.  In the 1920s, Miller gave funds in the name of the Japanese Union Church for the construction of the Riverside Community Hospital. In 1926, the traditional Japanese Girls’ Day and Boys’ Day celebrations where Harold Harada and his childhood friend Michiko Teshima flew their koi banners were held at the Mission Inn.</p>
					<p>
					Photograph, Japanese Union Church, Elders and Congregants, 1937.  Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Harada Family Collection.</p>

<p>Jukichi Harada stands on the steps, second from right. Standing on his left is the Reverend Yoshioka. The Japanese Methodist Church and the Japanese Union Church were merged in 1916 and provided Christian services and social activities for their members. Unlike other areas, the Japanese were not segregated in their worship. Nisei (second generation) frequently attended Caucasian services in the morning and Japanese services in the afternoon.</p>

<p>
					Photograph, Frank Miller Receiving Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese Consul, 1929, Avery Field Photographer.  Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Frank Miller Hutchings Collection. </p>

<p>This Japanese order was founded in 1875 by Emperor Meiji and awarded for exceptional civil or military merit.</p>

<p>The Haradas, like others in the Japanese community, attended many events at the Mission Inn. Throughout the 1920s, the traditional Japanese Girls’ Day (Hina Matsuri) and Boys’ Day (Tango no Sekku) festivities were celebrated at the Mission Inn by children of all races.
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Japanese arriving in Riverside at the turn of the 20th Century were mainly unmarried males from the agricultural class, and under thirty years old. While some planned on staying only as long as it took to become wealthy and return to Japan, others came searching for opportunities not available in Japan.

Like other immigrants who came to Riverside before them, many Japanese immigrants found work in the citrus industry. The 1908 Gentleman’s Agreement between the United States and Japan halted the immigration of single men, but allowed for the immigration of wives, parents, and children of those already in the United States.

By 1910, Riverside’s Japanese population was about 500. Many were operating small businesses including grocery stores, bicycle shops, clothing stores, barbershops, billiard parlors, boarding houses, and restaurants. They established support organizations within their community. The Riverside Japanese Association had been established in 1899. The Japanese Methodist Church and the Japanese Union Church merged in 1916 and provided Christian services and social activities for their members.

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