763,325 alone, 0.2% of U.S. population
1,304,286 including partial ancestry, 0.4%
|Regions with significant populations|
|Hawaii, the West Coast, and the Northeast|
|American English and Japanese|
|32% Unaffiliated, 33% Protestantism, 25% Buddhism, 4% Catholicism, 4% Shinto (2012)|
Japanese Americans (日系アメリカ人 Nikkei Amerikajin) are Americans of Japanese descent. Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American communities, but in recent decades, it has become the sixth largest group at roughly 1,304,286, including those of mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity. In the 2010 census, the largest Japanese American communities were found in California with 272,528, Hawaii with 185,502, New York with 37,780, Washington with 35,008, Illinois with 17,542, and Ohio with 16,995. Southern California has the largest Japanese-American population in North America.
Cultural profile 1
- Immigration 1.1
- Generations 1.2
- Languages 1.3
- Education 1.4
- Intermarriage 1.5
- Religion 1.6
- Celebrations 1.7
- History 2
- Politics 3
Japanese-Americans by state 4
- California 4.1
- Connecticut 4.2
- Georgia 4.3
- Illinois 4.4
- Michigan 4.5
- New Jersey 4.6
- Virginia 4.7
Neighborhoods and communities 5
- The West Coast 5.1
- Outside the West Coast 5.2
Notable individuals 6
- Politics 6.1
- Science and technology 6.2
- Art and literature 6.3
- Music 6.4
- Sports 6.5
- Entertainment and media 6.6
- Works about Japanese Americans 7
- See also 8
- References 9
- Further reading 10
- External links 11
People from Japan began migrating to the U.S. in significant numbers following the political, cultural, and social changes stemming from the 1868 Meiji Restoration. Large numbers went to Hawaii and to the West Coast. In 1907, the "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the governments of Japan and the U.S. ended immigration of Japanese unskilled workers, but permitted the immigration of businessmen, students and spouses of Japanese immigrants already in the U.S. The Immigration Act of 1924 banned the immigration of nearly all Japanese.
The ban on immigration produced unusually well-defined generational groups within the Japanese-American community. Original immigrants belonged to an immigrant generation, the Issei, and their U.S.-born children to the Nisei Japanese American generation. The Issei comprised exclusively those who had immigrated before 1924. Because no new immigrants were permitted, all Japanese Americans born after 1924 were—by definition—born in the U.S. This generation, the Nisei, became a distinct cohort from the Issei generation in terms of age, citizenship, and English-language ability, in addition to the usual generational differences. Institutional and interpersonal racism led many of the Nisei to marry other Nisei, resulting in a third distinct generation of Japanese Americans, the Sansei. Significant Japanese immigration did not occur again until the Immigration Act of 1965 ended 40 years of bans against immigration from Japan and other countries.
The Naturalization Act of 1790 restricted naturalized U.S. citizenship to "free white persons", which excluded the Issei from citizenship. As a result, the Issei were unable to vote and faced additional restrictions such as the inability to own land under many state laws.
Japanese Americans were parties in several important Supreme Court decisions, including Ozawa v. United States (1922) and Korematsu v. United States (1943). The Korematsu case originated the "strict scrutiny" standard, which is applied, with great controversy, in government considerations of race since the 1989 Adarand Constructors v. Peña decision.
In recent years, immigration from Japan has been more like that from Western Europe. The numbers involve on average 5 to 10 thousand per year, and is similar to the amount of immigration to the U.S. from Germany. This is in stark contrast to the rest of Asia, where family reunification is the primary impetus for immigration. Japanese Americans also have the oldest demographic structure of any non-European ethnic group in the U.S.
The nomenclature for each of their generations who are citizens or long-term residents of countries other than Japan, used by Japanese Americans and other nationals of Japanese descent are explained here; they are formed by combining one of the Japanese numbers corresponding to the generation with the Japanese word for generation (sei 世). The Japanese American communities have themselves distinguished their members with terms like Issei, Nisei, and Sansei, which describe the first, second, and third generations of immigrants. The fourth generation is called Yonsei (四世), and the fifth is called Gosei (五世). The term Nikkei (日系) encompasses Japanese immigrants in all countries and of all generations.
|Issei (一世)||The generation of people born in Japan who later immigrated to another country.|
|Nisei (二世)||The generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Hawaii, or any country outside of Japan either to at least one Issei or one non-immigrant Japanese parent.|
|Sansei (三世)||The generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Hawaii, or any country outside of Japan to at least one Nisei parent.|
|Yonsei (四世)||The generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Hawaii, or any country outside of Japan to at least one Sansei parent.|
|Gosei (五世)||The generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Hawaii, or any country outside of Japan to at least one Yonsei parent.|
The kanreki (還暦), a pre-modern Japanese rite of passage to old age at 60, is now being celebrated by increasing numbers of Japanese-American Nisei. Rituals are enactments of shared meanings, norms, and values; and this traditional Japanese rite of passage highlights a collective response among the Nisei to the conventional dilemmas of growing older.
Issei and many nisei speak Japanese in addition to English as a second language. In general, later generations of Japanese Americans speak English as their first language, though some do learn Japanese later as a second language. In Hawaii however, where Nikkei are about one-fifth of the whole population, Japanese is a major language, spoken and studied by many of the state's residents across ethnicities. It is taught in private Japanese language schools as early as the second grade. As a courtesy to the large number of Japanese tourists (from Japan), Japanese subtexts are provided on place signs, public transportation, and civic facilities. The Hawaii media market has a few locally produced Japanese language newspapers and magazines, although these are on the verge of dying out, due to a lack of interest on the part of the local (Hawaii-born) Japanese population. Stores that cater to the tourist industry often have Japanese-speaking personnel. To show their allegiance to the U.S., many nisei and sansei intentionally avoided learning Japanese. But as many of the later generations find their identities in both Japan and America or American society broadens its definition of cultural identity, studying Japanese is becoming more popular than it once was.
Japanese American culture places great value on education and culture. Across generations, children are often instilled with a strong desire to enter the rigors of higher education. Because of such widespread ambition among members of the Japanese-American community, math and reading scores on the SAT and ACT may often exceed the national averages. Japanese-Americans have the largest showing of any ethnic group in nationwide Advanced Placement testing each year.
A large majority of Japanese Americans obtain post-secondary degrees. Japanese Americans often face the "model minority" stereotype that they are dominant in math- and science-related fields in colleges and universities across the United States. In reality, however, there is an equal distribution of Japanese-Americans between the arts and humanities and the sciences. Although their numbers have declined slightly in recent years, Japanese Americans are still a prominent presence in Ivy League schools, the top University of California campuses including UC Berkeley and UCLA, and other elite universities. The 2000 census reported that 40.8% of Japanese Americans held a college degree.
In the years prior to World War II, many second generation Japanese American attended the American school by day and the Japanese school in the evening to keep up their Japanese skill as well as English. Other first generation Japanese American parent were worried that their child might go through the same discrimination when going to school so they gave them choice on going back to Japan to be educated or to stay in America with their parent and study both.
Before the 1960s, the trend of Japanese Americans marrying partners outside their racial or ethnic group was generally low, as well a great many traditional Issei parents encouraged Nisei to marry only within their ethnic/cultural group. Arrangements to purchase and invite picture brides from Japan to relocate and marry Issei or Nisei males was commonplace.
In California and other western states until the end of World War II, there were attempts to make it illegal for Japanese and other Asian Americans to marry European Americans, but those laws were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, like the anti-miscegenation laws which prevented European Americans from marrying African Americans in the 1960s.
According to a 1990 statistical survey by the Japan Society of America, the Sansei or third generations have an estimated 20 to 30 percent out-of-group marriage, while the 4th generation or Yonsei approaches nearly 50 percent.
During the World War II Internment era, the U.S. Executive Order 9066 had an inclusion of orphaned infants with "one drop of Japanese blood" (as explained in a letter by one official) or the order stated anyone at least one-sixteenth Japanese (descended from any intermarriage) lends credence to the argument that the measures were racially motivated, rather than a military necessity.
There were sizable numbers of Korean-Japanese, Chinese-Japanese, Filipino-Japanese, Mexican-Japanese, Native Hawaiian-Japanese and Cherokee-Japanese in California according to the 1940 U.S. Census who were eligible for internment as "Japanese" to indicate the first stage of widespread intermarriage of Japanese Americans, including those who passed as "white" or half-Asian/European.
Japanese Americans practice a wide range of religions, including Mahayana Buddhism (Jōdo Shinshū, Jōdo-shū, Nichiren, Shingon, and Zen forms being most prominent) their majority faith, Shinto, and Christianity. In many ways, due to the longstanding nature of Buddhist and Shinto practices in Japanese society, many of the cultural values and traditions commonly associated with Japanese tradition have been strongly influenced by these religious forms.
A large number of the Japanese American community continue to practice Buddhism in some form, and a number of community traditions and festivals continue to center around Buddhist institutions. For example, one of the most popular community festivals is the annual Obon Festival, which occurs in the summer, and provides an opportunity to reconnect with their customs and traditions and to pass these traditions and customs to the young. These kinds of festivals are mostly popular in communities with large populations of Japanese Americans, such as Southern California and Hawaii. It should be noted however, that a reasonable number of Japanese people both in and out of Japan are secular, as Shinto and Buddhism are most often practiced by rituals such as marriages or funerals, and not through faithful worship, as defines religion for many Americans.
Many Japanese Americans practice Christianity. Among mainline denominations the Presbyterians have long been active. The First Japanese Presbyterian Church of San Francisco opened in 1885. There is also the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society (JEMS) formed in the 1950s. It operates Asian American Christian Fellowships (AACF) programs on university campuses, especially in California. The Japanese language ministries are fondly known as "Nichigo" in Japanese American Christian communities. The newest trend includes Asian American members who do not have a Japanese heritage.
Japanese American celebrations tend to be more sectarian in nature and focus on the community-sharing aspects. An important annual festival for Japanese Americans is the Obon Festival, which happens in July or August of each year. Across the country, Japanese Americans gather on fair grounds, churches and large civic parking lots and commemorate the memory of their ancestors and their families through folk dances and food. Carnival booths are usually set up so Japanese American children have the opportunity to play together.
|January 1||Shōgatsu New Year's Celebration||Nationwide|
|February||Japanese Heritage Fair||Honolulu, HI|
|February to March||Cherry Blossom Festival||Honolulu, HI|
|March 3||Hina Matsuri (Girls' Day)||Hawaii|
|March||Honolulu Festival||Honolulu, HI|
|March||Hawaiʻi International Taiko Festival||Honolulu, HI|
|March||International Cherry Blossom Festival||Macon, GA|
|March to April||National Cherry Blossom Festival||Washington, DC|
|April||Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival||San Francisco, CA|
|April||Pasadena Cherry Blossom Festival||Pasadena, CA|
|April||Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival||Seattle, WA|
|May 5||Tango no Sekku (Boys' Day)||Hawaii|
|May||Shinnyo-En Toro-Nagashi (Memorial Day Floating Lantern Ceremony)||Honolulu, HI|
|June||Pan-Pacific Festival Matsuri in Hawaiʻi||Honolulu, HI|
|July 7||Tanabata Festival||Nationwide|
|August||Nihonmachi Street Fair||San Francisco, CA|
|August||Nisei Week||Los Angeles, CA|
People from Japan began emigrating to the U.S. in significant numbers following the political, cultural, and social changes stemming from the 1868 Meiji Restoration. Japanese immigration to the Americas started with immigration to Hawaii in the first year of the Meiji period in 1868. Following the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Japanese immigrants were increasingly sought by industrialists to replace the Chinese immigrants. In 1907, the "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the governments of Japan and the U.S. ended immigration of Japanese workers (i.e., men), but permitted the immigration of spouses of Japanese immigrants already in the U.S. The Immigration Act of 1924 banned the immigration of all but a token few Japanese.
During World War II, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals or citizens residing in the United States were forcibly interned in ten different camps across the US, mostly in the west. The internments were based on the race or ancestry rather than activities of the interned. Families, including children, were interned together. Decades later, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 officially acknowledged the "fundamental violations of the basic civil liberties and constitutional rights" of the internment.
Japanese Americans have shown strong support for candidates in both political parties. Shortly prior to the
- Japanese American National Museum
- Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC
- Japanese American Citizens League
- Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
- Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California
- Japanese American Community and Cultural Center of Southern California
- Japanese American Historical Society
- Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project
- Japanese American Museum of San Jose, California
- Japanese American Network
- Japanese-American's own companies in USA
- Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives
- Online Archive of the Japanese American Relocation during World War II
- Photo Exhibit of Japanese American community in Florida
- Nikkei Federation
- Discover Nikkei
- Summary of a panel discussion on changing Japanese American identities
- Interment and American samurai
- , a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan“The War Relocation Centers of World War II: When Fear Was Stronger than Justice”
- U.S. Government interned Japanese from Latin America
- Short radio episode Baseball from "Lil' Yokohama" by Toshio Mori, 1941. California Legacy Project.
- "Japanese Americans." (Archive) State of California.
- "Present-Day Immigration with Special Reference to the Japanese," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (Jan 1921), pp. 1–232 online 24 articles by experts, mostly about California
- Azuma, Eiichiro. ", 1880-1952IsseiA History of Oregon's ." Oregon Historical Quarterly. Oregon Historical Society. Vol. 94, No. 4, Winter, 1993/1994., pp. 315–367. Available on JStor.
- DeWan, George. "Learning How To Stay Japanese In America." Newsday. January 6, 1990. PART 11, Start page NOPGCIT.
- Inouye, Karen M., “Changing History: Competing Notions of Japanese American Experience, 1942–2006” (PhD dissertation Brown University, 2008). Dissertation Abstracts International No. DA3318331.
- Jacobson, Matthew Frye. (2000). Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876–1917. Hill and Wang, ISBN 978-0-8090-1628-0
- Lai, Eric, and Dennis Arguelles, eds. "The New Face of Asian Pacific America: Numbers, Diversity, and Change in the 21st century." San Francisco, CA: Asian Week, 2003.
- Kikumura-Yano, Akemi, ed. "Encyclopedia of Japanese Descendants in the Americas." Walnut Creek, CA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002.
- Moulin, Pierre. (1993). U.S. Samurais in Bruyeres – People of France and Japanese Americans: Incredible story Hawaii CPL Editions. ISBN 2-9599984-0-5
- Moulin, Pierre. (2007). Dachau, Holocaust and US Samurais – Nisei Soldiers first in Dachau Authorhouse Editions. ISBN 978-1-4259-3801-7
- Tsuchiya, Tomoko, “Interracial Marriages between American Soldiers and Japanese Women at the Beginning of the Cold War,” Journal of American and Canadian Studies (Tokyo) (no. 29, 2011), 59–84
- "Race Reporting for the Asian Population by Selected Categories: 2010". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- Pew Forum - Asian Americans: A Mosaic of Faiths
- Pew Forum - Japanese Americans' Religions
- Doi, Mary L. "A Transformation of Ritual: The Nisei 60th Birthday." Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology. Vol. 6, No. 2 (April, 1991).
- Le, Cuong. "Socioeconomic Statistics & Semographics". Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- Ronald T, Takaki (1994). Issei and Nisei: The Settling of Japanese America. New York: Chelsea House.
- Brian Niiya (1993). Japanese American History: An A-To-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present. VNR AG. p. 28.
- Hans Joachim Hillerbrand (2004). The Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Taylor & Francis. p. 197.
- Robert A. Orsi (1999). Gods of the City: Religion and the American Urban Landscape. Indiana UP. p. 299.
- "Civil Liberties Act of 1988".
- Lobe, Jim (September 16, 2004). "Asian-Americans lean toward Kerry". AsiaTimes
- Wong, Junn, Lee, Ramakrishnan, Janelle, Jane, Taeku, S. Karthick. "Race-Based Considerations and the Obama Vote". 2008 National Asian American Survey.
- Blackmore, Willy. "Top 10: Japanese Noodles Shops in Torrance." L.A. Weekly. Retrieved on May 10, 2013.
- Selvam, Ashok. "Asian population booming in suburbs." Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Illinois). March 6, 2011. Retrieved on June 19, 2013.
- Stone, Cal (April 11, 2013). "State's Japanese employees increasing".
- Stirling, Stephen. "Japanese-Americans in Fort Lee, Edgewater describe frantic calls to loved ones in quake's wake." The Star-Ledger. Friday, March 11, 2011. Updated Saturday, March 12, 2011. Retrieved on June 19, 2013.
- June Casagrande (December 2004). "Holiday Heritage".
- "D.C. region’s Asian population is up 60 percent since 2000, census data show".
- Niiya, Brian (1993). Japanese American History. Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.): VNR AG. p. 307.
- "'"Northern California Premiere of '99 Years of Love.
- Asian American
- Asian Canadian
- Hyphenated American
- Japanese American Citizens League
- Japanese American internment
- Japanese American National Library
- Japanese American National Museum
- Japanese Filipino
- Japanese Canadian
- Japanese Brazilian
- Japanese Peruvian
- Japanese British
- Japanese Mexican
- Japanese people
- List of Japanese Americans
- Military Intelligence Service (United States)
- Model minority
- Nisei Baseball Research Project
- Pacific Movement of the Eastern World
- Chicago Shimpo
- 442nd Infantry Regiment (United States)
- 100th Infantry Battalion (United States)
- Japanese Americans. In 2010 TBS produced a 5 part, 10hr fictional Japanese language miniseries featuring many of the major events and themes of the Issei and Nisei experience, including emigration, racism, picture brides, farming, pressure due to the China and Pacific wars, internment, a key character who serves in the 442nd and the ongoing redefinition in identity of what it means to be Japanese and American.
Works about Japanese Americans
Today, Shin Koyamada launched a leading role in the Warner Bros. epic movie The Last Samurai and Disney Channel movie franchise Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior and TV series Disney Channel Games. Masi Oka plays a prominent role in the NBC series Heroes, Grant Imahara appears on the Discovery Channel series MythBusters and Derek Mio appears in the NBC series Day One.
Star Trek fame) and Pat Morita (Happy Days and The Karate Kid) helped pioneer acting roles for Asian Americans while playing secondary roles on the small screen during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1976, Morita also starred in Mr. T and Tina, which was the first American sitcom centered on a person of Asian descent. Keiko Yoshida was cast in the past TV show ZOOM in PBS Kids. Gregg Araki (film director of independent films) is also Japanese American.
Miyoshi Umeki won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1957. Actors Sessue Hayakawa, Mako Iwamatsu, and Pat Morita were nominated for Academy Awards in 1957, 1966, and 1984 respectively. Chris Tashima won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1997.
Entertainment and media
Hikaru Nakamura became the youngest American ever to earn the titles of National Master (age 10) and International Grandmaster (age 15) in chess. In 2004, at the age of 16, he won the U.S. Chess Championship for the first time. He later won two other times.
More recently, Rex Walters, whose mother was Japanese, played in the NBA from 1993 to 2000. Lindsey Yamasaki was the first Asian American to play in the WNBA and finished off her NCAA career with the third-most career 3-pointers at Stanford University.
In professional sports, Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season, when he played for the New York Knicks. Misaka also played a key role in Utah's NCAA and NIT basketball championships in 1944 and 1947. Wally Kaname Yonamine was a professional running back for the San Francisco 49ers in 1947.
In distance running, Miki (Michiko) Gorman won the Boston and New York City marathons twice in the 1970s. A former American record holder at the distance, she is the only woman to win both races twice, and is the only woman to win both marathons in the same year.
In figure skating, Kristi Yamaguchi, a fourth-generation Japanese American, won three national championship titles (one in singles, two in pairs), two world titles, and the 1992 Olympic Gold medal. Rena Inoue, a Japanese immigrant to America who later became a U.S. citizen, competed at the 2006 Olympics in pair skating for the United States. Kyoko Ina, who was born in Japan, but raised in the United States, competed for the United States in singles and pairs, and was a multiple national champion and an Olympian with two different partners. Mirai Nagasu won the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the age of 14 and became the second youngest woman to ever win that title.
More recently, Eric Sato won gold (1988) and bronze (1992) medals in volleyball, while his sister Liane Sato won bronze in the same sport in 1992. Hapa Bryan Clay won the decathlon gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, the silver medal in the 2004 Olympics, and was the sport's 2005 world champion. Hapa Apolo Anton Ohno won eight Olympic medals in short-track speed skating (two gold) in 2002, 2006, and 2010, as well as a world cup championship.
Japanese Americans first made an impact in Olympic sports in the late 1940s and in the 1950s. Harold Sakata won a weightlifting silver medal in the 1948 Olympics, while Japanese Americans Tommy Kono (weightlifting), Yoshinobu Oyakawa (100-meter backstroke), and Ford Konno (1500-meter freestyle) each won gold and set Olympic records in the 1952 Olympics. Konno won another gold and silver swimming medal at the same Olympics and added a silver medal in 1956, while Kono set another Olympic weightlifting record in 1956. Also at the 1952 Olympics, Evelyn Kawamoto won two bronze medals in swimming.
Classical violinist Midori Gotō is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, while world-renowned violinist Anne Akiko Meyers received an Avery Fisher career grant in 1993, and Juno Award-nominated classical violinist Hidetaro Suzuki was the concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra from 1978 to 2005. Other notable Japanese American musicians include singer, actress and Broadway star Pat Suzuki; rapper Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Fort Minor; rapper Kikuo Nishi aka "KeyKool" of The Visionaries; Hiro Yamamoto, original bassist of Soundgarden; ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro; guitarist James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins fame; singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata; and Trivium lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Matt Heafy. Singer-songwriter and composer Mari Iijima is a Japanese expat currently living in the United States. J-Pop singers Hikaru Utada and Joe Inoue were both born in the United States but gained their fame in Japan.
Japanese American recipients of the American Book Award include Milton Murayama, Ronald Phillip Tanaka, Miné Okubo, Keiho Soga, Taisanboku Mori, Sojin Takei, Muin Ozaki, Toshio Mori, William Minoru Hohri, Karen Tei Yamashita, Sheila Hamanaka, Lawson Fusao Inada, Ronald Takaki, Kimiko Hahn, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Ruth Ozeki, Hiroshi Kashiwagi, and Yuko Taniguchi. Hisaye Yamamoto received an American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1986.
In the arts, George Nakashima.
Art and literature
Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist specializing in string field theory, and a well-known science popularizer. Ellison Onizuka became the first Asian American astronaut and was the mission specialist aboard Challenger at the time of its explosion.
Charles J. Pedersen won the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his methods of synthesizing crown ethers. Yoichiro Nambu won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum chromodynamics and spontaneous symmetry breaking. Shuji Nakamura won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes.
Many Japanese Americans have also gained prominence in science and technology. In 1979, biochemist Harvey Itano became the first Japanese American elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences.
Science and technology
George Ariyoshi served as the Governor of Hawaiʻi from 1974 to 1986. He was the first American of Asian descent to be elected governor of a state of the United States.
Japanese American members of the United States House of Representatives have included Daniel K. Inouye, Spark Matsunaga, Patsy Mink, Norman Mineta, Bob Matsui, Pat Saiki, Mike Honda, Doris Matsui, and Mazie Hirono. Japanese American members of the United States Senate have included Daniel K. Inouye, Samuel I. Hayakawa, and Spark Matsunaga. In 2010, Inouye was sworn in as President Pro Tempore making him the highest-ranking Asian-American politician in American history.
After the Territory of Hawaiʻi's statehood in 1959, Japanese American political empowerment took a step forward with the election of Daniel K. Inouye to Congress. Spark Matsunaga was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1963, and in 1965 Patsy Mink became the first Asian American woman elected to the United States Congress. Inouye, Matsunaga, and Mink's success led to the gradual acceptance of Japanese American leadership on the national stage, culminating in the appointments of Eric Shinseki and Norman Y. Mineta, the first Japanese American military chief of staff and federal cabinet secretary, respectively.
- Arlington, Virginia and Alexandria, Virginia (the Northern Virginia region).
- Bergen County, New Jersey.
- Boise, Idaho.
- Boone County, Kentucky
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Chicago, Illinois and suburbs:
- Denver, Colorado, note Sakura Square
- Gallup, New Mexico, in World War II the city fought to prevent the internment of its 800 Japanese residents.
- Grand Prairie, Texas (the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area)
- Greeley, Colorado
- New York City, New York – According to the Japanese Embassy of the USA, over 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry live in the NYC metro area, including South Shore (Long Island) and Hudson Valley; Fairfield County, Connecticut and Northern New Jersey.
- Columbus, Ohio
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the suburbs of Chester County, Pennsylvania.
- Pueblo, Colorado
- Salem, New Jersey and Cherry Hill, New Jersey (see Delaware Valley).
- Seabrook Farms, New Jersey
- Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Washington, DC.
Outside the West Coast
- Los Angeles, includes the Little Tokyo section.
- Anaheim and Orange County
- Fontana in the Inland Empire.
- Gardena in Los Angeles' South Bay area.
- Long Beach, California – historic Japanese fisheries presence in Terminal Island.
- Pasadena in the Los Angeles' San Gabriel Valley.
- Palm Desert, also the Japanese developed the year-round agricultural industries in the Coachella Valley and Imperial Valley.
- Sawtelle, California, in West Los Angeles.
- Torrance in Los Angeles' South Bay area.
- Ventura County.
Central Valley, California region:
- Bakersfield/ Kern County, California.
- Fresno – 5% of the county have Japanese ancestry.
- Butte County.
- Sutter County.
San Francisco Bay Area, the main concentration of Nisei and Sansei in the 20th century:
- Alameda County – concentrated and historic populations in the cities of Alameda, Berkeley, Fremont, Oakland, and Hayward.
- Contra Costa County – concentrated in Walnut Creek
- San Mateo County esp. Daly City and Pacifica.
- San Jose, has one of the three remaining officially recognized Japantowns in North America.
- Santa Clara County – concentrated in Cupertino, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale
- San Francisco, notably in the Japantown district, the largest Japanese community in North America.
- Santa Cruz County
- Monterey County, especially Salinas, California.
- Sacramento and the neighborhoods of Florin and Walnut Grove.
San Diego area:
- La Jolla, San Diego.
- Bonsall east of Oceanside.
- Japanese community center in Vista in North County one of two of its kind in Southern California.
- San Luis Obispo.
- Santa Barbara.
- Southern California:
- Seattle area.
- Puget Sound region (San Juan Islands) have Japanese fisheries for over a century.
- Skagit Valley of Washington.
- Yakima Valley, Washington.
- Chehalis Valley of Washington.
- Portland, Oregon and surrounding area.
- Willamette Valley, Oregon.
- Boise Area
- Phoenix Area notably a section of Grand Avenue in Northwest Phoenix, and Maryvale (Phoenix).
- Las Vegas Area with a reference of Japanese farmers on Bonzai Slough, Arizona near Needles, California.
- Southern Arizona, part of the "exclusion area" for Japanese internment during World War II along with the Pacific coast states.
- Yuma County, Arizona.
The West Coast
Neighborhoods and communities
There are about 5,500 Japanese Americans in Northern Virginia, representing the majority of Japanese Americans in the state of Virginia and the multi-state Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. A small, but relatively high number of Japanese Americans can be found areas surrounding the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.
As of March 2011 about 2,500 Japanese-Americans combined live in Edgewater and Fort Lee; this is the largest concentration of Japanese-Americans in New Jersey. The New Jersey Japanese School is located in Oakland, New Jersey.
As of April 2013, the largest Japanese national population in Michigan is in Novi, with 2,666 Japanese residents, and the next largest populations are respectively in Ann Arbor, West Bloomfield Township, Farmington Hills, and Battle Creek. The state has 481 Japanese employment facilities providing 35,554 local jobs. 391 of them are in Southeast Michigan, providing 20,816 jobs, and the 90 in other regions in the state provide 14,738 jobs. The Japanese Direct Investment Survey of the Consulate-General of Japan, Detroit stated that over 2,208 additional Japanese residents were employed in the State of Michigan as of October 1, 2012 than in 2011.
As of 2011 there is a Japanese community in O'Hare airport." The Chicago Futabakai Japanese School is located in Arlington Heights. The Mitsuwa Marketplace, a shopping center owned by Japanese, opened around 1981. Many Japanese companies have their U.S. headquarters in nearby Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg.
The Greater Atlanta.
The city of Torrance, California in Greater Los Angeles has headquarters of Japanese automakers and offices of other Japanese companies. Because of this many Japanese restaurants and other Japanese cultural offerings are in the city, and Willy Blackmore of L.A. Weekly wrote that Torrance was "essentially Japan's 48th prefecture".
Japanese-Americans by state
, while 22% were still undecided.John McCain Republican by a 62% to 16% margin over Barack Obama Democrat found that Japanese American favored National Asian American Survey, the 2008 U.S. presidential election In the