Lot 45 of 613:
1907 booklet condemning racist discrimination of Japanese   

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$200 - $300

Discrimination Against Japanese in California: A Review of the Real Situation

Johnson, Herbert B.


Calif: Courier Publishing Company



First Edition,  Original wrappers, tape spine. 133pp. With fold-out map of San Francisco, prepared by the Japanese Association of America, showing the location of the segregated Oriental School, the integrated public schools used by Japanese students and the area of the city in which most resided.  



Rare – reprinted six times in the last ten years – but the original imprint is rarely found outside of institutional collections. Also included: Life magazine, November 29, 1906. Original pictorial wrappers. 14pp. Illustrated.

Johnson, a sympathetic white clergyman, was Superintendent of Japanese Mission on the Pacific Coast and a member of the National Immigration Congress. His booklet is an important historical source on the cause célèbre that ensued when, after the San Francisco earthquake, the city School Board ordered children of Japanese residents to attend a segregated Oriental Public School. Amid international tension between the US and Japan, President Theodore Roosevelt sent Victor Metcalf, his Secretary of Commerce and Labor (see 1908 Miyakawa listing in this sale below) to find a peaceful resolution. Metcalf negotiated a compromise by which the School Board rescinded its segregation order, while, at the same time, severe restrictions were placed on future Japanese immigration. Johnson decries the entire atmosphere of racist discrimination that gave rise to the school segregation order and broader immigration exclusion.

Virulent California discrimination was baffling to many Easterners. An editorial in Life following the Metcalf mission, while noting that San Francisco city government was headed by a corrupt “French-Jew lawyer” and his labor union allies, laments the segregation of “charming” Japanese children which any school should be happy to have and warns that restrictions on Asian immigration would only result in retaliation harmful to American business, and might eventually foment open warfare.

Lot Amendments

Ex-library copy with Library bookplate, embossed stamp on title-page, rubber-stamp on map and non-archival tape repair to rear wrapper.

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