Author:
Kohen
Subject:
Social Studies
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Level:
Upper Elementary
Tags:
  • may23
  • may24
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Graphics/Photos, Interactive

    Education Standards

    Japanese-American Communities - - - Activity

    Japanese-American Communities - - - Activity

    Overview

    Activity: Students will be instructed regarding the Japanese community in Utah, emphasizing Japan Town in SLC. Students will be able to view this community via a Google Earth tour. The instructor will review the Japanese Church of Christ, the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, and end the tour with a look at the Salt Palace Japanese Garden and reviewing photos from the North American Japanese Garden Association. After being able to see an example of Japanese architecture and landscaping, students will create their own Japanese-inspired communities by drawing or dioramas.
     
    Purpose: Students will get to learn about the cultural significance of Japanese buildings and landscaping and the significance of Japantown, SLC. Students will solidify their knowledge and show in a creative formative assessment what characterizes Japanese landscaping and architecture.  

    Summary

    Activity: Students will be instructed regarding the Japanese community in Utah, emphasizing Japan Town in SLC. Students will be able to view this community via a Google Earth tour. The instructor will review the Japanese Church of Christ, the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, and end the tour with a look at the Salt Palace Japanese Garden and reviewing photos from the North American Japanese Garden Association. After being able to see an example of Japanese architecture and landscaping, students will create their own Japanese-inspired communities by drawing or dioramas.
     
    Purpose: Students will get to learn about the cultural significance of Japanese buildings and landscaping and the significance of Japantown, SLC. Students will solidify their knowledge and show in a creative formative assessment what characterizes Japanese landscaping and architecture.  

    Materials

    Basic Materials for Diorama Construction (not limited to listed materials):

    Small box

    Scissors

    Glue/Glue Stick

    Magazines

    Construction paper

    Colored pencils

    Crayons

    Markers

    String

    Background for Teachers

    Utah’s Japanese American Communities

     

             Since the late 1800s, Japanese Americans have called Utah their home by establishing communities in several towns and farming areas. Immigrants from Japan began to arrive in Utah during the late 1880s.  Before 1885, the Japanese government did not allow its citizens to emigrate to other parts of the world. Japanese immigrants moved to the United States to work. Many Japanese immigrants found jobs or opened businesses in Utah.  In 1890, there were 2,039 Japanese immigrants living in the United States.  By 1910, there were 71,531 Japanese immigrants that moved to America.   Most Japanese immigrants had some job training.  They were artisans, merchants, students, farmers, and bankers. Japanese immigrants who moved to Utah from Japan were called issei.  Japanese Americans born in the United States to parents from Japan were known as nisei.  Issei and Nisei built communities by living, working, fulfilling civic duties, and worshiping in Utah. 

     

             The first record of Japanese in Utah dates back to 1872 when fifty members of Ambassador Iwakura Shisetsudan stopped in Utah during his voyage to the United States. On February 7th, the Deseret News reported that he and forty-nine Japanese ambassadors arrived at the train station in Ogden. They stayed in Utah for one week before they left by train to travel to Washington D.C.

     

             Japanese immigrants began to settle in Utah in the 1880s.  They worked for railroad companies building tracks and doing other jobs.  Other Japanese immigrants worked for Utah’s mining companies, as farmers, or opened a business.  The majority of Japanese immigrant Utahns worked as railroad section gangs. Most Utahn railroad companies did not treat Japanese immigrants well.   

             Most Japanese American farmers lived in Ogden, Utah.  Other Japanese immigrants opened businesses and worked in Salt Lake City.  For example, there were three Japanese-owned businesses listed in the Salt Lake City Directory in 1877. Many Japanese American Utahns opened businesses, worked, and shopped along North Temple and 200 South Street in Salt Lake City, which became known as “Japan Town.”  Anyone could shop at the stores in Japan Town. Japan Town had noodle houses, fish markets, grocery stores, restaurants, and apartments.  By 1910, over 800 people lived in Japan Town.

     

    Many Japanese American Utahns found jobs through the E.D. Hashimoto Company. The E.D. Hashimoto Company worked with railroad companies like the Western Pacific and the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad to fill open positions.  During the early 1900s, Japanese Americans worked in the Bingham Canyon Mine. Sometimes, Japanese immigrants joined with immigrants from Greece and Italy to demand better pay.

     

             Japanese Americans didn’t just work in Utah. Many immigrants organized and attended church.  Some Japanese American Utahns went to Salt Lake City’s Buddhist Temple.  Others went to the Japanese Church of Christ.  Some Japanese Americans were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well.  In 1901, missionaries from the LDS Church traveled to Japan and some Japanese immigrants joined the faith. Some of the new members moved to Salt Lake City to help to grow sugar beets.

     

             Another way that Japanese American Utahns built community was to print newspapers that offered news about happenings in Japan and in Utah.  The first edition of The Rocky Mountain Times—a newspaper printed in Japanese—was printed in 1907.  The Terazawa family printed the first issue of the Utah Nippo in 1914. These newspapers helped Japanese Americans to make connections to Japan and to their Utah community members.

     

             During the early 1900s, some American citizens did not support immigrants living in the United States.  They asked lawmakers to find ways to prevent immigrants from moving to the country.  Some Americans asked lawmakers to prevent Japanese immigrants from becoming citizens.  Lawmakers passed the Japanese Exclusion Act of 1924.  The act stopped all immigration from Japan. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, more than a thousand Japanese Americans left Utah because they could not find work. The 1920s and 30s were not easy times for Japanese Americans.

     

             World War II started in Europe on September 1, 1939. On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii after the United States had created a blockade on all goods going into Japan.  After the bombing, Japanese Americans, many of them who were born in the United States, were treated badly by people in their community.  They were blamed for the bombing.  Some people thought they might be dangerous.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. The order required almost all Japanese Americans to move to internment camps. Japanese Americans had few choices to stay out of the camps. They opened a camp in Utah named the Topaz War Relocation Center. Topaz was located in Delta, Utah.  More than 11,000 Japanese Americans, most of them Nisei from San Francisco, lived at Topaz.  Japanese Americans could not leave Topaz without permission until after World War II ended in 1945.

     

             After World War II, Japanese Americans started to buy land in Utah. Today, third and fourth-generation Japanese Americans—known as sansei and yonsei—live in Utah. Many Japanese American Utahns participate in festivals held at different times each year. Despite all of the hardships they faced moving and working in Utah, Japanese Americans built strong communities by preserving much of their culture.    

     

    Intended Learning Outcomes

    Students will recognize the significance of Japan Town within Salt Lake City and the influence that Japanese culture has on architectural and landscape design within the local community. Students will highlight the characteristics of Japan Town that were significant to them and reconstruct said characteristics within a small diorama display. 

    Bibliography

    epicfantasy. (2016, January 4). How to make a simple diorama. YouTube. Retrieved December 23, 2021, from https://youtu.be/ZHWzzQUZEUk

    Lattore, S. (2021, December 12). How to make a diorama. wikiHow. Retrieved December 23, 2021, from https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Diorama

    Pylant, D. (2013, March 29). Japanese community garden at Salt Palace Convention Center. NAJGA Reference. Retrieved December 23, 2021, from https://najga.org/reference/salt-palace/

    TheMiaShow. (2016, September 5). How to make a diorama - awesome tips! YouTube. Retrieved December 23, 2021, from https://youtu.be/6ganUXUa0sw