Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Ulysses Shinsei Kaneko, the 7 of Pentacles for California Tarot.
Most Japanese immigrants entered the United States through San Francisco. By 1900, the same Northern California counties still had the largest numbers of Japanese, but the population had increased tremendously with movement into other parts of the state. Agricultural work drew immigrants to what were then rural areas. In many communities, nihonmachi (Japanese sections of town) were developed, with establishment of small businesses catering to the needs of immigrants. By 1900, Southern California had a Japanese population of approximately 500, with the largest concentration in Los Angeles County. But already the immigrants had begun efforts to establish themselves. Ulysses Shinsei Kaneko, for example, became one of the first Japanese naturalized in California, in San Bernardino County in 1896.
Between 1900 and 1910, Japanese began to buy property and establish farms, vineyards, and orchards. All-Japanese communities developed in agricultural areas in central California, including Florin in Sacramento County (which the Japanese called Taishoku), Bowles in Fresno County, and the Yamato Colony at Livingston in Merced County.