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of the Rockies, these outrages in San Francisco appeared at the time to be an incident of great significance. The Japanese across the ocean regarded it as an indication of the hostile attitude which the Californians in general assumed towards Japan. Moreover, the report as to the damages suffered by Japanese merchants was greatly magnified, as it travelled across the Pacific. Meanwhile, Americans in the Eastern States, knowing little of the peculiarities of the San Francisco population, overestimated the meaning of those outrages and were led to wonder if Japanese and other races could ever live amicably together.
Looking at the incident of 1907 through the perspective of the years that have gone by, I am inclined to think that it was comparatively of small significance and unworthy of the great excitement and commotion with which it was discussed on both sides of the Pacific. Even the school question should have been settled more quietly through judicial channels. But it was just such excitement and commotion which the Exclusion League was anxious to create, knowing that it would inevitably act contagiously upon the mind of the whole nation, and thus result in creating with the public an impression that it might be best to close the doors to the Japanese. And in this the league has been largely successful.
Whatever may be the real cause of the anti-Japanese agitation, its recrudescence is highly deplorable. Each succeeding year it intensifies the anxiety of the Japanese on both sides of the water. In the session of 1913 of the legislature of California no less than thirty-four bills were introduced, all aimed at the curbing of the rights of the Japanese, most of which were, in my judgment, obviously guaranteed by the treaty between the United States and Japan. The thirty-four bills—four
teen in the Senate, twenty in the House—are of special interest in that they indicate the nature of missiles with which the Exclusion League, through its political allies, assails the Japanese. Classified by their respective natures, these bills fall under these seven heads:
1. Bills prohibiting the Japanese from acquiring title to land or real property.
2. Bills increasing the license fee of Japanese fishermen from the present rate of $10 to $100 a year.
3. Bills providing for the segregation of Japanese school children.
4. Bills prohibiting the issuance of liquor licenses to Japanese.
5. Bills forbidding the Japanese to use power engines.
6. Bills providing for the imposition of a special poll tax upon the Japanese.
7. Bills prohibiting the Japanese from employing white women.
True, the bills, except in a few cases, do not openly attack the Japanese, for the indirect phrase, "aliens not eligible to citizenship,” is preferred to the direct word “ Japanese,” where the real object of discrimination is the Japanese. Such indirect discriminative acts are calculated to gall the Japanese even more brutally than a direct act. As President Jordan says: “The exclusion of the Japanese from citizenship, for which discrimination no adequate cause exists, is of the nature of insult in itself. To be shut out because they have been insulted once adds doubly to a humiliation which they have no power to resent, but which they hope their nearest friend among the nations will not offer them."
The appearance in the State legislature of a flood of anti-Japanese bills in 1913 was especially untimely and unfortunate. For the preceding seven years Japan had patiently and graciously endured the indignities and humiliations to which California had persistently subjected her. Not only this, but Japan was the first nation to respond to the appeal of the Panama-Pacific Exposition with a generous promise to participate in the proposed World's Fair on a large scale. The delegates of the exposition had gone over to the other side of the water and had told the Japanese that the people of California in general had entertained good-will and friendly feeling towards them, and that Japan's liberal participation in the coming exposition would greatly strengthen the bond of friendship between the two nations. Japan had taken the word at its face value, and promptly sent a special commission to San Francisco to select a site for the buildings which she was to build on the fair grounds, when no other leading nation had even decided whether it would participate in the exposition at all. The commission returned home and recommended that at least one million dollars be appropriated for the exposition. Now came the State legislature proposing innumerable anti-Japanese bills.
In the face of these facts can we not understand why on this particular occasion the masses of Japan displayed unusual excitement? It was not the mere “probability of passage of an act by one State discriminating against its people” that caused that excitement. It was the outcome of the insult which California had for the preceding seven years constantly offered Japan, and of the peculiar feeling of distrust caused by the difference between the assurances of the exposition management and the practical activities of the State legislature. Had it been a European power which was subjected to such unceremonious treatment, it would not have been seven long years before“ its people brought out mobs and talk of war.” The cry of war which was raised in one of the mass meetings held in Tokyo in protest against California was certainly unfortunate and foolish, but had not some of the Americans newspapers and publicists been for many a year diligently working for the creation of the bogie of an American-Japanese war, even while the Japanese press and people had scrupulously maintained an attitude of dignity and tolerance? Why, then, should the enlightened editors of great New York magazines be surprised if some ignorant, hot-headed, irresponsible people in Tokyo, not publicists nor newspapers of any standing, showed a willingness to accept California's challenge “ like a man ”? For my part, I agree with Mr. Don C. Seitz when he says in the North American Review:
“The pride of accomplishment has not yet abolished (Japan's] gratitude towards America. In view of the occasional American manifestation of distrust, it is astonishing that it should prevail so strongly. It is a certain test of the permanency of their sense of obligation which stands patiently unwarranted attacks upon their honour, a people whom Russia was unable to push away from the Asiatic shore when once they chose to rest foot
Of the alleged "mobs and talk of war” in Tokyo, we shall have to say more anon, in connection with the antiJapanese land legislation in California.
THE CALIFORNIA LAND IMBROGLIO
IKE the attempted segregation of the Japanese
school-children in San Francisco in 1906, the
enactment of the anti-Japanese land law is one of the “successes” with which the efforts of the Japanese Exclusion League of Mr. Olaf Tvietmoe was rewarded.
Systematic agitation against Japanese ownership of land was begun in 1906 when the League was in its palmiest days. From that time anti-Japanese land bills in one form or another were introduced every year in the legislature at Sacramento. Both Democrats and Republicans sported with the bills, as both were anxious to win the labour vote. But as long as the State government as well as the Federal Administration was in the hands of the Republican Party the legislators at Sacramento scrupled to enact bills which the authorities at Washington considered inimical to the maintenance of friendly relations with the Mikado's Empire. Again and again did Mr. Roosevelt's “big stick” stop the passage of such bills, while Mr. Taft also succeeded, though by subtler means, in checking the anti-Japanese agitation in the State legislature.
But the political tables were completely turned as the result of the general elections of 1912. The Progressive Party became paramount in the politics of California, while the Democratic Party assumed the reins of government at Washington. The California Progressives had