Kazuko Nakane’s history of the early Japanese immi-
grants to central California’s Pajaro Valley focuses on
the development of farming communities there from
1890 to 1940. The Issei (first-generation immigrants)
(5) were brought into the Pajaro Valley to raise sugar beets.
Like Issei laborers in American cities, Japanese men in
rural areas sought employment via the “boss” system.
The system comprised three elements: immigrant wage
laborers; Issei boardinghouses where laborers stayed;
(10) and labor contractors, who gathered workers for a
particular job and then negotiated a contract between
workers and employer. This same system was originally
utilized by the Chinese laborers who had preceded the
Japanese. A related institution was the “labor club,”
(15)which provided job information and negotiated employ-
ment contracts and other legal matters, such as the
rental of land, for Issei who chose to belong and paid an
annual fee to the cooperative for membership.
When the local sugar beet industry collapsed in 1902,
(20) the Issei began to lease land from the valley’s strawberry
farmers. The Japanese provided the labor and the crop
was divided between laborers and landowners. The Issei
began to operate farms, they began to marry and start
families, forming an established Japanese American
(30) community. Unfortunately, the Issei’s efforts to attain
agricultural independence were hampered by govern-
ment restrictions, such as the Alien Land Law of 1913.
But immigrants could circumvent such exclusionary laws
by leasing or purchasing land in their American-born
(35) children’s names.
Nakane’s case study of one rural Japanese American
community provides valuable information about the
lives and experiences of the Isseil. It is, however, too
particularistic. This limitation derives from Nakane’s
(40) methodology—that of oral history—which cannot
substitute for a broader theoretical or comparative
perspective. Furture research might well consider two
issues raised by her study: were the Issei of the Pajaro
Valley similar to or different from Issei in urban settings,
(45) and what variations existed between rural Japanese
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) defend a controversial hypothesis presented in a
history of early Japanese immigrants to Califronia
(B) dismiss a history of an early Japanese settlement in
California as narrow and ill constructed
(C) summarize and critique a history of an early
Japanese settlement in California
(D) compare a history of one Japanese American
community with studies of Japanese settlements
(E) examine the differences between Japanese and
Chinese immigrants to central California in the
2. Which of the following best describes a “labor club,” as
defined in the passage?
(A) An organization to which Issei were compelled to
belong if they sought employment in the Pajaro
(B) An association whose members included labor
contractors and landowning “bosses”
(C) A type of farming corporation set up by Issei who
had resided in the Pajaro Valley for some time
(D) A cooperative association whose members were
dues-paying Japanese laborers
(E) A social organization to which Japanese laborers and
their families belonged
3. Based on information in the passage, which of the
following statements concerning the Alien Land Law of
1913 is most accurate?
(A) It excluded American-born citizens of Japanese
ancestry from landownership.
(B) It sought to restrict the number of foreign
immigrants to California.
(C) It successfully prevented Issei from ever purchasing
(D) It was applicable to first-generation immigrants but
not to their American-born children.
(E) It was passed under pressure from the Pajaro
Valley’s strawberry farmers.
4. Several Issei families join together to purchase a
strawberry field and the necessary farming equipment.
Such a situation best exemplifies which of the
following, as it is described in the passage?
(A) A typical sharecropping agreement
(B) A farming corporation
(C) A “labor club”
(D) The “boss” system
(E) Circumvention of the Alien Land Law
5. The passage suggests that which of the following was an
indirect consequence of the collapse of the sugar beet
industry in the Pajaro Valley?
(A) The Issei formed a permanent, family-based
(B) Boardinghouses were built to accommodate the
(C) The Issei began to lease land in their children’s
(D) The Issei adopted a labor contract system similar to
used by Chinese immigrants.
(E) The Issei suffered a massive dislocation caused by
6. The author of the passage would most likely agree that
which of the following, if it had been included in
Nakane’s study, would best remedy the particularistic
nature of that study?
(A) A statistical table comparing per capita income of
Issei wage laborers and sharecroppers in the Pajaro
(B) A statistical table showing per capita income of
Issei in the Pajaro Valley from 1890 to 1940
(C) A statistical table showing rates of farm ownership
by Japanese Americans in four central California
counties from 1890 to 1940
(D) A discussion of original company documents
dealing with the Pajaro Valley sugar beet industry at
the turn of the century
(E) Transcripts of interviews conducted with members
of the Pajaro Valley Japanese American community
who were born in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
7. It can be inferred from the passage that, when the Issei
began to lease land from the Valley’s strawberry
farmers, the Issei most probably did which of the
(A) They used profits made from selling the strawberry
crop to hire other Issei.
(B) They negotiated such agricultural contracts using the
(C) They paid for the use of the land with a share of the
(D) They earned higher wages than when they raised
(E) They violated the Alien Land Law.