week 4 reading 4

week 4 reading 4 - Necessity ‘ were farm laborers were...

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Unformatted text preview: Necessity, ‘ were farm laborers. were organized into oup supervised by a y guided them. They ' 21p to open employ— [1‘ only capital today rk diligently without ou or notg'then you and even the whole in, then your'friends, 'our hard and honest :t jobs anywhere and min: Success was tied d from and to find, find work. Ten days p a Korean immigrant :d by a Korean labor were about 20 other oeing the bean fields. 1 farm for hoeing. It )icking grapes. I was my went for available bed in San Francisco, rers: “There are not : picking time, many rig place for Koreans early in the morning. and then gathered at he work. “They told he fields,” 'a Korean :5, plums, and grapes, to the orchard to be- he trees were too tall I girls waited on the [gerous work. “If you put your hand in the. r—jacket hornets were Jitten and stung. “As make mud-packs and Struggling Against Colonialism r _ 2.7 5 place them on the wound to prevent the bite from sweiling.” Picking peaches was tedious: workers had to dust each peach with a feather brush to knock the bugs off the peach fuzz. “All the peaches were sized as we picked them and we checked each fruit for holes or big marks and if they were good we packed them.”11 As the sun rose, it became very hot and dry in the California ' fields. “The day starts out around seventy to eighty degrees and by noon time the temperature reaches around a hundred and five and a hundred and ten degrees.” Usually there was “no breeze whatso- ever.” After working all morning in the hot sun, the laborers looked for a shady Spot where they could eat their lunch at noontime. “Most of us took our lunch which consisted of rice, kimchi, and maybe some beef or chicken. Each of us picked our own tree and ate under the shade and after we finished we usually took a short nap.” At one o’clock work began again and continued until five. “By the end of ' the day your arms and legs felt very heavy and your back really ached.” Returning home about sixo’clock, “everybody fought to ‘ ' take a bath because if you worked in the fields your whole body got' covered with dirt from head to toe, especially if you picked'grapesr When you packed peaches, the fuzz made you itchy.”12 Work in the tomato fields was equally punishing and exhausting. Employed on a tomato farm in- Stothon, Whang Sa-yong had been . assigned to plant the tomato seeds. “Three men worked as a team; the first man dug the hole, the second planted tomato seeds,.and‘the third covered thehole and watered it.” As a member of a team, Whang had to keep up with his fellow workers. “Everybody was working faster than I Was, and I had a hard time following the other two. I waited for lunch time to come so that I could rest for awhile.” But when lunchtime Came, Whang could not eat his lunch because the weather was so hot and he was so tired. “I laid'down on the ground and rested until the others finished their lunch. When I fin- ished my day’s work, I hardly could walk back to my rooming house. . . '. During the night I was unable to sleep', because my whole body was sore and I felt pains all over.”13 _ Gradually som‘e Koreans were able tobecome farmers them»- ‘ selves. Often several individuals would combine their financial re- sources to lease and farm land. They would organize a Korean kae — a credit-rotating system similar to the Chinese Wei and the japanese ' talnomoshi — in which a group of Koreans would individually con- tribute money and allow a member of the group to borrow from the fund. The first member would repay the loan plus interest, and 2.76 Necessity the fund would then rotate to a second member. Interest rates for the loans would decrease each time around, and the last member of the v kae would not be charged interest on his loan. “During the‘years that my father was working as a farm laborer,” a Korean said, “he made up his mind that he had to own his- own business in order to make money. So, he and a group of friends got together and formed a company and pooled their money together. They were making great profits in potato farming in Stockton.” In 1918, Korean rice farmers in the Sacramento Valley alone produced 214,000 bushels of rice; Kim Chong-nim was so productive as a rice farmer that he was known as the “rice king” in the Korean community. By the 1920s, Korean farmers in Willows, California, Were cultivating 43",000 acres of rice, and Korean farmers in the San Joaquin Valley were shipping fruit to Korean wholesale markets in Los Angeles.14 1, One of the mostsucc'essful Korean agricultural entrepreneurs was Kim Hyung-soon. Eight years after his arrival in California in 1913, he formed a business partnership with Kim H0 in Reedley.‘ Together the two men expanded their enterprise — the Kim Brothers Company —— from a fruit wholesaler to a large operation of orchards, nurseries, and fruit-packing sheds. Kim Hyung-soon and an employee named Anderson developed new varieties of peaches, including a “fuzzless peach” that was later sold in the market as “Le Grand” and “Sun Grand.” The nectarine, which resulted from the crossing . of peaches and plums, boosted the fortunes of the Kim Brothers Company. “We felt,” said Kim Hyung-soon, “that we were the first Orientals who'invented a new fruit for the American people and would be the first Korean millionaires in the Korean community.”15 Korean entrepreneurial activities extended beyond agriculture.- Koreans became extensively involved in the hotel business. In 1906, Wu Kyong-sik opened the first Korean hotel in Sacramento, and by 1920, there were more thantwenty Korean-owned hotels in Dinuba, San Francisco, Stockton, Los Angeles, Manteca, Riverside, Lompoc, and even Yakima, Washington, and Chicago, Illinois. Many Korean hotel proprietors were labor contractors, providing room-and board to Korean workers and arranging work for them. Koreans also es4 tablished restaurants and retail stores including groceries, tobacco shops, bakeries, and photo studios. But the two most popular en- terprises were barbershopszand laundries. In the Pacific Coast states, Koreans operated thirty barbershops, and twenty—five laundries, labor-intensive enterprises requiring minimal capital investment and yielding good profits. A survey of six Korean barbershops and laun- Struggling Against Colom‘ dries in San Francisco in from nine hundred doll time. Like the other Asia ' as a route around racial ' Economic success, modationist strategy to c that the Chinese and Jap white anti—Asian rea'ctic to themselves. In a 19] Minbo explained: The reason for discr the unfortunate situal without abandoning ' where they go they er - have entirely differen gle with the whites . for food and houses. from white workers.1 “The reason why r while they hate Japanes Kongnip Sinmtm asserte: thought and behavior, a migrants tried to learn I “accepted and invited ag: ing them that Koreans w highlighted their adherer itude to America. The K been a “boon” to Korean them goodwill and frient hands, but now we have 1 a new Korean society an are very grateful to (the Though they were b they could not allow the their community. was th Japan. Sojourners when 1905, they had suddenly homeland had been anne of Koreans in AmeriCa, e mentally . . . than the su Necessity Interest rates for the last member of the ‘ “During the'years a Korean said, “he Jusiness in order to ogether and formed V were making great Korean rice farmers )00. bushels of rice; I: that he was known ‘ the 1920s, Korean 1r3',000 acres of rice, ere shipping fruit to ltural entrepreneurs val in California in Iirn Ho in Reedleyp — the Kim Brothers eration of orchards, on and an employee eaches, including a rket as “Le Grand” d from the crossing f the Kim Brothers at we were the first nerican people and team community.”15 beyond agriculture. :1 business. In 1906, Sacramento, and by ed hotels in Dinuba, Riverside, Lompoc, inois. Many Korean ing room- and board m. Koreans also es? ; groceries, tobacco 0 most popular en- Pacific Coast states, enty-five laundries, Jital investment and rbershops and laun— Stmggling Against Colonialism ' I I 2.77 dries in San Francisco in 1918 showed that'annual net profits ranged from nine hundred dollars to $2,784 — respectable incomes at the time. Like the other Asian groups, Koreans turned to self-employment ‘ as a route around racial discrimination in the labor market.16 Economic success, for Korean migrants, 'was tied to an accom- modationist strategy to overcome racial discrimination. They thought that the Chinese and Japanese immigrants before them had provoked white anti-Asian reactions by retaining their old ways and keeping to themselves. In a 1910 editorial, the Korean newspaper Sinhcm Minbo explained: The reason for discrimination against the Asiatics stems from the unfortunate situation of the Chinese who came to this country without abandoning their filthy habits and customs. And, every- where they go they create disorders. After that the Japanese who - have entirely different habits from white society, could not min- gle with the whites . . . but also they spend as little as they can for food and houses. . . . So they are becoming a target of hatred from white workers.17 ‘ ‘ “The reason why many Americans love Koreans and help us, while they hate Japanese more than ever,” the Korean newspaper , Kongnip Sinmun asserted, “is that we Koreans gave-up old baseness, thought and behavior, and became more westernized.” Korean im- migrants tried to learn English and were told by their leaders to be “accepted and invited again and again to work by the whites,” show- ing them that Koreans were trusty, hardworking, and worthy. They highlighted their adherence to Christianity and expressed their grat- itude to America. The Kongnip Sinmun declared that America had been a “boon” to Korean immigrants and that Americans had shown ' them goodwill and friendship; “We came to this country with empty hands, but now we have made some money which enables us to build a new Korean society and send young Koreans to school. Thus, we are very grateful to (the owner of this land)lillmeriea.”1ll Though they were building “a new Korean society” in America, they couldnot allow themselves to become settlers. At the heart of their community was the struggle for Korean independence from Japan. Sojourners when they had left Choson between .1903 and 1905, they had suddenly become yumz‘n, drifting people, after their homeland had been annexed by Japan in 1910. The first generation of Koreans in America, explained Chang Lee-wook, “suffered more mentally. . '. than the suCceeding generations,” for they had been ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/28/2009 for the course APA 200 taught by Professor Musikawong during the Fall '07 term at ASU.

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week 4 reading 4 - Necessity ‘ were farm laborers were...

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