Jujiro Wada, A Japanese American Pioneer in Alaska : His life and the situation among three people who cooperated in finding a goldmine (Noriko Kan)
This paper focuses on an illegal immigrant named Jujiro Wada who stowed away on a ship bound for the U. S. mainland in 1892. The first section introduces the research that was conducted in both Ehime, Japan and Alaska, U. S. A.
The next section overviews the resources collected in both locations and describes Wada’s individual immigration history. Wada is particularly notable for his pioneering experiences in Alaska and Canada, which were frequently reported in the newspapers. However, his exposure to the media diminished after he found a goldmine with two other people. He then remained in obscurity until he died alone in 1937. The third section profiles the two people with whom he found the goldmine, paying special attention to their ethnic backgrounds.
Finally, the paper compares the tone of the later lives of these three people, contrasting the world’s international situation with their own, and concludes that the fading of Wada’s name from the media was caused by the pervading fear of the “Yellow Peril.”
The Aurora Walk
is a short path along the Ishite River by Wada’s statue, and has
been recommended as one of the Top views in Matsuyama. However, the path is
unfamiliar to both tourists and residents. The walk is primarily maintained by
senior citizens of Hinode.
However, the Welfare committee requested help from Takunan
Junior High School.
Feb.2nd 2020 Students gathered
senior citizens at Aurora Path to pick up trash, remove
Elementary School also helps clean-up Aurora Path.
Takunan Junior High School students interview the local community about Aurora Walk beautification and clean-up activities. 4 student members of the school’s welfare committee interview locals about Junjiro Wada after clean-up activities of the Aurora Walk (a short path along the Ishite River by Wada’s statue, which was erected in 2010)
Interviewed with Mr. Ueoka,
the administrative of JWMA (Jujiro Wada Memorial Association)
Students: What motivated you to promote and make Wada Jujiro more known to the public? Mr. Ueoka: We wanted to let the people of Hinode, where Wada grew up, know about Wada’s pioneer spirit and devotion to his mother, so we founded JWMA ( Jujiro Wada Memorial Association )
Students: What message would you like to deliver to Takunan Junior High School? Mr. Ueoka: Wada went abroad at the young age of 17, pioneered an unknown land, and faced racial discrimination. He was dragged down by adversity and even became a crime suspect. Despite the adversity that tried to drag him down, he went on to succeed. We’d like for students to know his hardships. and to apply his experiences to their daily lives. His experiences may encourage those struggling to cope with difficulties in their lives.
Interview with Mr. Soga, administrative of Soga Community Center
Students: What message would you like to deliver to Takunan Junior High School? We would like the local community, students, and elders, to make a habit of regularly maintaining this path, and in doing so, to foster a good community. Students: How do you see this path in the future? Mr. Kondo: We would be thrilled for you to visit this path to learn more about Wada , who was an inspiration to many.
Last November, fifth-grade students (76) of Soga Elementary School (Hinode) studied the life story of the local Jujiro Wada. Their biography of Wada was published in the school newspaper. They performed a song about Wada during the school music concert. They met with three of Wada’s descendants from the USA in Hinode. With students from Takunan Junior High School, they planted flowers near Wada’s statue along the Ishite Riverbank.
Ms. Kiyota (student) was very
surprised about Wada’s story. Especially when he left Japan for
Alaska and struck gold. She also mentioned Wada was beloved
by many people and continued to send
money home. Mr.
wanted to be like Wada because he made everybody happy.
On the 13th of February 2020, Soga Elementary School will celebrate its 130th anniversary.