@35 days until Hiroshima Summit: Emigration prefecture

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

Hiroshima is said to be the number one emigration prefecture in Japan. From 1885, when people began to emigrate to Hawaii under the leadership of the Japanese government, to the postwar period, Hiroshima sent nearly 110,000 people to Hawaii, North America, South America, and other destinations.

Later, many people also went to the continental United States, which had once fought with Japan. The purpose of emigration varied from period to period, but quite a few people established themselves in farming and other businesses.

After the outbreak of war between the U.S. and Japan, emigrants who remained in the U.S. were sent to internment camps for Japanese Americans. There were more than 10,000 second-generation Japanese Americans who were born in Hawaii or the U.S. mainland and lived in their parents’ hometowns for their education. About 70 percent of them were exposed to the atomic bomb dropped by the U.S. military in or near the city of Hiroshima. Many of the “second-generation returnees” who returned to the U.S. after the war are A-bomb survivors.

(Originally published on April 14, 2023)