Connections and Distinctions: Historical Archaeological Analysis of Japanese Ceramics Recovered from Three Issei Communities in the American West, 1903–1942 Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.A., Anthropology) -- University of Idaho, 2017 | This thesis project examines Japanese ceramic collections from three West Coast archaeological sites. These sites, located in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta; Mukilteo, Washington; and Gresham, Oregon; were all associated with communities of first-generation Japanese American immigrants (Issei) in the decades preceding World War II. The primary goal of this work is to contribute to archaeological identification and analysis of Japanese table and sake wares. Using a classification system based on Japanese language terms, this thesis explores the potential for a contextually-informed comparative analysis to answer research questions about Issei communities. Historical and archaeological data highlight some of the broad connections between transpacific communities, as well as the diverse and locally-distinct aspects of Issei experiences. Project results indicate the potential for this type of classification and analysis to contribute to interpretation of Japanese ceramics as part of the larger archaeological record of Issei communities.

publication date

  • June 1, 2017