Fuji Society

From Ohio History Central

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the Fuji Society was a social organization of Japanese war brides.

The Japanese were among the last national groups to settle in Ohio. Most Japanese Ohioans did not arrive in the state until World War II. During World War II, the United States government, fearing a Japanese invasion, placed Japanese Americans into internment camps. As the need for more workers and soldiers arose, the government allowed some of the internees to leave the camps. Many of these Japanese Americans found employment in Midwestern cities, as the federal government refused to allow them to return to their homes on the West Coast. All of Ohio's major cities saw a marked increase in their Japanese population. The number of Japanese in Cleveland soared to 3,500 by 1946. With the war's conclusion in 1945, many of these Japanese Ohioans returned to their homes on the West Coast. For example, Cleveland's Japanese population fell to just two thousand people by the end of the 1950s and to just 1,500 residents by the late 1970s. Many of the Japanese Americans who remained in Ohio were actually recent immigrants from Japan. Many of these migrants were war brides of American servicemen.

Despite residing in the United States, many Japanese migrants still sought to maintain ties to their native homeland. For example, following World War II in Cleveland, some Japanese women, those who had married American servicemen either during or following the conflict, formed the Fuji Society. This organization provided these war brides with contact with people with similar life experiences. In essence, the Fuji Society was a support system for these Japanese women as they sought to acclimate themselves to life in Ohio. The organization flourished during the 1950s and the 1960s, but as its members grew older, the Fuji Society ceased to exist.

See Also

References

  1. Van Tassel, David D., and John J. Grabowski, eds. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.