As a young America began to receive immigrants from other countries, it began to achieve its “melting pot” status. It wasn’t until May 7, 1843, that the first Japanese immigrant would arrive on the scene. A young 14-year-old fisherman, named Manjiro in America by way of a whaling ship. It wasn’t really an intentional immigration, because the boy and his fellow crew members were caught in a violent storm that caused their ship to wash up on a desert island 300 miles away from their coastal Japanese village. It was rather a “Gilligan’s Island” kind of situation, except that it didn’t last nearly as long as the famous sitcom.

After five months on the island, an American whaling ship showed up and rescued Manjiro, who was later adopted by American Captain William Whitfield, who renamed him John Mung and brought him back to the states to his home in Massachusetts. While he was grateful for his rescue, Manjiro always felt drawn to his own country, and eventually returned to Japan. He then became a samurai and worked as a political emissary between his home country and the West, according to reports, but it would be another 20 years…around 1860, before Japanese immigrants really began coming to the United States. At that point, groups of Japanese immigrants began arriving in the Hawaiian Islands. The Japanese immigrants were hired to help keep the production of the plantations fluid and progressive. These immigrants worked mainly in the sugarcane fields or with pineapple production. Many of these immigrants later relocated to areas of California, Washington, and Oregon. These people did not come over as slaves, but were rather, hired to work these fields.

Things really picked up after 1886, and between then and 1911, over 400,000 Japanese men and women immigrated to America…mostly to Hawaii and the West Coast. Unfortunately, as was the case with the Chinese immigration movement, the Japan immigration movement brought with it a heightened level of agitation with people living in the United States. The new immigrants were viewed as interlopers, taking the jobs of the citizens, and so they were. As a result, in 1907 there was an agreement between the nation of Japan and the United States to have Japan stop issuing worker’s passports to come into the United States. Of course, immigration was not completely stopped. There were exceptions, like the exceptions for Japanese immigration for the spouses of those who were already working in the United States, and a select group of individuals who were requested to move to America. However, in 1924 a formal act called the Immigration Act of 1924 helped to tighten the banning of individuals. Nevertheless, it is Manjiro who is credited with getting the whole Japanese immigration started, and in 1992, he was commemorated for his early arrival when Congress dedicated the month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

imageWe all get frustrated at times, thinking that things will never go our way. We have tried and tried, and nothing seems to fix the current situation. At some point we start thinking we might as well give up, but in reality, the only sure way to fail is to quit. That is exactly what my first cousin twice removed, Nicholas Young, who is my first cousin once removed, Jim Young, and his wife, Alina’s youngest child, found out over the weekend, when he was about to give up fishing for the day. He stuck it out a little longer, and was rewarded with this nice catch which someone managed to get a great shot of. He was pretty excited, and I can relate to that, because one of the reasons I don’t like to go fishing, is those long waits in between the time you drop your line in imagethe water and the time some fish decides to finally bite!! I know that my pro-fishing friends and family probably think I’m crazy on that point, but I get way too bored.

Nick, who just turned 9 years old on June 8th, is used to going fishing though. His family goes to Alcova Lake and Pathfinder Reservoir quite a bit in the summer. So he knows what fishing is all about, but sometimes even seasoned fishermen get frustrated. When it’s a good day to fish, a guy should be catch some fish. Still, as every fisherman knows, the fish don’t always agree with this kind of thinking, and so they sometimes just refuse to bite for a while. Finally, if you wait long enough, some unsuspecting fish comes along, and voilà…you have a bite. In my opinion, all we need now is a stupid fish finder, so we don’t waste so much time fishing among the smart fish.

imageIn reality though, the best thing we can do when we are trying to accomplish something, is to never give up. Oh, I know that sometimes, the day ends, and you still may not have accomplished your goal, but there is always tomorrow…as long as you never give up. As for Nick, I’m really glad that he didn’t have to wait for another day to catch a fish, because when you are 9 years old, waiting until next weekend can seem like waiting until next summer…and with the summer break from school, you always know that your fishing time is short anyway. So congratulations on your catch Nick!! I hope the rest of the summer finds you catching a lot more fish, and having a great time doing it.

Rons-Fish-StoryIt seems to be the way of every fisherman to tell tales of the big one that got away, or just how many fish they caught. It also seems like those fish grow in size and in number with each telling of the tale. I think that just about every fisherman has engaged in such tales, and it appears that my brother-in-law, Ron is no exception. Now, I can’t say for sure exactly what he was saying when this picture was taken, but the fish hanging from his shoulder give me a pretty good idea. It would seem that age is not a factor when it comes to those fish stories, because Ron appears to be working hard to make his point. Of course, that seems to be the way it is when these guys are making up their fish story…they assume you won’t believe them anyway, so they really doctor up the story to start with, and depending on who they go fishing with, they could be learning from the masters of fish stories.

Ron loves to go camping and, as far as I know, still likes fishing today, as well as hunting, but I don’t know if he is still into telling the wild tales that often go along with those sports. It would not be surprising to me if he still told some whoppers, I mean after all, it is the sport for those wild tales. I have to wonder how far from reality most of the big fish stories really are. If you ask most fishermen, they seem to have all caught…or at least had Ron roasting marshmellowsa nibble on the line from a fish the size of a small shark, and who’s to say it isn’t so…right?

And, the fishing trip isn’t all about the fishing, it’s about camping and great times with good friends too. There is just something about sitting around the campfire, talking and telling those stories, while roasting marshmallows, that makes for the most enjoyable evening. Ron loved the whole marshmallow thing too. So, after a hard day of fishing, he would load up on those gooey, melted marshmallows while soaking his feet in a pan to get the dirt off from a long day in the woods. Awww!! Now, that’s what I call relaxing.

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