June 20, 2024 6:00 pm - June 20, 2024 7:30 pm

Japanese Texans: Pioneers of Rice Farming

Early Japanese immigrants in Texas played a crucial role in establishing the rice industry in the Lone Star State. The incredible yet undertold story of these pioneering Texans is a story of family, community, agriculture, hardship, and resilience. They came to Texas as immigrant farmers at the beginning of the twentieth century to pursue personal success on the one hand and to escape the rampant racism against Asian immigrants on the U.S. West Coast on the other. By starting farms along the Gulf of Mexico and cultivating rice, vegetables, and fruits, they contributed to agricultural development in Texas as well as established an important cultural foothold. Join us to learn more about the history and legacy of Japanese farmers in Texas.

Presenter: Sidney Lu is Associate Professor and the Annette and Hugh Gragg Chair of Transnational Asian Studies at Rice University. He is a social and cultural historian of nineteenth- and twentieth-century East Asia, with research interests in the areas of migration and trans-Pacific connections. At Rice, he teaches modern Japan, modern East Asia, and Asian American history.