Farming the Home Place, by Valerie J. Matsumoto

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Farming the Home Place: A Japanese American community in California 1919-1982 by Valerie J. Matsumoto presents a close and in-depth study of social and culture history of Cortez, a small agricultural settlement located in San Joaquin valley in California. Divided into six chapter, the book is based primarily on the oral interviews responses from eighty three members of Issei, Nisei, and Sansei generations. However, many information are also obtained from the local newspapers, community records, and World War II concentration camp publications.
After the end of World War I in 1919, a group of thirty Japanese settled in San Joaquin Valley, California making their ethnic community in Cortez. Despite the Alien Land Law of 1913, which
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However, with the passage of time, the generation shift occurred with the Sansei, the female family members were given opportunity to take over the family farm if they choose to do so.
One of the notable aspects of Matsumoto’s history of Cortez is a sentimental relationship that she has established with her subjects in the course of her studies. On the first page, she has named and thanked almost a hundred members of this community, for contributing their time in sharing memories, personal experiences, institutional records, and their warm hospitality. Hospitality of the Cortez community members also shines in Appendix C where she mentioned twenty-four recipes that she got from Japanese women. These recipes ranged from traditional Japanese foods to more conventional zucchini bread to some cross-cultural cuisines like Jell-O mocha.
The transfer of culture from one generation to another becomes practically difficult when the culture that one brings from his/her homeland becomes seemingly inappropriate in the new home. This was true for Japanese Immigrants also. As the Issei grew older, much of the culture that they brought with them from Japan died. With the passage of time, values changed as generational succession took place. As a result of new attitude the new generations found an easy way towards assimilation and acculturation. Expectations that the oldest son would be in charge of the farm and take care of elders, that

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