The changing occupation and residential mobility of Chinese in Nagasaki

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The present writer elucidates the factors in the expansion of the Chinese residential area in Nagasaki after 1900, according to statistics and his own direct inquiries with members of the Chinese community. The majority of Chinese in Nagasaki are a group from the Foochow district in the north of Hokkien Province, China. They immigrated just after 1899 when the residential restriction system for foreigners was abolished. They came to Nagasaki relying upon their relations or upon former immigrants from the same Hokkien province. They concentrated in and around the China-town area of Shinchi-cho and had been living together at least until 1961. At first, they used to engage in itinerant trade. Then, those who earned sufficient changed their business into traders, restaurant owners, merchants of various kinds, barbers and so on. During World War II, the Chinese in Japan suffered various forms of discrimination and persecution since they were regarded as the enemy. Therefore, some of them returned to their own country. After the War, their occupation became concentrated as restaurant owners and merchants of various kinds. They obtained raw materials for their business through the courtesy of the GHQ and some even made a large profit. However, few Chinese extended their business to manufacturing, except to produce Chinese confectioneries and noodles. It was difficult for Chinese to extend their business because banking facilities tended to reject financing to Chinese companies. The opportunities to enter professional occupations for the second generation were restricted in spite of their high educational background. Most of them were obliged to succeed to their family occupations. The conclusion of the Sino-Japanese treaty in 1972 and the following China boom in Japan enabled them to extend their business, however. Recently, as most Japanese companies have opened the doors to Chinese and banking facilities have not discriminated against Chinese companies, they have succeeded economically more than ever. Social classes among the third generation, therefore, have become diversified. The change of socio-economic status among three generations of Chinese influenced their residential pattern. After the 1960s, the Chinese residential area extended to the whole of Nagasaki City. Such residential dispersion was mainly cause by the expansion in business opportunities for the second generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-411
Number of pages17
JournalJimbun Chiri/Human Geography (Kyoto)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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