About the Newspapers

Hokubei Jiji/North American Times

The Hokubei Jiji began as an evening daily newspaper in 1902, published in Seattle, Washington. It continued to publish up until March 12, 1942, when it was finally closed by the federal government and all of its staff evacuated from Seattle and imprisoned in concentration camps for the duration of World War II.

Created by a group of investors belonging to Seattle’s Japanese Association put up the capital necessary to begin publication of what was to be an “objective newspaper” covering news and events of concern to the Japanese community. Offices were secured in the basement of the K. Hirade Company, at 5th and Main. The first issue appeared on September 1, 1902. The first editor, Sakutaro (Dongyu) Yamada, was soon followed by several other editors until 1913 when Sumikiyo Arima and Shoichi Suginoo became part owners of the paper and brought with them stability and real newspaper experience.

The paper continued to publish throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s and was a rich source of information on national and international affairs of special interest to the readership, as well as local community news. Of particular note was its coverage of the anti-Japanese movement in the U.S., including land laws and immigration issues.

An English page was introduced in the mid-1930’s, as the second generation of Japanese, children born in the U.S. and fluent in English, gained more influence. The English page was edited by Herbert Ogawa, succeeded by Jackson “Jaxon” Sonoda , followed by Keitearo Kawajiri . In 1941, Budd Fukai joined the editorial staff, and was an influential newspaperman and author for many decades after World War II.

On December 7, 1941, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the then editor Sumio Arima, was immediately arrested by the FBI and incarcerated until the end of the war. Associate editors continued to publish the paper until March 9, 1942, thus ending the longest running Japanese language newspaper in Seattle.