Shin Sekai (newspaper)


San Francisco-based newspaper that was one of the most widely read Japanese language newspapers in Northern and Central California. The Shin Sekai ("New World") debuted on May 25, 1894, as the house organ of the San Francisco Japanese YMCA under chief editor Hachiro Soejima. After breaking off from the YMCA in 1897 it grew rapidly in the first two decades of the 20th century at one time establishing bureaus in Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Jose. As with other Japanese American newspapers, the Shin Sekai also featured an English language section aimed at a Nisei audience by the 1930s. The paper went into bankruptcy in 1932 and was reestablished as the Shin Sekai Nichi Nichi Shimbun. It later merged with the Hokubei Asahi, becoming the Shin Sekai Asahi Shimbun as of June 1935. Throughout its run, it engaged in a heated rivalry with the Nichibei Shimbun; the rivalry centered on religion and ideology, with the Shin Sekai being less assimilationist and more aligned with Buddhist segments of the community. The run of the paper was ended by the attack on Pearl Harbor and subsequent incarceration of West Cost Japanese Americans.

Authored by Brian Niiya, Densho

For More Information

Azuma, Eiichiro. "Shin Sekai." In Encyclopedia of Japanese American History: An A-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present, Revised Edition. Edited by Brian Niiya. New York: Checkmark Books, 2001. 367.

Ichioka, Yuji. The Issei: The World of the First Generation Japanese Immigrants, 1885-1924. New York: The Free Press, 1988.

———, Yasuo Sakata, Nobuya Tsuchida, Eri Yasuhara, compilers. A Buried Past: An Annotated Bibliography of the Japanese American Research Project Collection. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974.