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    "url_title": "Ozawa v. United States",
    "title_sort": "ozawavunitedstates",
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    "modified": "2024-02-06T03:42:07",
    "title": "Ozawa v. United States",
    "body": "<div class=\"mw-parser-output\">\n <div class=\"floatright\">\n </div>\n <p>\n  Landmark Supreme Court case that denied eligibility for citizenship to the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Issei/\" title=\"Issei\">\n   Issei\n  </a>\n  . Along with the passage of California's\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Alien_land_laws/\" title=\"Alien land laws\">\n   Alien Land Law\n  </a>\n  in 1920, the\n  <i>\n   Ozawa\n  </i>\n  decision (1922) spurred the anti-Japanese cause and set the stage for the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Immigration_Act_of_1924/\" title=\"Immigration Act of 1924\">\n   Immigration Act of 1924\n  </a>\n  that barred all further\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Immigration/\" title=\"Immigration\">\n   immigration\n  </a>\n  from Japan. It was not until the passage of the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Immigration_Act_of_1952/\" title=\"Immigration Act of 1952\">\n   McCarran-Walter Act of 1952\n  </a>\n  that the Issei were allowed to naturalize.\n </p>\n <p>\n  Under the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Naturalization_Act_of_1790/\" title=\"Naturalization Act of 1790\">\n   Nationality Acts of 1790 and 1870\n  </a>\n  , the federal law had restricted the right of naturalization to aliens who were either \"free white\" or of \"African nativity and descent.\" The ambiguity of the former category, if interpreted widely, left open the possibility for Japanese immigrants to become naturalized citizens. For example, the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Chinese_Exclusion_Act/\" title=\"Chinese Exclusion Act\">\n   Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882\n  </a>\n  declared the Chinese ineligible for citizenship, but the Nationality Acts left unclear where the Japanese fit in the black-white racial classification.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">\n    [1]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n  President Theodore Roosevelt's remarks in response to the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/San_Francisco_school_segregation/\" title=\"San Francisco school segregation\">\n   San Francisco School Board Segregation Order of 1906\n  </a>\n  also seemed to support naturalization of the Issei.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref2_2-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref2-2\">\n    [2]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n  As a matter of fact, according to the 1910 census, some 420 had naturalized.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref3_3-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref3-3\">\n    [3]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n  When the U.S. Attorney General moved to close the loophole in 1906, Issei leaders searched for diplomatic and legal means to dispute and challenge existing qualifications for citizenship. Following Takao Ozawa's unsuccessful petition and appeal to naturalize, the Pacific Coast Japanese Association Deliberation Council intervened and brought the lower court ruling to the Supreme Court in 1922.\n </p>\n <p>\n  Ozawa's was an ideal test case to bring to the Supreme Court, meeting all non-racial qualifications for naturalization set by the Act of 1906, whereby an applicant had to file a petition of intent to naturalize at least two years prior to formal application. He had filed his petition of intent on August 1, 1902, in Alameda County, California, and filed for naturalization on October 16, 1914. He also satisfied the five-year continuous residency requirement. He had lived in the United States and Hawai'i for more than twenty years.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref4_4-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref4-4\">\n    [4]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n </p>\n <p>\n  Ozawa was born in Kanagawa, Japan, on June 15, 1875, and immigrated to San Francisco in 1894. As a schoolboy, he worked his way through various schools and graduated from Berkeley High School in California. He attended the University of California for three years until 1906, when he moved to Honolulu and settled down. He was fluent in English, practiced Christianity, and worked for an American company. He was married to a Japanese woman who was educated in the U.S., not Japan, with whom he had two children. In his own legal brief, he argued that his skin was as white as or whiter than the average Caucasian's, but more importantly, he underscored his personal beliefs. \"My honesty and industriousness are well known among my Japanese and American friends. In name Benedict Arnold was an American, but at heart he was a traitor. In name I am not an American, but at heart I am a true American,\" he wrote.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref5_5-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref5-5\">\n    [5]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n  In every sense of the word, he was a model citizen, if being fully assimilated were the test.\n </p>\n <p>\n  When Ozawa's petition to naturalize was rejected, he took his case to the U.S. District Court in Hawai'i, where it was again disqualified. His appeal was passed on from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to the U.S. Supreme Court on May 31, 1917. Having found their ideal test case, the Pacific Coast Japanese Association Deliberation Council hired former U.S. Attorney General George W. Wickersham as Ozawa's chief counsel. One potential problem was the 12-year gap between Ozawa's petition of intent and his petition to naturalize; technically, a maximum of seven years was allowed. They sought a second case,\n  <i>\n   Yamashita v. Hinkle\n  </i>\n  , in the event the\n  <i>\n   Ozawa\n  </i>\n  case was thrown out on procedure.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref6_6-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref6-6\">\n    [6]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n </p>\n <p>\n  The Supreme Court was slow to take up the\n  <i>\n   Ozawa\n  </i>\n  case, due to changing political circumstances after the outbreak of World War I. During the war, Japan had sided with the Allied Powers, whose victory brought Japan to the negotiating table at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Although Japan gained some German territories in the Pacific, it failed to convince the Allied victors to insert a racial equality clause into the League of Nations Covenant. The Japanese delegation had walked out of the conference in response. An unfavorable decision to the Japanese side in the\n  <i>\n   Ozawa\n  </i>\n  case would have caused further damage to U.S. relations with an already humiliated Japan. The case was delayed once again in the fall of 1921, when the Washington Naval Conference was held to limit Japan's naval expansion in the Pacific in a growing rivalry between the U.S. and Japan. The prospect of embarrassing Japan at this critical time, should Ozawa lose in court, was a pressing concern for the U.S. in their attempt to extract a compromise from Japan. It did not help that California had just passed the Alien Land Law of 1920, prohibiting Japanese from owning land or leasing it long term.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref7_7-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref7-7\">\n    [7]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n </p>\n <p>\n  The Supreme Court ruling came on November 13, 1922. Justice George Sutherland who presided over the case upheld the lower court ruling and declared Ozawa racially \"ineligible for citizenship.\" While acknowledging that \"the color test alone would result in an overlapping of races and a gradual merging of one into the other, without any practical line of separation,\" it declared that the word \"white\" was synonymous with \"what is popularly known as the Caucasian race.\" The court concluded that the Japanese could not be white, since they were \"clearly of a race which is not Caucasian.\"\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref8_8-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref8-8\">\n    [8]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n  It also denied Takuji Yamashita's naturalization case on the same day. The rulings not only cemented the citizenship status of the Issei, but also gave anti-Japanese advocates the justification for their exclusionist cause, culminating in the Immigration Act of 1924.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref9_9-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref9-9\">\n    [9]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n </p>\n <div id=\"authorByline\">\n  <b>\n   Authored by\n   <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Shiho_Imai/\" title=\"Shiho Imai\">\n    Shiho Imai\n   </a>\n   , State University of New York at Potsdam\n  </b>\n </div>\n <div id=\"citationAuthor\" style=\"display:none;\">\n  Imai, Shiho\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"For_More_Information\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"For_More_Information\">\n    For More Information\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    Ichioka, Yuji. \"The Early Japanese Immigrant Quest for Citizenship: The Background of the 1922 Ozawa Case.\"\n    <i>\n     Amerasia Journal\n    </i>\n    4:2 (1977): 1-22.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Ichioka, Yuji.\n    <i>\n     The Issei: The World of the First Generation Japanese Immigrants, 1885-1924\n    </i>\n    . New York: Free Press, 1990.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    <i>\n     Takao Ozawa v. U.S.\n    </i>\n    , 260 U.S. 178 (1922).\n    <a class=\"external free offsite\" href=\";vol=260&amp;invol=178\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n;vol=260&amp;invol=178\n    </a>\n    .\n   </p>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"Footnotes\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Footnotes\">\n    Footnotes\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <div class=\"reflist\" style=\"list-style-type: decimal;\">\n    <div class=\"mw-references-wrap\">\n     <ol class=\"references\">\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Mae M. Ngai, \"The Architecture of Race in American Immigration Law: A Reexamination of the Immigration Act of 1924,\"\n        <i>\n         The Journal of American History\n        </i>\n        86:1 (June 1999): 81.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref2-2\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref2_2-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Brian Niiya, ed.,\n        <i>\n         Encyclopedia of Japanese American History: An A-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present\n        </i>\n        , (New York: Facts on File, 2001), 332.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref3-3\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref3_3-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Yuji Ichioka,\n        <i>\n         The Issei: The World of the First Generation Japanese Immigrants, 1885-1924\n        </i>\n        (New York: Free Press, 1990), 211.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref4-4\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref4_4-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Ibid., 220-221.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref5-5\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref5_5-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Ibid., 219-226.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref6-6\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref6_6-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Niiya,\n        <i>\n         Encyclopedia of Japanese American History\n        </i>\n        , 332.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref7-7\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref7_7-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Ichioka,\n        <i>\n         The Issei\n        </i>\n        , 224-225.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref8-8\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref8_8-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Ngai, \"The Architecture of Race in American Immigration Law,\" 81.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref9-9\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref9_9-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Izumi Hirobe,\n        <i>\n         Japanese Pride, American Prejudice: Modifying the Exclusion Clause of the 1924 Immigration Act\n        </i>\n        (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001), 6-7.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n     </ol>\n    </div>\n   </div>\n   <!-- \nNewPP limit report\nCached time: 20240418160759\nCache expiry: 86400\nDynamic content: false\nComplications: []\nCPU time usage: 0.017 seconds\nReal time usage: 0.023 seconds\nPreprocessor visited node count: 156/1000000\nPost‐expand include size: 577/2097152 bytes\nTemplate argument size: 121/2097152 bytes\nHighest expansion depth: 5/40\nExpensive parser function count: 0/100\nUnstrip recursion depth: 0/20\nUnstrip post‐expand size: 3213/5000000 bytes\nExtLoops count: 0\n-->\n   <!--\nTransclusion expansion time report (%,ms,calls,template)\n100.00%   15.805      1 -total\n 21.78%    3.442      1 Template:Reflist\n  9.15%    1.446      1 Template:AuthorByline\n  8.88%    1.403      1 Template:Published\n-->\n   <!-- Saved in parser cache with key encycmw:pcache:idhash:261-0!canonical and timestamp 20240418160759 and revision id 36051\n -->\n  </div>\n </div>\n</div>\n<div class=\"toplink\">\n <a href=\"#top\">\n  <i class=\"icon-chevron-up\">\n  </i>\n  Top\n </a>\n</div>",
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