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Harada House

Harada House

The Harada House is actually a national historic landmark as well as a powerful civil rights landmark in all of California. The story and site of the Harada family and their home shows not only local issues for individual and civil rights but also issues within state, national and international levels as well as issues with democracy, assimilation, citizenship, and immigration. The preservation of this home, the collections and the stories of this home allow there to be many pivotal lessons for history that will continue to be completely accessible to all people to learn the history of this wonderful home.

It was during 1905 that Jukichi, Ken Harada – Jukichi’s wife, and their first son, Masa Atsu had settled in Riverside, California. Eventually they would be operating a rooming house as well as the Washington Restaurant. However, after his very first American born son had died, Jukichi believed that having a home that had much healthier conditions would be best for his family.

However, even being aware of the California Alien Land Law of 1913 that stopped any immigrants from owning land, the Lemon street house was purchased by the family. Jukichi had used the names of his American children which were Sumi, Yoshizo and Mine. He had battled the government in order to keep the home when it was purchased.

Even though many of the neighbors on Lemon Street who were Caucasian had created a committee that would force them to sell their home, Jukichi had refused. The committee then took this cause to the office of the Attorney General as well as the Superior Court located within Riverside. It was during 1916 in California versus Harada that had really gained national attention as well as international attention due to the unsure relationship between Japan and the United States. It was during this time that Judge Hugh Craig had stated that the Alien Land law be upheld, however he had stated that the children born in American had all of the rights from the constitution and citizenship guarantees which states that they can own land based on the 14th amendment.

It was during the 1920s as well as the 1930s that the family had stayed within the home on Lemon Street. Ken and Jukichi stayed in this home to raise their family and they ran both the boarding house and Washington Restaurant. It was during 1941 that most of the older members had moved out to various places in California but Harold and Sumi had stayed to care for Ken and Jukichi as well as take care of the restaurant.

However, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese ancestry would strip them of civil rights even though they believed that they had the American dream.

No member would step foot in the home until 1945 and then it would become a home to many displaced families because of interment camps. It was during 1977 that the house became a city landmark and then in 1990 it would become a national historic landmark.