Exhibition on JA Gardeners on View at San Diego History Center


The exhibition was originally scheduled to close in March.

The Issei who arrived in San Diego County found jobs in places where they didn’t need to speak English to succeed. After working on railroad construction and in the salt ponds at the southern end of San Diego Bay, many Issei dreamed of owning land, but instead found themselves doing other manual labor working as fishermen, farmers and gardeners.

Gardening became a viable job opportunity near the turn of the 20th century when Japanese-style gardens were introduced at expositions and world fairs throughout the country. Fascination and popularity for these gardens grew during a time of limited job opportunities.