The Matsuda Family

4 people laboring in the field

Tsune Matsuda, left, and her husband, Taichi, right, were laborers on a hop and pear farm near Fulton after they immigrated to California (Courtesy of Minoru Matsuda and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat newspaper). View in Our Digital Collection 

The Matsuda family of Sebastopol is a classic example. Taichi Matsuda came from Japan by way of Hawaii …. Five years later he was joined by his wife, Tsune ….

They worked as laborers on the Woodworth hop and pear ranch near Fulton. Their first son, Minoru, was born in a cabin on the ranch. They saved money and by 1926 had leased an apple dryer in Sebastopol and bought a truck and were in business for themselves — on somebody else’s land.

As soon as Minoru, born in Fulton, turned 21, he bought the land where they had been operating the family business for nearly a decade. ‘California the Golden’ laid no welcome mat for any Asians in the early days.

It was 1952 before Japanese immigrants were allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship.

— LeBaron, Gaye. “No Welcome Mat for Japanese in the Golden State.” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, April 26, 1992.