September 21's Fact of the Day

Early immigrant communities frequently formed credit-rotating systems or “tanomoshi” to significantly help other issei in order to establish in the United States a business or farmland. Often times, members from a prefecture that they had immigrated from or close-knit and trusted community contributed money into a pot or basket on a periodic basis. A lottery system subsequently took place for members to take turns receiving the pool of money after a period of time, which then continued until each member had a turn at the money. Since each and every member had to be responsible to continue to contribute and add money, the credit-rotation inherently existed and succeeded on trust. Since many American and Japanese banks did not lend money to Japanese immigrants at the time, credit-rotation helped to alleviate that struggle.