June 12's Fact of the Week: 1906 San Francisco School Board Incident

The 1906 San Francisco School Board Incident embodied an early case of anti-Japanese nativism in California. With the onset of Japanese immigration to the United States, anti-orientalist regulations sought to ethnically segregate Japanese students to attend separate schools. In a blatant intrusion on equal opportunity in education and rights, the Japanese government protested the segregation to ensure that Japanese immigrants were treated fairly in the United States and given the same education as other American children. The incident subsequently instigated the 1907 Gentleman’s Agreement. For Japan to preserve their reputation and image in a bitter contrast with Chinese immigrants at the time, the agreement aimed to reduce discrimination and segregation caused by tensions between the two countries against Japanese immigrants in the United States, allowing Japanese students back into public schools, although in support of exclusion and restrictions.