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Business activity of citizens of Japan in the south of the Far East of Russia (the end the XIX beginning of the 20th centuries)


(the end of XIX - the beginning of the 20th centuries)

Inclusion of the southern Far East territories in structure of the Russian Empire demanded from the Government of the Russian Federation of acceptance of urgent measures for the fastest settling and economic development of the region. Due to their remoteness from the central regions the natives of the countries, adjacent with the Russian Far East, had a unique opportunity for resettlement and occupation business activity in the territory of Russia. In the second half of the 19th century the migrants from China, Korea, Japan, a number of the European countries actively joined in development of the Russian Far East market, having made the significant contribution to development of economic activity in the region.

From the very beginning of the resettlement movement from the countries of the Pacific Rim to the Far East of Russia between immigrants there was a division into fields of activity. Chinese did small business and worked unskilled workers. Koreans, having received a ground for rent, earned a living by country work. Japanese, as a rule, were engaged in crafts, worked in services industry, were employed on buildings by seasonal workers.

The purpose of article is to consider business activity of the Japanese citizens in the production sphere and in the market of services of the South of the Far East of Russia.

The Japanese immigrant who arrived in Primorye got to the circle of compatriots at once. If he intended to be late in Primorye more than for three months, then was obliged to join national society. Society of the Japanese living in Vladivostok (Uradzio kioryuminkay) was the largest public association of Japanese in Russia. In society all his members were distributed on section by the principle of belonging to any given profession.

In Vladivostok worked several labor unions uniting the bulk of the Japanese citizens. The Japanese labor unions in Primorye were created by analogy with the similar societies operating in Japan. At the end of the 19th century in Vladivostok professional associations of Japanese worked: Vladivostok society of doctors (Uradzio Inkai), Union of laundresses (to Sendak of a kumiaa), Association of joiners (Kumiaa dike), Union of smiths (Kadziya of a kumiaa), Labor union of photographers (Syasin sio kumia). All of them agreed about the single tariffs for services rendered to the population and watched "high quality of execution of work" 1, performed by the Japanese experts.

One of researchers of activity of the Japanese community of those years L.A. Bogoslovsky noted benefit of association in the unions by the professional principle: "Thanks to work of the unions, Japanese are in more favorable conditions, than representatives of other nations" 2. In case of problems each member of society could count on support and financial support of the professional association.

In development of economy of edge the activity of the Japanese hired workers coming to seasonal works to Primorye was important. Work of the Japanese citizens was actively applied at first on the Sakhalin fisheries, later in other industries.

The first Japanese workers arrived in ports of Seaside area at the beginning of the 80th of the 19th century. It were the natives of Yokohama and Nagasaki who are specially employed by the Russian agents in Japan for work on construction of city buildings and dorog3. The Japanese workers, having higher qualification, than representatives of China and Korea, as a rule, were employed by the Russian employers as masters, heads of sites of construction objects. In the market of Primorye the Japanese bricklayers whose qualification allowed to involve them to construction of the bases and socle parts of buildings were in special demand.

Workers from Japan often contracted for works under the order. In such cases the Russian agent went to Japan and employed workers of narrow specialization for work on a certain object. Masons for preparation of granite on the island Russian, workers on construction of dock at Dalzavod were so employed. The construction and installation works performed by the Japanese workers differed in high quality. The teams of the Japanese builders working in the cities of Primorye were attracted on buildings

both local authorities, and business owners that allowed the Japanese workers to have stable earnings.

Along with Chinese and Koreans the Japanese workers took active part in construction of the Ussuriysk site of East Siberian Railway. In the spring of 1896 in Japan more than one thousand Japanese chernorabochikh4 were employed and delivered to the Seaside area. In comparison with the Chinese and Korean workers who are also actively involved on construction of the road, the Japanese workers were recognized the most able-bodied. Japanese struck local community with the discipline. Many explained these lines of simple builders with the fact that "shots of these workers are formed of substitute soldiers, and their foremen are substitute village constables of the Japanese army". The Japanese commercial agent in Vladivostok objected to similar statements of the Russian press, pointing that "accuracy, almost martial bearing and discipline at work in general are peculiar to the Japanese nation" 5. However it is known that among the Japanese immigrants, especially seasonal workers, the percent of persons liable for call-up was really high. As a rule, the former military personnel headed groups of the Japanese immigrants on the Russian buildings. For the young people who were not serving in the army in Japan in off-duty time military sports meets for the purpose of training of the younger generation for military service were organized. Thanks to discipline and high performance the Japanese workers were highly appreciated on the Russian buildings.

At different times the number of the Japanese workers on the Russian Far East construction objects changed depending on labor demand from abroad. It is difficult to establish the number of the Japanese workers as statistics of those years did not differ in special accuracy. According to data of the Russian statistics for 1907 and 1915, the number of Japanese "unskilled workers" hesitates from 3 to 5% of the total number of the Japanese staying in the territory Primorya6. The Japanese statistics provides other data according to which, in Seaside area more than 60% of "people of working professions" from total number Japanese immigrantov7 were employed. And in this professional group about a half of all workers made women. The Japanese consul who made the report on the number of Japanese in Primorye, most likely, included in the column "people of working professions" of the Japanese prostitutes about whom it was not accepted to speak openly in the Japanese public circles. Thus, it is possible to assume that the real number of the Japanese workers in 1906 made a little more than 30% (1,380 people) of the total number of the Japanese immigrants living in Primorye.

Other reason preventing to establish the number of the Japanese workers in Primorye - seasonality of their work. Their majority arrived in the cities of Seaside area for short term. With -

publicly to the law on stay of foreign citizens in the territory of the Russian Empire, they had the right not to be registered in the Russian immigration bodies and did not receive tickets for residence. For this reason the Russian and Japanese statistical data so differ. From our point of view, data of the Japanese consul are more authentic as the official representative of Japan considered each Japanese who arrived in the ports of Primorye, and the Russian statistics was under construction on the basis of registration data of Office of the military governor of the Seaside area. The Japanese workers coming to Primorye for short time (as a rule, in warm season), made approximately the third part of the Japanese diaspora living in the cities of Seaside area.

A considerable part of this diaspora - representatives of a trade class. Most of them - owners of shops of the middle class and the small shops specializing in sale of goods for compatriots and natives of the countries of the Far East. The Japanese private business began to develop actively along with trade. The enterprises organized by Japanese were created for consumer services of the population and production of goods. Japanese, having chosen the services industry bringing stable income worked as watchmakers, laundresses, hairdressers, papirosnik, supported studio on tailoring, a photographer's studio, haberdasheries, brothels.

The maintenance of brothels was the most profitable. The income of their owners considerably exceeded the income of owners of shops of the middle class. The Japanese restaurants and dining rooms were widespread, and their owners often used Japanese waitresses for rendering intimate services. In the Japanese brothels as "service staff", health workers and servants natives of Japan were used only.

In the Japanese official documents data on the number of the persons occupied in the sphere of intimate services completely is absent. Representatives of this "shameful" profession were included by the Japanese officials (the Japanese commercial agents, consuls) in the column "persons of different professions", "different persons" or "people of working professions" 8. The Japanese authorities intentionally hushed up the facts casting a shadow on reputation of the state. Therefore to judge real number of people occupied in the field according to the Japanese statistical data it is almost impossible.

The Russian data on professional activity of the Japanese citizens within Seaside area are more exact and informative. Here all categories of the citizens occupied in the sphere of intimate services - "holders of brothels", "attendants of brothels", "clerks, watchmen at brothels", "prostitutes" 9 are specified.

According to statistical data, in 1901 in the south of the Far East of Russia about 4,000 immigrants from Japan, from them about 3,000 people - lived

in Vladivostok. More than a third of all Japanese population of Vladivostok was engaged in the sphere of intimate services, entered this list: holders of brothels - 458 people; the Japanese doctors who are engaged in medical examination of prostitute female - 35 people; the Japanese making army of representatives of the most ancient profession - not less than 600 chelovek10. In the cities of Seaside area the number of the Japanese citizens occupied in this sphere reached 50% of the total number of the Japanese population of the region. It was connected with the fact that in the cities of Primorye trade business and business in the production sphere were less developed, than in Vladivostok. The Japanese brothels brought huge income to the owners who were almost monopolizing this business in the south of the Far East of Russia.

In spite of the fact that the authorities of Japan tried to fight against organized international network of the Japanese brothels, agents of brothels always found a way to deliver live goods to Russia. In memoirs & Neko Toidzumi is described process of hiring of Japanese for "work" in Russia. "There were intermediaries who brought together girls from poor villages, deceiving them, promised that they will work as servants or at cotton-mills, paid them small advance payment and took away to Vladivostok or further away, deep into edges, and there sold them. Poor girls only in Vladivostok learned what "work" at them. With tears they protested, but all the same them forced to work as prostitutes, owners exploited them as much as possible, tiring out, eventually girls got used" 11.

Japanese - owners of craft workshops - joiners, tailors, smiths - were always demanded in Priamurye. At the beginning of the 20th century the Chinese and Japanese possessed about 85% of craft and industrial institutions, 95% - the market prislugi12. The Japanese entrepreneurs widely developed the activity in Seaside and Amur regions. As hired labor they used compatriots. Thanks to energy, diligence and enterprise the Japanese for rather short time reached a leading position in the sphere of household services.

The most part of laundries, photo salons, watch, jewelry, sartorial, joiner's repair shops belonged to representatives of the Japanese diaspora. Washing of linen, repair and sale of hours and small haberdashery goods, photoservices, jewelry, were that field of urban economics of Primorye where the Japanese entrepreneurs occupied absolute leadership. In particular, in Vladivostok the beginnings of the 20th century of 97% of laundries, 89% of watch repair shops and 64% of hairdressing salons belonged to the Japanese entrepreneurs. "In Seaside area some branches of trade and work are almost monopolized by Japanese - trade in silks, haberdashery, etc., and in the field of work - hairdresser's business, laundries, prostitution and another" 13.

In the Japanese reference media of those years the explanation of the reason of advantage of the Japanese business before representatives of other people is offered. Here it is indicated that Japanese achieved an absolute priority in the service industry in Primorye thanks to the diligence and workmanship of work. At the same time it is noted that Japanese are engaged in this business only because of unwillingness of the Russian entrepreneurs to develop data of the industry city economiki14.

The laundry economy was almost completely concentrated in hands of Japanese. Laundries did not bring a large income to the owners, in them there were hardest working conditions: in the winter washing was made on cold that negatively affected health of workers. However the persistence and quality of work helped owners of laundries to have stable income always. In laundries citizens of Japan of both sexes worked. According to 1910, from 312 Japanese institutions 38 were prachechnymi15 that made more than 12% of their total number. At this time 185 people (109 men and 76 women) were employed in laundry economy. At different times (from 1900 to 1915) the Japanese occupied in laundry business made 8-12% of the total number of the Japanese population in Primorye. The majority of laundries was located in the large cities of Seaside area - Vladivostok and Khabarovsk. However they were both in Nikolsk-Ussuriysk, and in the Southern Ussuriysk County.

A considerable part of the Japanese citizens occupied in the service industry worked as servants in the Russian families. Japanese were not only who was employed by workers in families of prosperous citizens: they were competed by natives of China and Korea. However if Chinese and Koreans were employed as rude labor for preparation of firewood, by furnace fire chambers, socks of water and repair, then Japanese worked as servants directly in the house. The most part them was made by women (67%): they were employed by nurses and servants.

The Japanese servants were always in demand in prosperous families of the seaside cities. Positive personal qualities - softness of character, reticence, cleanliness, high performance - were especially appreciated in the Japanese servants. According to statistical data for 1915, the Japanese working as servants made 10% of the total number of the Japanese immigrants living in Primorye. The main part of the Japanese servants was concentrated in Vladivostok (about 66%).

In personal photoarchives the Patrician Silver (U.S. citizen whose parents lived in Vladivostok at the end of the 19th century) unique pictures in which the history of Vladivostok is imprinted remained. Among them there are photos of the servants working in family of the American entrepreneurs: Korean Du Ki supporting a household, the Russian housemaid Varvara and Japanese Niro (in family it called Niro dignity) who was engaged in child care. Vladivostok of those years was multinational goro-

the house where sometimes in one family it was possible to meet representatives of 3-4 nationalities.

the Japanese dealers and handicraftsmen sought to reach a leading position in the sphere. Businessmen from China were their main rivals. Because of it Chinese and Japanese disliked each other, often between them there were conflicts. So, the application from the Japanese smith Hashimoto Nakab came to town council of Vladivostok: "I have honor to ask town council to allow me to move my smithy which is on Aleutskaya Street in Perevarov's site to the site belonging to Mr. Cooper on Fontannaya Street against the Chinese smithy in what I say" 16. The request of the Japanese smith was granted, and the Chinese had to incur losses as near his institution arose the competitor's smith. There were cases when between representatives of two east people there were fights. So, in the official report of the Vladivostok chief of police of October 20, 1909 the case of detention of the Japanese citizen "for drawing mutilations to the Chinese" was recorded. As it is noted in the official report, between two young people there was a conflict on "the soil of commerce". As a result the Japanese was arrested and got to the arestny house of the Vladivostok police department where spent several months then he was let out on bails Japanese konsula17.

Concerning quality of goods and service in sources it is possible to meet various estimates.

So, in the Vladivostok newspaper in 1899 the comparative characteristic of representatives of Asia-Pacific countries is given in the Far East market of Russia. If to Chinese and Koreans the relation was in general scornful (the author of article of the Chinese workers and dealers calls precisely "man-za"), then Japanese were appreciated as "capable workmen, the people accurate and well knowing the business" 18. As opposed to the aforesaid there is other comparative characteristic of the Chinese and Japanese handicraftsmen: "Recently, in some branches of work the Japanese begin to meet the competition from Chinese. Over time, when from Chinese there will be enough the handicraftsman, Japanese will be hardly able to compete with Chinese who are content considerably with smaller earnings, and, above all - differ in bigger comprehension, endurance and honesty" 19. In an interview to the Priamurskaya Zhizn newspaper the head of the Chinese delegation, the former Chinese commercial agent in Vladivostok Li Tyaao also compared Chinese and Japanese, giving unflattering characteristic to the Japanese businessmen: "On the nature the Russian, whether it be the businessman or the official, are much closer to us, to Chinese, the naiveté and responsiveness, is closer at least than the same Japanese jammed by arrogance, a formalism and, above all - insatiable greed and greed" 20. In the same Vladivostok newspaper in 1902 it was noted: "Japanese began to forge footwear and outer garments. Footwear very much

bad quality. Sometimes week is not pronashivat, and bought because it is cheap". Japanese had to hear similar complaints to quality of goods and service repeatedly.

When comparing the Russian and Japanese handicraftsmen, it was noted that "suitability to craft of Russian it is invariable above the Japanese. But the Japanese has enormous advantage before Russian in the respect that he is less exacting in the requirements, is more persistent in achievement of the planned purpose, is more hardy and assidious and at the same time will come to an agreement with the neighbor and the companion in craft rather. After that it is not surprising if in Vladivostok, and it is equal and in all other places of the Priamurye region where only the number of Japanese reaches more or less considerable figure, there is no such branch of work which would not have character of the corporate beginnings" 21.

Thus, the Japanese enterprises, commercial institutions and experts took the important place in economic structure of the Russian Far East. Their corporationism, coordination of actions in the market allowed them to achieve considerable progress in business activity that positively affected development of some branches of economy of edge.

1 E.G. Spalvin. Japanese societies of the city of Vladivostok//News of the Russian state historical archive of the Far East. T. II. Vladivostok, 1997. Page 127.
2 RGIA DV. T. 702. Op. 3. 349. L. 4 about.
3 L.I. Gallyamova. Use of the Japanese industrial workers of the Russian Far East (the 2nd floor. XIX - the head of the 20th century)//the Russian Priamurye: history and present. Khabarovsk, 1999. Page 95.
4 N.P. Matveev. Short historical essay of Vladivostok. Vladivostok, 1990. Page 249.
5 Vladivostok. 1897. June 12.
6 RGIA DV. T. 702. Op. 4. 632 (Part 1). L. 3; RGIA DV. T. 702. Op. 1. 1105. L. 15-16.
7 RGIA DV. T. 702. Op. 4. 632 (Part 1). L. 1-2.
8 Uradzio Annye (Vladivostok guide). Tokyo, 1902; P.Yu. Vaskevich. An essay of life of Japanese in the Priamurye region. Verkhneudinsk, 1905; RGIA DV. T. 702. Op. 4. 632 (Part 1). L. 1-2.
9 RGIA DV. T. 702. Op. 4. 632 (Part 1). L. 3; RGIA DV. T. 702. Op. 1. 1105. L. 15-16.
10 See: P.Yu. Vaskevich. Decree. soch. Page 12.
11 Toidzumi & #34;. Lilac and war. Vladivostok, 2001. Page 20-21.
12 G.N. Romanova. Economic activity of Chinese in the Russian Far East (the end of XIX - the beginning of the 20th century)//Adaptation of ethnic migrants in Primorye in the 20th century Vladivostok, 2000. Page 95.
13 RGIA DV. T. 702. Op. 3. 349. L. 4.
14 Uradzio Annye (Vladivostok guide). Page 136.
15 Z.F. Morgun. The Japanese diaspora in Vladivostok (pages of history)//News of East institute of DVGU 1996. No. 3. Page 104.
16 RGIA DV. T. 28. Op. 1. 592. L. 232.
17 RGIA DV. T. 1. Op. 1. 1861. L. 16.
18 Vladivostok. 1899. On Oct. 3
19 See: P.Yu. Vaskevich. Decree. soch. Page 18.
20 E.I. Nesterova. The Russian administration and the Chinese migrants in the south of the Far East of Russia (the second half of XIX - the beginning of the 20th centuries). Vladivostok, 2004. Page 225.
21 P.Yu. Vaskevich. Japanese in Vladivostok: A note of a dragoman of the Russian imperial consulate general in Seoul on January 5, 1907//From oriental studies history in the Russian Far East 1899 - 1937 Vladivostok, 2000. Page 218.
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