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Issei

or is·sei

[ees-sey]
noun, plural Is·sei or is·sei.
  1. a Japanese person who immigrated to the U.S. or Canada after 1907 and was not eligible until 1952 for citizenship.
  2. any Japanese immigrant to the U.S.
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Compare Kibei, Nisei, Sansei.

Origin of Issei

1935–40; < Japanese, equivalent to is first + sei generation (earlier it-sei, it-seĩ < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese one + shēng birth)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for issei

Issei

c.1930s, term used among Japanese immigrants for first-generation immigrants, in Japanese, literally "first generation," related to ichi "one."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper