or is·sei


noun, plural Is·sei or is·sei.

a Japanese person who immigrated to the U.S. or Canada after 1907 and was not eligible until 1952 for citizenship.
any Japanese immigrant to the U.S.

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) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Word Origin and History for issei


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper