The Journal of San Diego History
Summer 1977, Volume 23, Number 3
James E. Moss, Editor
Thomas L. Scharf, Assistant Editor

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Page 1. The fishing boat Osprey with her all Japanese crew shown here tied up at the old Santa Fe Wharf in San Diego. The Osprey became the center of a major fishing rights controversy that was ultimately decided by the California Supreme Court in 1935.

Kondo Masaharu

Page 2. Kondo Masaharu, entrepreneur, scholar, and pioneer of the fishing industry in Southern California. As the president and guiding spirit of a series of Japanese companies he helped demonstrate the commercial potential of the areas fisheries to the world. He is shown here in 1929 when he was the president of the Taiyo Sangyo Gaisha of San Diego.


Page 4. Place Names Associated with the Fishery Operation of Kondo Masaharu

racks to dry the abalone

Page 6. The abalone available off the Baja California coast proved so abundant that the fishermen working for Kondo Masaharu had to build a series of huge racks to dry the mollusks. Each rack shown here was capable of drying five tons of abalone meat. The racks were kept high enough to protect the catch from marauding coyotes.


Page 7. Prefectures Furnishing Contract Fishermen for the Kondo Operation and the Taiyo Sangyo Gaisha (1912-1942)

Japanese helmeted diver

Page 8. By introducing helmeted divers like the one shown above preparing to go down into South Bay just off Cedros Island, the Japanese of Kondo’s company were rapidly able to fill their abalone requirements. It was common for single divers to provide a catch of five to six tons of abalone per day.

Japanese fishermen at Turtle Bay

Page 9. The Japanese fishermen at Turtle Bay were described by one contemporary as “… an independent breed with no time for people who put on superior airs.” Here two of the men wash themselves and their clothes in salt water since what little fresh water there was had to be reserved for drinking.

Page 10. The abalone which was caught and dried in Baja California was packed in huge wicker baskets like these for transshipment to San Diego or in some cases directly to the company’s major abalone market in China.

cannery and wharf

Page 12. The cannery and wharf as they appeared just after their completion in 1929. The entire complex was built by the resident Japanese fishermen over a two year period with materials shipped in from San Diego some three hundred miles to the north. The tents the men lived in year round are seen on the right.


Page 14. Place Names Associated with the Operation of Kondo Masaharu and the Taiyo Sangyo Gaisha (1912-1942)

Miura Koshiro

Page 15. Miura Koshiro shown here about 1929 was selected by Rondo to supervise the fish camp at Turtle Bay, and to see lo the building of the cannery and wharf. He later joined Messrs. Abe, and Aizumi in rebuilding the company after its bankruptcy in 1931.

Abe Tokunosuke

Page 16. Abe Tokunosuke president of the Taiyo Sangyo Gaisha from 1932 to 1942. After the company declared bankruptcy he and his partners rebuilt the operation until it included over twenty fishing boats. All of the ships shown here were lost as a result of the relocation of San Diego’s Japanese American community in April of 1942.