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George Shima

agriculturalist
Born: c. 1865
Birthplace: Japan

After failing his university exams, Kinji Ushijima migrated to California in 1888. Unlike most Japanese immigrants, he arrived with some money. With help from some of his countrymen, he began reclaiming land for farming in the San Joaquin delta. He took the name George Shima. By 1913 Shima had some 29,000 acres under cultivation and produced about 80% of California's potato crop, earning the nickname “the Potato King.”

Died: 1926

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