In 1904, when South Florida was still an extremely desolate place to live, particularly outside the modest population centers of Miami and West Palm Beach (Fort Lauderdale was nada), a young Japanese man who had recently graduated from New York University named Jo Sakai and others established a farming colony in South Palm Beach County called The Yamato Colony. The name is an ancient name for Japan itself, and with the support of the Florida East Coast Railway's Model Land Company which was eager to see the land developed, Sakai populated it with men and eventually women and children he encouraged to come from Japan.
Although the colony was never very large, it finally was dealt its death blow due to WWII anti-Japanese sentiment. Florida may not have had California's infamous Japanese concentration camps, but it was no walk in the park over here either. The land was confiscated, the colony wiped out, and only decades later a part of it would eventually become the Morikami Museum of Japanese Culture.
· The Yamato Colony [Florida Memory]