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 Hawaii Travel Guide by Kathie Fry

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Japanese Immigration to Hawaii

Information about the first Japanese immigrants in Hawaii including where they came from and why they moved to Hawaii.

In 1868 a group of approximately 150 Japanese contract laborers arrived in Hawaii. The immigration was not considered a success, because Japan was unhappy about their treatment. Two years later an agreement was reached for those workers to return to Japan, but in actuality, only about 40 returned to their homeland and the rest chose to remain in Hawaii.

In 1885 Hawaii and Japan resolved issues related to the treatment of Japanese workers in Hawaii, and that year The first major immigration from Japan began. (It's interesting to note that the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigration was celebrated in Hawaii 1985.)

By 1902 there were more then 30,000 Japanese plantation workers in Hawaii.

By 1893, nearly 70% of the plantation workers in Hawaii were Japanese.

The "Bayonet Constitution" of 1887 denied Hawaiian citizenship to all Asians.

In 1894 private companies were allowed to take over recruiting Japanese laborers for Hawaii and 57,000 more Japanese arrived in Hawaii between 1894 and 1900.

When contract labor in Hawaii was prohibited after Hawaii became a U.S. territory, many of Hawaii's Japanese immigrants immigrated to the U.S. mainland where wages were twice what they were in Hawaii.

Executive order stops migration of Japanese laborers from Hawaii, Mexico and Canada on March 14, 1907 (what does this mean???)

In 1908 a "Gentlemen's Agreement" restricted Japanese immigration to the United States (what does this mean?).

In 1909 the Japanese laborers went on strike but they lost.

In 1920 the Japanese and Filipinos organized a strike for higher wages. They lost that strike, but they learned to work together for the common good.

Between 1885 and 1924 approximately 200,000 Japanese immigrated to Hawaii, most of them to work on Hawaii's sugar plantations.

In 1924 the United States prohibited further immigration from Japan.

In 1935 the Onomea Camps were segregated into Japanese, Filipino,and Portuguese camps

Museum of Japanese Immigration to Japan
2144 Nishiyashiro
Suo-Oshima-cho, Oshima-Gun,
Yamaguchi Prefecture, 742-2103 Japan
Phone: 0820-74-4082

The Japanese Invade Hawaii
1973 Time Magazine article about Japanese businesses and families buying business, homes, and land in Hawaii in the 1970's

See also
- Japanese Culture in Hawaii Today
- Other Ethnic Groups in Hawaii
- Immigration to Hawaii

Related Links
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A NOTE FROM KATHIE: If you have any corrections or updates to the information on this page or if you would like us to add any information or links, please send a message to the email address on our contacts page.

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