Asian Immigrants in Hawaii
Category : Articles
This paper examines the phenomenon of Asian immigrants on the island of Hawaii.
This paper looks at the history of Asian immigration to Hawaii. It explains the impact of the decisions made by politicians at the end of the 1800s to allow Asian immigrants to migrate to assist with sugar cane farming and in other industries. It examines the social consequences of Asian immigration and looks at the contributions made by this population group.
“America is said to be a nation of immigrants, and although Hawaii is not part of the upper 48 states, it holds true to this tradition. Hawaii has a very significant Asian immigrant population that has greatly influenced the culture of the islands. “The first Japanese to set foot in North America were sailors. Typhoons, southerly winter winds, and the kuroshio (black current) sometimes pulled Japanese coastal shipping vessels and fishing boats far out into the Pacific Ocean….According to a nineteenth century study, at least sixty Japanese vessels were pulled out into the Pacific Ocean from 1617 to 1875. It can be safely assumed, however, that the overwhelming majority vanished without a trace and their crews perished at sea.” (Van Sant, 22) So although there were Asians making journeys to the Americas long before then, the majority of Asian immigrants came to Hawaii during the nineteenth century when plantations were seeking large,cheap work forces and they invited large groups of immigrants to leave their home countries in search of a better lifestyle. These immigrants had a large impact on Hawaii by bringing pieces of their own Asian cultures with them and integrating those into Hawaiian culture.”