Japanese American History: An A-to-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present

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On June 19, 1868 a ship sailed into Honolulu harbor carrying 148 Japanese men, women and children. Contract laborers brought in to work American-owned Hawaiian sugar plantations, these were the first of over 300,000 immigrants from Japan who settled mostly in Hawaii and California between 1868 and 1924. Their American descendants today number over 750,000 and live in every state. Japanese Americans have played an important and largely unrecognized role in American history. Japanese American History is the first encyclopedic reference work documenting their story. The lack of an accurate historical interpretation of their experience has resulted in depictions of Japanese Americans that range from the blatantly racist ("yellow peril") to the patronizing ("model minority"). Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, other Americans became unwilling to distinguish them from the enemy, and as a result more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes to concentration camps - a mass internment that lasted three years. Only in the last 20 years has a more complete story begun to emerge. A new generation of scholars has focused on the experience of the Japanese Americans themselves. Using Japanese-language sources, oral histories and other previously neglected material, these scholars have illuminated the world of issei labor leaders, nisei soldiers, nikkei women writers and many others. Achievements and contributions by individuals in virtually every field are noted here. Japanese American History brings this material together for the first time, in an accessible and comprehensive reference format. There are four sections: a chronology of major events in JapaneseAmerican history in historical context; more than 400 A-to-Z entries on significant individuals, organizations, events and movements; a thorough bibliography including all major works on Japanese Americans; and an illuminating historical overview by Professor Gary Okihiro, a distinguished scholar of Japanese American history. More than 100 photos and drawings are also included, most never published before. Japanese American History has been produced with the guidance of leading scholars under the auspices of the Japanese American National Museum, the major repository of documentary material on Japanese American history. Opened in Los Angeles in the spring of 1992, its growing collections include artifacts, a still and motion picture archive, and an extensive library of books and papers.

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Regarding page 150: Katsu Goto:
R Mills and William Blabon-two of the four accused- did not work for Overend. JR owned a hotel,restaurant,saloon and mercantile store in Honokaa and William Blabon
was his cart driver.
Only two escaped from prison-Thomas Steele escaped and sailed to Australia never to be seen again. William Blabon went back home to Santa Clara California. JR Mills was pardoned on July 4, 1894 by Sanford Dole, President of the Republic of Hawaii. He never returned to Honokaa. William Watson was the only one who served out his term of 5 years. He returned to Honokaa and lived quietly.
The use of Beekman's pamphlet, written to promote Goto as a labor leader, is common. Unfortunately Beekman did not reference or index this pamphlet. Recent research by myself and others reveals that a majority of the information put forth by Beekman is either incorrect or taken out of context. Most of narrative cannot be proven through archival resources. This entry should be changed.
W. Tolleson
Historic Honokaa Town Project

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Introduction to the Chronology
Complete Citations for Chronology

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About the author (1993)

Brian Niiya is a columnist for three of the most widely read Japanese American newspapers in the country. He is an independent writer and curator, whose work has appeared in such publications as The Asian American Almanac. The former research department manager and collection manager for the Japanese American National Museum, Mr. Niiya lives in Honolulu, HI.

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