Christine Kitano

Christine Kitano is the author of two collections of poetry, Sky Country (BOA Editions, 2017), and Birds of Paradise (Lynx House, 2011). She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University and a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Texas Tech University. In 2016, she was selected to join the U.S.-Japan Council as a member of the Emerging Leaders Program. She is an assistant professor at Ithaca College where she teaches classes in creative writing, poetry, and Asian American literature. 

Updated April 2018

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Commemoration 150th Anniversary of Japanese in Hawaii: Honoring the Gannenmono King Kalakaua and the Issei Story

The first group of Japanese arrived in Hawaii in 1868. This group is known as gannenmono, or, “first year men,” because they arrived in Honolulu in the first year of the reign of Emperor Meiji. This was a small group of about 149 laborers. Within three years working in the sugar plantations, most returned to Japan. Some went onto the mainland. About fifty remained. These gannenmono were truly the first Issei.

One of the original immigrants was Sentaro Ishii. After his arrival in Honolulu, he was assigned to Maui and the McKee Ulupalakua Plantation. Ishii described his work as being ...

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