Akemi Kikumura Yano

Dr. Akemi Kikumura-Yano é Diretora Geral y presidente do Museu Nacional Japonês Americano, e é “Chefe de Projeto” do Projeto do Legado Nikkei, responsável pelo website Discover Nikkei. Ela tem doutorado em antropologia da Universidade da Califórnia em Los Angeles, e é autora e teatróloga premiada. Seu livro mais conhecido é Through Harsh Winters: The Life of a Japanese Immigrant Woman (“Através de Invernos Rigorosos: A Vida de uma Imigrante Japonesa”).

Atualizado em fevereiro de 2008

education en ja

Issei Pioneers - Hawaii and the Mainland 1885-1924 - Part 20

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COMMUNITY EVENTS AND CELEBRATIONS

In the early years, one of the most important and controversial events was tenchosetsu, the celebration of the Emperor Meiji’s birthday on November 3.  Though at first the plantations in Hawaii did not recognize it a holiday, all work stopped as the Issei  workers took the day to celebrate with food, music, and dance.  “Jara-jara, jan-jan, chan-chan.” Went the shamisens (three stringed instruments) as the people ate their food and danced into the night.1  By the mid-1890s the planters were forced to officially acknowledge in each worker’s contracts …

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Issei Pioneers - Hawaii and the Mainland 1885-1924 - Part 19

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COMMUNITY LIFE

In Hawaii and on the mainland. The Issei established their own hospitals, churches, newspapers, social and cultural organizations, and economic networks. Within their communities they found comfort and comraderie, learning that survival in America meant cooperation, mutual aid and support among themselves.

Since most Issei had come without their extended families, the concept of kinsmen was broadened to include more distant relatives, fellow villagers, and beyond that, the Japanese immigrant community. Community solidarity was high when it came to dealing with the majority group. Showing a “good face” to the haku-jin (Caucasian) was a …

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Issei Pioneers - Hawaii and the Mainland 1885-1924 - Part 18

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SOCIALIZATION OF THE CHILDREN

The birth of their American-born-children, the Nisei, marked a turning point in the lives of many Issei families. For the sake of the children, families decided to settle down in one locale.  “Even if w have to work harder, we will do so to save money and settle down in some place so that can send our kids to the same school  all year around,” commented one Issei who farmed in Cortez, California.1

America – where
My three sons grow lustily—
More than a wayside stop.2

As the children grew older, …

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Issei Pioneers - Hawaii and the Mainland 1885-1924 - Part 17

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WOMEN AND WORK

As soon as the women settled into their new homes, they found themselves engaged in hard work.  Few families could afford for women to stay at home.  In the cities women worked as chambermaids, dishwashers, seamstresses, or laundresses.  In the countryside, they worked alongside their husbands in the vineyards of Fresno, the apple orchards of Watsonville, or the canefields of Hawaii, planting, hoeing, weeding, irrigating, and harvesting.

In every region where Issei settled, women played an important part in “getting ahead,” for survival in America was a joint effort.  Women’s income often decided …

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Issei Pioneers - Hawaii and the Mainland 1885-1924 - Part 16

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Because the United States government did not recognize the legitimacy of the picture bride marriages, mass marriages took place in immigration stations, hotel lobbies, churches, or at the wharf in Hawaii. “This undesirable practice of an assembly-line type marriage ceremony must be abandoned forthwith,” blasted Kinzaburo Makino in his inaugural issue of the Hawaii Hochi. [A]nd the picture brides should be allowed to have the privilege of having ceremonies conducted according to their own religious faiths after debarkation.”1 After much protest from the Japanese community, this practice of mass weddings was finally stopped in …

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