Japanese in Hawaii


Sugaras a major cash crop was first milled on the island Hawaii in 1802.Itwas first milled at the island of lanai by a Chinese entrepreneurcalled Wong Tse Chun.it was not until the late 1840s that thebusiness mane realized the sugar was a major cash crop that could aswell fetch millions if marketed in the Americas. So theseopportunists embarked on the process of marketing this newlydiscovered cash crop to the American continent. However the processof producing the sugar was meant with enormous challenges in Hawaii.These problems ranged for the ownership of land to labor conditionsof the workers who would till the land and consequently those whowill do the perceived marketing of the sugar in the Americas as itwas sought of by the Caucasian business men in Hawaii (Matsuda,2011).

Theseforeign investors did not want to invest their money in theproduction of sugar on land that they did not own. In the initialstage of the venture, the native Hawaiians were first hired do workon these vast sugar plantations. They participated in processes rightfrom the growing, harvesting and the industrial production of thefinal produce. However, as the production of sugar was increasing,they occurred an acute shortage of workers as more and more of theworkers were being attracted to the mainland because of the Goldrash, the Gold rash was not the only predicament causing the shortageof the plantation workers on the sugar plantations, the infestationby disease also played a significant role in reducing the numbers ofthese plantation workers (Matsuda, 2011).

Becauseof this labor shortage these investors were exploring otheropportunities that could also entail importing some workers fromabroad possibly single males to work on their vast sugar caneplantations. However, they lacked a legal backing to support theiractions. The 1850 servants and masters act by the Hawaiian governmentplayed an insurmountable role in backing up there sought ofundertaking. The Chinese immigrants were given the first priority towork on the plantations. But because of the very dire workingconditions that were coupled by over crowdedness and poor sanitation,the contracts of these Chinese workers were short lived. Most ofthese Chinese workers worked on these plantations for a short periodof time and would thus move on to the city centers to start up theirown enterprises of even to look for better work.

Sincethe Chinese were unreliable, these investors turned to the Japaneseas the major source labor on the plantations. One of the business mencalled Van Reed is known to have signed a total of 300 Japaneseworkers from Yakohama to be exported to work on the Hawaiiansugarcane plantations. After successfully passing the medicalexamination tests at Honolulu, these Japanese were always given somea few days to relax and enjoy the sight of Honolulu. These Japanesewere made to work under the scorching sun for at least 12 hours a dayby their masters. The terrible news of the very poor workingconditions of the Japanese immigrants reached their government backhome. The Japanese government had to send an envoy called KagenoriUyeno to investigate the matter (Matsuda, 2011).

Certainlythe working conditions play a very significant role as far asmaintaining the workers on any business entity. This coupled with theproper wages are the major factors that any business man should putinto consideration in running a successful business. No wonder eventhe Governments always set in the laws and acts to foster this in anumber of cases.Since these workers were badly need on the sugar caneplantations, the Hawaiian government assured them of better treatmentand an increase in their working wages and this impelled many of themto stay in Hawaii. They thus reproduced and gave birth to a hugecommunity .


Matsuda,M. (2011).The ,1868-1967:A bibliography o the firsthundred years. Honolulu: Social Science research Institute, PrenticeHall Publishers