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HISTORIC ARTICLE

HISTORIC ARTICLE

Feb 8, 1885 CE: Japanese Immigrants Arrive in Hawaii

Feb 8, 1885 CE: Japanese Immigrants Arrive in Hawaii

On February 8, 1885, the first major wave of Japanese immigrants arrived in Hawaii.

Grades

2 - 9

Subjects

Geography, Human Geography

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On February 8, 1885, about 900 Japanese immigrants arrived in Hawaii. The Japanese would quickly become one of the island kingdom’s largest ethnic groups. Today, about 14% of Hawaii’s population has Japanese ancestry. Most of the immigrants aboard the City of Tokio were men. They came looking for greater financial opportunities, and quickly found work in Hawaii’s enormous sugar cane plantations. Japanese immigrants performed backbreaking labor weeding and cutting sugar cane. Japanese women often arrived as “picture brides,” having only seen pictures of their future husbands (and their husbands of them) before leaving Japan. Japanese immigrants were able to maintain strong cultural traditions in Hawaii, including establishing Buddhist temples and the first Japanese schools in what would be the United States. (Hawaii became a territory in 1898 and a state in 1959.)

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National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Producer
National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

June 2, 2022

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