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.


5 - 8


Geography, Human Geography

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On February 8, 1885, about 900 Japanese immigrants arrived in Hawaii. These immigrants were mostly men, and went to work in Hawaii’s sugar cane plantations. They worked very hard. They weeded fields and cut down the cane plants when the crop was ready to harvest. Many Japanese women came to Hawaii as “picture brides.” “Picture brides” did not meet their husbands before arriving from Japan to get married—the men and women had only seen pictures of each other! Today, about 14 percent of Hawaiians have Japanese ancestry.

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National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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