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The Okinawan Diaspora in JapanCrossing the Borders Within$
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Steve Rabson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835347

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835347.001.0001

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Moving for a Better Life (1921–1937)

Moving for a Better Life (1921–1937)

(p.64) 3 Moving for a Better Life (1921–1937)
The Okinawan Diaspora in Japan

Steve Rabson

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter follows a growing exodus from Okinawa in order to escape the hardships that emerged after World War I. Even before the collapse of sugar prices in 1921 devastated Okinawa's economy, compelling so many to leave the prefecture, Japan had fallen into a postwar depression that had ravaging effects in rural areas. The shock waves first struck farm families, then pounded related businesses and banks, which failed one after another. Employers could not pay their employees, and, unable to collect taxes, even the Okinawa Prefectural Government went bankrupt. Furthermore, the Japanese government instated policies that contributed to further decline in Okinawan economy, finally prompting many to outward migration, mostly to mainland Japan.

Keywords:   postwar depression, Japanese government, economy, outward migration, World War I, sugar

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