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Creating the Nisei Market – Race and Citizenship in Hawaii's Japanese American Consumer Culture - Hawaii Scholarship Online
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Creating the Nisei Market: Race and Citizenship in Hawaii's Japanese American Consumer Culture

Shiho Imai


In 1922 the U.S. Supreme Court declared Japanese immigrants ineligible for American citizenship because they were not “white,” dismissing the plaintiff's appeal to skin tone. Unable to claim whiteness through naturalization laws, Japanese Americans in Hawaiʻi developed their own racial currency to secure a prominent place in the Island's postwar social hierarchy. This book explores how different groups within Japanese American society staked a claim to whiteness on the basis of hue and culture. It demonstrates how the meaning of whiteness evolved from mere physical distinctions to cultural mar ... More

Keywords: whiteness, Japanese immigrants, citizenship, Japanese Americans, Hawaiʻi, Nisei, consumer culture, wayo secchu, middle class, beauty

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780824833329
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833329.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Shiho Imai, author
State University of New York at Potsdam