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Creating the Nisei MarketRace and Citizenship in Hawaii's Japanese American Consumer Culture$
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Shiho Imai

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833329

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833329.001.0001

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Nisei Womanhood and the Culture of Personality

Nisei Womanhood and the Culture of Personality

Chapter:
(p.61) Chapter Three Nisei Womanhood and the Culture of Personality
Source:
Creating the Nisei Market
Author(s):

Shiho Imai

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833329.003.0004

This chapter examines how Nisei women, by virtue of their liminality, took advantage of the emerging culture of personality in Hawaiʻi and invested it with subcultural values consistent with Japanese American ideals of whiteness and East-West hybridity. It considers how American consumer culture became liberating and limiting for Honolulu's Nisei youths, and especially young women who cultivated ideal personality traits engendered by the values of neatness, cleanliness, and feminine respectability. It discusses the ways in which Nisei attitudes toward race and class reflected and shaped Honolulu's Nisei consumer culture by focusing on the experiences of Nisei students at two high schools, McKinley and Farrington. It also describes the Department of Public Instruction's efforts to promote consumer culture through health education. Finally, it explains how Nisei women used their knowledge of fashion and beauty to carve a niche in the emerging businesses that catered to women—the cosmetology and retail markets.

Keywords:   personality, Hawaiʻi, whiteness, consumer culture, race, class, Nisei students, health education, Nisei women, beauty

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