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From Race to EthnicityInterpreting Japanese American Experiences in Hawaii$
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Jonathan Y. Okamura

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839505

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839505.001.0001

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Myles Yutaka Fukunaga and the Anti-Japanese Movement

Myles Yutaka Fukunaga and the Anti-Japanese Movement

(p.48) Chapter 3 Myles Yutaka Fukunaga and the Anti-Japanese Movement
From Race to Ethnicity

Jonathan Y. Okamura

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter recounts one of the most significant historical events involving Japanese Americans prior to World War II: the conviction and execution in 1929 of nineteen-year-old nisei Myles Yutaka Fukunaga. Despite his very likely insanity, Fukunaga was hanged for the kidnapping and murder in 1928 of a ten-year-old haole boy, Gill Jamieson. The chapter first narrates the murder of Jamieson and the capture of Fukunaga before discussing the extremely unjust judicial proceedings, the Japanese American community's resistance to Fukunaga's conviction and sentencing to death, and the different discourses about race in the case. It analyzes the case in the larger racial context of the prevailing anti-Japanese movement at the time and the manner in which haoles raced to convict and execute Fukunaga. It argues that Fukunaga's guilty verdict and hanging were enabled by the “two kinds of justice in Hawaiʻi” that denied him, as a Japanese American, a fair trial.

Keywords:   murder, Japanese Americans, execution, Myles Yutaka Fukunaga, kidnapping, Gill Jamieson, race, anti-Japanese movement, haoles, justice

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