Hawai‘i’s Sugar Fields
This chapter too shows how poverty among Japanese immigrants on Hawai’ian sugar plantations differed from that in Japan’s cities. It begins with the reasons for immigration and the locales from which people came, as well as the process for getting to the plantations. A section on the sugar fields focuses on how hard the work was, how cruel overseers (lunas) were, and the role played by women. The section on camp life shows the importance of baths and temples and how the coming of women and of religious and educational institutions stabilized the camps. And a section on change discusses the emergence of labor activism, the remittances sent to families in Japan, the growing diversity of jobs, the improvement health care, and the importance of education, including Japanese-language schools. The chapter concludes that change occurred more rapidly in Hawai’i than in the hinminkutsu, for reasons that were primarily structural.
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