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High Cultural Awareness : The Edge of Japanese Workers in Hawaii

Once they found a settled occupation, however, many sent for their families.

We find both in Hawaii and on the mainland, then, that Japanese families had a greater sense of family unity than did the Chinese. This resulted in two related cultural sensibilities with respect to the Japanese, especially in Hawaii. The family bond of Japanese on the mainland was strong, stronger than the Chinese, but in Hawaii it produced a unique situation because of the restricted career choices in that plantation-dominated culture.

Whereas the Chinese men who came to Hawaii before the Japanese were less burdened by consideration of caring for females, and therefore fled Hawaii after their first contract had expired , the Japanese were more obligated to stick out the unpleasant living and working conditions in Hawaii in order to care for the entire family and keep it together. In addition, the Hawaiians themselves---both the general populace and powerful officials capable of affecting immigration procedures---were more hospitable to the Japanese whom they saw as more like the Hawaiians culturally than the Chinese.

These facts from Chan are generally supported by Murayama. It would seem unlikely, for example, considering the sociological context supplied by Chan, that a Chinese woman would have had the same independent decision-making power that Sawa displays when she declares "I've made up my mind. . . . I'm throwing off Koso-san and embracing Isao-san and Hawaii."

The Japanese in cultural terms, according to Chan, put much more emphasis than other Asian groups on family and inter-generational relationships and in helping determine the future of their offspring:

More self-consciously than did any other Asian immigrant group, Japanese immigrants drew a clear distinction between themselves, the Issei (first generation), and their children, the Nisei (second generation). They also left a fuller written record than did any other Asian immi...

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High Cultural Awareness : The Edge of Japanese Workers in Hawaii. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:01, August 23, 2017, from
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