Teaching Mikadoism: The Attack on Japanese Language Schools in Hawaii, California, and Washington, 1919-1927

Paperback: $28.00
ISBN-13: 9780824888473
Published: October 2020
Hardback: $42.00
ISBN-13: 9780824828981
Published: November 2005

Additional Information

196 pages
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  • About the Book
  • Teaching Mikadoism is a dynamic and nuanced look at the Japanese language school controversy that originated in the Territory of Hawai‘i in 1919. At the time, ninety-eight percent of Hawai‘i’s Japanese American children attended Japanese language schools. Hawai‘i sugar plantation managers endorsed Japanese language schools but, after witnessing the assertive role of Japanese in the 1920 labor strike, they joined public school educators and the Office of Naval Intelligence in labeling them anti-American and urged their suppression. Thus the “Japanese language school problem” became a means of controlling Hawai‘i's largest ethnic group. The debate quickly surfaced in California and Washington, where powerful activists sought to curb Japanese immigration and economic advancement. Language schools were accused of indoctrinating Mikadoism to Japanese American children as part of Japan's plan to colonize the United States.

    Previously unexamined archival documents and oral history interviews highlight Japanese immigrants’ resistance and their efforts to foster traditional Japanese values in their American children. A comparative analysis of the Japanese communities in Hawai‘i, California, and Washington shows the history of the Japanese language school is central to the Japanese American struggle to secure fundamental rights in the United States.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Noriko Asato, Author

      Noriko Asato is associate professor in the Library and Information Science Program, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.