Teaching Mikadoism: The Attack on Japanese Language Schools in Hawaii, California, and Washington, 1919-1927
- 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, AuthorNoriko Asato is associate professor in the Library and Information Science Program, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.