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that of other progressive communities—below average cost in the United States-notwithstanding the fact that in Hawaii the cost of educating a public school pupil is distributed among ten of population as against a ratio of a little less than one to five in the United States as a whole.
5. Stated in other words, though the men of Hawaii have had less than half the burden of public education that men elsewhere are bearing, yet they have not been willing to bear even this half burden either capably or with entire cheerfulness.
It is indeed regrettable that while tens of millions of dollars are being poured into the fortifications of Hawaii its public schools should be permitted to remain in such unsatisfactory conditions. That fortification is obviously directed against Japan, the one nation in the world which will never attack the American territory unless forced to do so by the provocative attitude of our own people. The fortification is superfluous and the money expended will be wasted. How much wiser and more sensible to expend a few million dollars for schools and libraries and thus win the affection and loyalty of the Orientals, instead of wasting twenty-million dollars for the construction of forts and naval bases! Apart from such moral significance, there is to be considered the question of unhappy influence of soldiers upon the civilian population. Already the Japanese living in the neighbourhood of the military barracks have begun to complain of the disorderly conduct of the troopers. It is consoling to think that this armament scheme of the Federal Government is deeply regretted by the moral leaders of Hawaii. Mr. Theodore Richards expresses the general sentiment of such leaders when he pleads for "a million for defence to partly offset twenty million for offense,” arguing that
the extensive system of forts and mines against Japanese would be far more effectively replaced by a friendly appeal to them on educational and social lines.
Such a friendly appeal has just been made. As I write the leading citizens of Hawaii issue an open letter pleading for the naturalization of the Japanese. The plea, coming as it does at the moment when both Japan and the Federal Government are at a loss to find the way out of the California land imbroglio, is especially appealing. It contends that the only way to prevent the development of such embarrassing situations as have been created by the land legislation in California is to grant the Japanese the privilege of naturalization; it expresses a strong confidence in the assimilability of the Japanese; it argues that the proverbial patriotism of the Japanese, instead of being an obstacle to their Americanization, would prove an asset to the United States, once they are permitted to swear allegiance to the Republic. The signatories to the letter are all prominent Americans in Hawaii representing all fields of activities--educators, pastors, missionaries, editors, bankers, merchants, and men connected with sugar plantations.
The leading Americans in Hawaii believe it to be their mission to demonstrate the possibility of fusing diverse races, and in the educational, social, and political crucible to turn them into homogeneous Americans. The task seems herculean. Can it be done? The most thoughtful educators of the Territory answer, emphatically, “Yes. It is being done now. It has been done. Both Chinese and Japanese born and nurtured in Hawaii are among our best citizens."
At the same time Hawaii must most jealously guard itself against the undesirable influence which must inevitably result from the increasingly greater influx of
immigrants from Russia and Southern Europe. This seems a task no less difficult than the assimilation of Orientals. And yet the Americans in the islands are perfectly confident of their ability to dominate the Territory. That confidence is well expressed by President Griffiths when he says:
“Hawaii at present is absolutely American, not only in its affiliations, but also in the very fibre of its thought. By aggressiveness and cohesion in thought and action, 10,000 Americans have absolutely dominated a territory with 170,000 people. Immigrants have been assimilated. Through the medium of the public schools, children of foreigners have been made into patriotic sons and daughters of Uncle Sam. The Asiatic has not affected the political or social fabric. He has been in, but not of, the life of the Islands. He has lived side by side with the dominant race, which has not yielded or given way.”
May the fair isles forever remain the abode of goodwill and fraternity, the triumph of the Prince of Peace, and the conquest of race prejudice by force of sympathy and justice!
“ THEY HAVE USURPED HAWAII”
T has become a fashion among American critics to
speak of the “Japanese usurpation” of Hawaii, as
if Japan has done something she ought not to have done. The truth is that the islanders of Nippon would never have usurped Hawaii, had they not been invited and coaxed by all means to do so. We are a singular nation, letting big interests bring all sorts of aliens pellmell, and when these aliens take hold, making our grumblings heard in a manner not always rational. Let me tell you how the Japanese had to usurp Hawaii, willynilly.
In 1868 a steamer appeared in Tokyo Bay, and created a sensation among the natives of Nippon with an announcement that she came there to recruit labourers for sugar plantations in Hawaii. The Sunrise Empire had been opened to foreign intercourse only a decade, and the people had known nothing of the plantations in the Mid-Pacific islands. So they took but little interest in the announcement, but a small number, less than fifty, were induced to sail. That was the beginning of the Japanese “invasion" of Hawaii.
And yet the men who so earnestly invited Japanese invasion treated the pioneer invaders from the Orient in no generous manner. From the stories told by later immigrants there is no doubt that these early labourers from the Orient met brutal treatment at the hands of the plan
tation overseers. The rumours of inhuman treatment, somewhat exaggerated as they travelled across the ocean, reached the Japanese authorities, who thought it their duty to despatch a vessel to Hawaii and recover the labourers who had been taken there. That ended the prelude to the Japanese usurpation of Hawaii, for the Mikado's Government saw no wisdom in sending immigrants into a country where they were likely to be subjected to maltreatment.
But the sugar interests did not give up the scheme so easily. They were simply biding their time to renew negotiations with the Japanese. So in 1884, when sixteen years' interval dimmed the memory of the unhappy experience of the early immigrants, the planters induced the Hawaiian Government to approach the Japanese Government with a view to resuming the importation of Japanese labourers. The Mikado's Government, with due regard to its dignity, declined to enter into any agreement which would make it a sort of labour agency, but consented to connive at the shipment of labourers in a tentative way. That resulted in the introduction of 953 Japanese,-676 men, 156 women, and 108 children. Again the result was unsatisfactory and the Tokyo Government decided to suspend further emigration of its subjects to Hawaii.
For the third time the planters, through the Hawaiian Government, made earnest efforts to persuade the Japanese Government to open the doors for emigrants to Hawaii. Japan was in no mood to lend ear to the representations of the planters, but the latter's repeated solicitations finally resulted in a labour convention between the Mikado's and the Hawaiian Government. By that time Japan had perceived the necessity of a formal agreement of a nature to prevent the ill-treatment of