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Asian Settler Colonialism

From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawai`i

Candace Fujikane & Jonathan Y. Okamura (eds.)

Publication Year: 2008

Asian Settler Colonialism is a groundbreaking collection that examines the roles of Asians as settlers in Hawai‘i. Contributors from various fields and disciplines investigate aspects of Asian settler colonialism to illustrate its diverse operations and impact on Native Hawaiians. Essays range from analyses of Japanese, Korean, and Filipino settlement to accounts of Asian settler practices in the legislature, the prison industrial complex, and the U.S. military to critiques of Asian settlers’ claims to Hawai‘i in literature and the visual arts.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Front Matter

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pp. ix-xi

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pp. xiii-xiv

This book could not have been possible without Haunani-Kay Trask’s revolutionary words on Asian settler colonialism in Hawai‘i. In her keynote address at the 1997 International Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS) Conference delivered at the newly completed Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, she stunned audiences by identifying Asians in Hawai‘i not as “locals” but as settlers, and her political analysis has effected nothing less than ...

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Note on the Text

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pp. xv

Hawaiian is not a foreign language in Hawai‘i; therefore, Hawaiian words and phrases are not italicized. Words in other languages presented here are not italicized if they are included in English dictionaries (e.g., “issei” and “nisei”). ...

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Introduction: Asian Settler Colonialism in the U.S. Colony of Hawai‘i

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pp. 1-42

As indigenous peoples around the world continue to fight for their rights to their ancestral lands and self-determination, Native Hawaiians are engaged in their own struggles for national liberation from U.S. colonialism.1 It is no coincidence that in their own homeland, Hawaiians suffer from the highest rates of homelessness, unemployment, poverty, health problems, and incarceration ...

Part I: Native

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Settlers of Color and“Immigrant” Hegemony: “Locals” in Hawai‘i

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pp. 45-82

As the indigenous people of Hawai‘i, Hawaiians are Native to the Hawaiian Islands. We do not descend from the Americas or from Asia but from the great Pacific Ocean where our ancestors navigated to, and from, every archipelago. Genealogically, we say we are descended of Papahānaumoku (Earth Mother) and Wākea (Sky Father), who created our beautiful islands. From this ...


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pp. 66

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Hawai‘i and the United Nations

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pp. 84-70

Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace ...

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Hawaiian Sovereignty

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pp. 71-75

On August 12, 1998, over five thousand Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiian supporters gathered at ‘Iolani Palace to mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Hawai‘i by the United States. The event was not celebratory but was significantly political. The indigenous Hawaiian people had gathered to voice their strong opposition to the overthrow of their Kingdom ...

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pp. 76-98

Aloha no kākou. I greet you in the ancestral way of my people. Th e above mele hula (song/chant that is danced) entreats both the dancer and her people to resist dispossession. It implores Native Hawaiians to maintain a distinctive identity and by so doing legitimate and assert the present condition of Hawaiian resistance.1 It calls on Native Hawaiians to sustain cultural and political ...

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A Nation Incarcerated

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pp. 99-115

Native Hawaiians are being imprisoned in alarming numbers in our own ancestral homeland, making Hawai‘i’s incarceration rate one of the fastest rising in the country.1 With increasing deportation of Native inmates to U.S. continental private prisons, criminalization is yet another tool of American colonial power to control Native lands and deny Hawaiians sovereignty. ...

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“This Land Is Your Land,This Land Was My Land”

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pp. 116-154

In Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices (1997), cultural studies critic Stuart Hall argues that the act of representation, which he defines as “the production of meaning of the concepts in our minds through language,” is closely tied to identity and knowledge.1 In examining the positioning of people of color as “Other” by hegemonic white powers, Hall focuses ...

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‘Ai Pōhaku

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pp. 155-158

The Hawaiian landscape is a document of cultural history. The arrival of the haole to Hawai‘i brought a distinct entrepreneurial view of the land. The Hawaiian significance of places was hidden behind haole technology and architecture. Resort, military, industrial, residential, and highway development ravages our ‘āina. Man has replaced the gods. Man has forgotten their names. ...

Part II: Settler

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The Hawaiians

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pp. 161-169

It has been over thirty years since the psychologist William Ryan introduced the phrase “blaming the victim” into the language of social analysis.1 Victim blaming, Ryan explained, was an insidious technique newly employed by apparently sympathetic and liberal social scientists and politicians for dealing with the terrible suffering of America’s poor and abused. In contrast to older ideologies ...

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The Militarizing of Hawai‘i

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pp. 170-194

The forces of militarism and imperialism have indelibly shaped modern Hawai‘i. At the crossroads of Asia-Pacifi c commerce, Hawai‘i has long been a centerpiece of U.S. military strategy. Over a hundred years have elapsed since the United States of America militarily intervened in the sovereign Kingdom of Hawai‘i and forever changed the course of Hawaiian history, and still militarism ...

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Sites of Erasure

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pp. 195-208

In this volume photographer Stan Tomita and I would like our works, “whose vision, 2006” (fig. 1) and “Colonial Crimes: Settlers in Hawai‘i” (figs. 2 and 3), to ask uneasy questions about ourselves and other settlers. We are sansei, third-generation Japanese settlers, educators, and visual artists. Since the early 1990s several of our collaborative art projects have represented struggles ...

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Ideological Images

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pp. 209-232

In 1985 the Japanese settler community in Hawai‘i commemorated one hundred years of settlement on the islands with the Kanyaku Imin Centennial. It held numerous festivities, published an array of literature, and mounted photographic exhibitions to celebrate the rise of the Japanese people from poverty to financial success and from plantation laborers to respected professionals, businessmen ...

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Ethnic Boundary Construction in the Japanese American Community in Hawai‘i

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pp. 233-255

In 1996 a former University of Hawai‘i baseball player, who is a haole (white) raised in the islands, requested permission to play in the Japanese- only O‘ahu AJA (Americans of Japanese Ancestry) Senior Baseball League (hereaft er AJA League). The player, Bill Blanchette, indicated he wanted to play in the AJA League because it is the most competitive league for former college and ...

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Colonial Amnesia

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pp. 256-278

As a result of the countereducation afforded Hawai‘i residents by the Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement, Hawai‘i’s history of conquest by the United States has resurfaced, exposing numerous contradictions and questions for those who claim Hawai‘i as their home. Previous studies of race relations and popular ways of imagining Native Hawaiians have employed a domestic ...

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Anatomy of a Dancer

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pp. 279-293

These stories also relate the lesson that justice is within reach for even the humblest when one acts out of generosity on behalf of others. Th e necessity to act on behalf of others has been a theme of my own family’s stories. I have inherited this legacy—both as a burden and an inspiration—which has in turn guided not only the creation of my own artistic lineage as a dancer, but also my perceptions of place, action, and ...

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Local Japanese Women for Justice (LJWJ) Speak Out against Daniel Inouye and the JACL

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pp. 294-306

Th e following is a reprint of an op-ed piece we published in the Honolulu Advertiser on February 6, 2000. Th ere, we criticized U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye and the Japanese American Citizens League–Honolulu (JACL–Honolulu) for their roles in obstructing the process for Hawaiian sovereignty. We spoke out aft er a politically motivated media smear campaign against Native Hawaiian ...


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pp. 307-308


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pp. 309-318

E-ISBN-13: 9780824861513
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824830151

Publication Year: 2008

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Asians -- Hawaii -- History.
  • Ethnography -- Hawaii.
  • Hawaii -- Colonization.
  • Asian Americans -- Hawaii -- History.
  • Hawaii -- Ethnic relations
  • Imperialism -- Hawaii -- History.
  • Hawaiians -- Social conditions.
  • Hawaii -- Social conditions.
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