Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

1 - Reconciliation and Assimilation: Local, National, and Transnational Educations of Japanese Children in Hawaii, 1890-1915

Thursday, March 22
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Delaware Suite A, Lobby Level

In late 1800s, the education of overseas Japanese children emerged as a pressing issue for both the Meiji government and Japanese expatriate societies around the world. Focusing on the case of Hawaii as a unique testing ground of Meiji Japan’s concept of civilization and its agenda of overseas expansion, this study examines how the ideas and practice of educating overseas Japanese children (nisei) evolved along with the changing socio-political circumstances of the host society by the early twentieth century. Dealing with a quadrangle of relations between the local settlers, the Japanese Counsel General in Hawaii, the Japanese government, and a circle of Meiji intellectuals, the paper argues that the nisei (second-generation) education, as a key aspect of the community-building and identity-formation of the expatriate population, developed as a result of continuous interactions and negotiations among these parties, whose interests and priorities diverged at one point and converged at another. Through the lens of education, this study shows how the Japanese settler community managed to mobilize resources and support from the metropole to serve their own ends, a process in which it exerted considerable agency in constantly redefining its relations with both the home country and the host society. By contrasting the Meiji idea of state-led emigration and the historical development of the Japanese community in Hawaii, this paper also aims to cast light on how Japanese diasporic history is one of great fluidity and plurality, as the interests and aspirations of the expatriate society frequently diverged from state policies. 

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1 - Reconciliation and Assimilation: Local, National, and Transnational Educations of Japanese Children in Hawaii, 1890-1915



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