Permission to record, edit, re-broadcast
Interview Robynn Takayama
Transcript created June 8, 2005
:10 My name is Theresa Bill and I’m the program coordinator for Bridge to Hope at the University of Hawaii and yes, you have permission…
Focus on women. 1908-1920 as PB period. Why these dates and who are we talking about?
:45 If you’re talking about picture brides to Hawaii between 1908 and 1920, you’re particularly talking about J, K, and Okinawan women and they are actually, when you do immigration history, ally labeled as J female immigrants because they are all under the empire of Japan. And you’re also talking specifically about women because after the 1907 Gentleman’s Agreement, the restrictions on male immigration for laborers were much stricter, but women were able to immigrate as spouses or family members much easier.
1:25 Can you explain the dynamics of the GA?
1:43 The GA is indeed a nice label in terms of the diplomatic powers between the US and Japan come to an agreement amongst themselves that the J will limit their immigration of male laborers to the US. And it’s done in a, it’s a GA because it’s done in a very superficial, in terms of specifics and no one’s talking about the real impetus behind the restriction on male immigration. And it is indeed a racist response on the part of the US because of pressure from white workers believing that J laborers and other Asians are impeding or restricting their access to employment. So it’s really a political answer to a race driven economic problem between laborers in the US.
2:53 Conditions in Asia/push factors for p.b.
3:10 1908-1920, the factors that are really pushing immigration for, sorta what are really working people in J, O, K sort of experiencing so that they would leave to the US or HI. In J, there is a huge cultural change in terms of the placement for what can people who are not first sons have access to in terms of land. There’s changes in the government and opportunities for people. And what you see a lot is everybody is always leaving their country because they need more access to land so that if they’re farmers, that’s their means of building their own family security. And the US and HI are places where people are seen as being able to acquire their resources that they can then purchase land.
04:14 In K, especially for immigration to HI, because immigration to HI a lot of times is linked specifically to the recruiters who are recruiting people for the sugar cane plantations, there are people who are political dissidents that have difficulties or are repressed politically because the J government and their Korean nationalism. So you see a wave and a push of people who are here because of political reasons. You also see people who are specifically from Korea who are involved with the Methodist church because they are interested in religious freedom and are practicing Christians. So that’s a cultural issue in addition to the economic difficulties people had.
5:05 And in Okinawa, it’s similar in terms of people desiring access to the resources so they can buy land or aquire land for their family.
Now women aren’t usually connected to thinking about acquiring land for families. So every body’s stories are different, but a lot of times, what you see are women who are particularly adventurous in terms of a willingness to leave their home community, to agree to an arranged marriage to someone who’s not only outside their family, but very ver far away. So some people have a sense of adventure, but then you also have people who, women who, just because of the composition of their family and their communities are in arranged marriages that maybe they would prefer not to leave their families and move so far away, but they do. And usually people have some kind of…people think about picture brides and think about it as a very barbaric kind of practice, but it was actually in the early part of the 20th century, using photographps and steamship travel, a very modern interpretatioan of arranged marriages. It’s just that people are then having to live far away from the community from which they would otherwise grow up or supervision or social support as well.
6:50 Dissilussionment. What did the women expect and how did the truth playout?
7:04 Immigration always has a multi-faceted kind of interpretation. People’s expectations are very, very high. There’s always the pr and the media expectations and the folklore. Every body coming to the US or HI are expecting that they are going to make a lot of money.
So in terms of people being disillusioned or not having the experience that they expected, I think women on the whole, one the most easily documented experience they had is whether or not their husbands are the persons they proclaimed themselves to be to the matchmakers and to the families of the women. So that there’s always folklore/stories about men who utilize their better looking friend’s photos or younger mens…or they send photos of themselves when the photos is actually 20 years old so that by the time they have an arranged marriage and a bride, they’re much older.
I think women were expecting that if you went to HI, you would work hard, but there would be financial gain. And that the largest disillusionment is the same that all immigrants had. That the return, the expectation for how hard you have to work and how hard it is to save money so that you can return to your homeland or you can send money to your family that reality becomes very very harsh and people expect that, they hear the propoganda that recruits people to come to the US or HI says, oh they’re paid $.65/day and that translates into very high wages. But people don’t then also take into account how much does it cost to live here and the difficulties of emigrating itself in terms of paying the passage. Or if you’re in a place and you’re vulnerable and you’re lonely, that you don’t always save all your money, that you might spend some of it drinking, or socializing, or gambling, or doing things like that.
So I think that a lot of the dissappoinments are that people have very high expecations about their immediate financial gain and the harsh reality is that the working conditions are very poor, the wages are very small, and the community is very isolated so people have financial and emotional difficulties.
what was PB women’s relationship to the plantation? Did they have to work? Did the plantations want them?
:22 The position or the place of pb in the larger plantation/sugar plantation community or hierarchy has a couple of different facets. One is that the planters did encourage their J male laborers to bring brides and to establish families. There’s always this discussion about how single male laborers are cheaper in terms of wages because they don’t need a family wage, but they’re also less stable in terms of employment. So on the whole, planters were interested in facilitating women coming to the sugar plantations.
But once they arrive, it isn’t such that they have a requirement that they have to work. Young families, they’re here in the US/HI because they want to earn money so they’re going to utilize everyone they can. If you have a nice young, strong, healthy woman who can work, then she’s probably going to work. And what you see with female employment on the plantations are women work on the fields and do fairly traditional employment until they have their first child. And then once you have a child and you have a family, then some women continue to work in traditional field work but then other women find other ways to earn money.
But women’s employment certainly means that they are not the primary workforce for the plantation. So the planters are not the most particularly concerned about how we keep female employees or what do we do. There’s pressures from the J community or the O/K community also, any community that has women and children, that if women need to be in the workforce on some plantations there’s day care centers and there’s some accommodation for mothers who are working, but on the whole, the plantation is not that interested or concerned about women as plantation workers.
They are involved with women in terms of health care and child’s healthcare. [in what way] In the 1920s, a number of plantations target women’s and children’s health as ways they can interact with the families so that there are clinics and public health nurses and that that is an avenue that the plantation and the larger society have access to plantation families.
What happens to sugar plantations in HI and I always want to encourage people to remember that every plantation is a little bit different. They have different managers. And the companies that own the plantations, different companies have different reputations about how much they’re willing to spend on sort of employment resources. So some plantations like Ewa plantation on Oahu, have reputations of being very socially responsible kinds of places. That if you’re going to work someplace, that’s a good place to work. And people who grew up on those plantations can articulate and remember the kind of social and paternal programs that plantation had. Ewa plantation had an excellent health clinic. And then other plantations had reputations of being hell holes to work in. And that if you lived there, they didn’t invest hardly anything into their human resources. So they’re not going to put money into a day care center, they’re not interested in why you’re not coming to work. If they’r enot getting the kind of productivity that they want from their workers, they’ll either get new workers, fire these guys or force them to work. So it really depends on the plantation and the plantation manager and who owns the plantation in terms of social paternalistic programs.
And the social paternalism is the nice face of the plantation. Some managers believed that a satisfied work force will produce more for you than an unsatisfied and angry workforce that’s always had problems. So some people agree with that philosophy and then other people are “we’re here to make money and we spend this much on wages and we expect this much in production,” so they don’t spend so much on the social production of labor. 5:40
5:50 Typical day for women on the plantation and how did women’s work compare with men’s work
6:05 A typical day for women sugar plantations in HI starts very early in the morning, about 4 am. And women need to, of course this is the early 20th century. If you’re going to cook for anything, you have to start your fire and boil your water before every body else is up. So 4 AM, women are up. They are beginning to cook breakfast and lunch because you have to take lunch with you.
:10 A typical workday for a female plantation work in the early 20th century starts very early in the morning about 4:00 in the morning. She’s got to get up, make a fire, boil water, make a breakfast, cook lunch, and have every thing ready for people because they are going to start their actual work day at 7 AM. Usually people are lining up at 6:00 if they have transportation to their outlying field. Work days are 10 hours a day, so about 11:30, there’s a short break for lunch and then people work ‘til …1:50 They’ve gone to work in the fields. 11:30 is usually lunch time. You have a half an hour for lunch and so you’re eating your lunch that you made this morning. And because the work day is 10 hours long, 4:30 in the afternoon is when people are finishing up and going home. And then of course for women, this is the beginning of their second job. Because they’re going to go home and have to start their fires and cook dinner for their family. If their children are doing school, if they’re doing anything in the garden, if they’re doing any other activities for earning money, they’re going to be doing that after work. Lights out whistles are usually at 8:00 that night, so they’ve got between 4:30/5:00 and 8:00 to do all their family work. Although a lot of times, women are staying up beyond 8:00 finishing up any sewing they need to do, any kind of creating of clothing, foodstuffs, items for their family. And spending time with their children. Women’s work days are long and continuous, very much like contemporary women in terms of having a paid job for wages and going home and having a fulltime job with family responsibilities after their day work.
3:30 What was their labor like in the field and how does that compare with men?
3:38 Most women who are employed by the plantation in field work are a lot of times they were working in women’s gangs, so they did particular kinds of work for the plantation so often depeding on the season in which they’re working, it’s cutting new seedlings for the cane (pule pule) or pulling weeds (hoe hana). So they’re doing some of the same back breaking work that men are doing in the fields, but they also do some of the less physical work. But less physical is all relational because hoeing for 10 hours a day is still back breaking labor and cutting pieces of cane as young seedlings is still hard physical labor. They’re not involved in as much heavy lifting and carrying. They’re also not involved in the higher paying more skilled work either, so they’re not in the machine shops or taking care of animals or doing things that would earn them more pay. So they have a fairly limited range of repetitive, highly physically demanding work.
5:08 Women’s relationships. Ethnically separate camps/women’s work gangs mixed? Division of class (some pb came with an education)? Support structures
5:55 Women who are employees of the plantation. It’s hard because the plantation community as a whole, some women are working in the fields as employees. They’re field workers. And women’s gangs on the whole tended to be women of different ethnic groups. It kinda depended on the demographics of the particular plantation. J women are the overwhelming majority (80%) of the female workforce on the plantations. So you get a lot of ethnic solidarity in terms of they’re the most numerous even though in their work gang, there might be women of different ethnicities as well. And I think that you hear stories from women that they knew and worked with women of different ethnic groups in the gang but the issues about women really building solid relationships are who do you entrust your children to, who do you borrow money from, who’s your best friend and I think that on the whole, the ethnic divisions between the living arrangements that people had if they’re living in ethnically segregated camps as well as language difficulties because immigrants are speaking their own languages and they’ve developed a workplace language of pidgin, but you’re not going to develop a highly engaged and very emotionally deep relationship with someone that you can’t speak with. So I think that women were knew each other and could empathize and work together on a social level, but support systems were really between women of their own ethnic group. And some of that has to do with who you feel comfortable with, who shares your cultural beliefs and your religious beliefs, and the really important thing about pb in the continental US and HI is that they are in a place where they do not have a multi-generational female support structure and they are really needing to rely on other young women. Some of them may be a little bit older, but there’s what someone once shared with me: the blessing of having moved without your mother-in-law, but also with that comes, you also left your sisters!
So unless you have other women and so what happens is that women create strong relationships with other women who are in similar situations. A lot of times they’re not their sisters or sister-in-laws. Sometimes they are. But mostly they’re women who are in the same predicament as they are. They’re women who are in a new land, have to raise families. These are also women who don’t have a long and strong tie to child bearing and child birth so that midwives become really important for this cohort of young women. Because we don’t think about if you move some place and your mother wasn’t there to help you with childbirth. Your older sister isn’t there. You have to rely on other women in your community.
And so women are bulidng relationships more through who is it that came to HI at the same time they did who’s experiencing things similarly.
9:50 Now there is definitely a difference in terms of whether you were an urban person in Okinawa or Japan, and then, or if you were a rural person. People like to think that farmers were more able to adapt to industrialized labor, but I don’t think that’s true.
Sugar plantation production is industrialized labor. It is industrial work. It isn’t like farming in that it’s on a time schedule. It is very rigid and works by the clock and it doesn’t matter what the weather is like, it doesn’t matter what happened. You have to work from 7AM -4:30 PM. So that rigidity and industrialized work is something that was really overwhelming for everybody.
Now whether you had any expectation that you were going to perform physical labor, certainly women from rural communtiites are used to doing their fair share of hard manual labor, but urban women also found themselves thrown into plantation labor and learned how to adapt.
The other thing is that some women couldn’t physically do field labor, so they would do other things to earn cash for their families. And so you see women involved in entrepreneurial activities so that if they are doing the laundry or cooking meals or sewing clothes for the single male laborers of that plantation, …
11:40 Women who are involved in other entrepreneurial activities like laundry, food production, making meals, selling foodstuffs, sewing for the male laborers of their plantation communities, that’s how women who earned money, once they had children, if they had to leave the fields, or if you were incapable of working in the fields anyways. And what you see with the early Filipinas is that a lot of them, you don’t see them in the plantation systems because they’re busy serving and working within their own community, but not in a paid labor force capacity. So they’re still cooking and cleaning and sewing for men, but it’s harder to see that in the historical record.
12:42 Disillussionment: good pr. How did pb make that transition to the reality of their lives.
13:15 When pb are confronted with the reality of their immigration in terms of if their husband is not who he said he was or the work life is much harder than they expected, I think you hear stories where it’s not often said, but you can extrapolate from it that women sort of subsumed a lot of their own emotional pain. People are crying all night, but then realizing what can you do? That emotional release. It’s like you’re stuck here, but when you look at what your options are: you have to pay for your passage back or find a way to leave. Some people left their husbands, not lots of them. But that was an option for some of them. But I think for the most of them, the strength of women of assessing their situation, realizing how limited their options were, and then deciding to focus on those things that they could actually impact. And one of them is how are they going to make their life as best as they can, so they’re going to work as hard as they can to save money for themselves or their family to go back home or to send money to their family. Or, once they’ve been here for a while, and this is the immigrant story for HI’s local people is realizing they’re not going back, you have a family here, then spending your time and energy on focusing on the betterment for your children. And then also, commiserating with your friends because you’re all in the same boat and the expectations that people had and then over the years, a lot of older immigrants assess that the long term gain that they have is a positive one. But, we have to remember that those are the people who decided to stay. And htat the people who returned, either returned because they had enough money to return or they returned because they decided that HI or the continental US was not what they wanted to do and they were not going to achieve their dreams here.
16:00 How did women integrate child bearing into their life and work. What role did men play with child rearing
16:15 It’s difficult because from what I’ve seen in historical employment records, there are some women who are always employed on the plantations even in their child bearing years and they’re raising children. And for those that have access to someone who can watch their children while they’re on the plantations fields or they have a baby home or a child center, they can combine field work and child raising. But for many women, once they have children, there’s this transitional time because when you have really young children, you would stay out of the plantation fields and try and earn money doing laundry or other money earning activities. And then once your children are old enough to watch the other children, you can return back to the fields for paid employment.
So I think women are always a very important economic contributor to the family in that their family requires that they earn some kind of money. So whether it’s wages in the field or they’re doing laundy and meal preparation or sewing or any other kind of little thing, growing vegetables and selling those, they’lll do that. And what women have to do is it depends on their own personal resource set of who can help them with child rearing.
I have not heard a lot of stories that indicate that there was a large amount of father involvement in child rearing. So I think for the most part, in the 20th century, very few cultures in the world have any expectation that fathers are going to provide direct child rearing. So it really falls on women. And hwat happens a lot of times is that families that might be in debt especially, or families if the women is widowed, you see that the eldest daughter is someone that the mother really leans on heavily for them to care for the younger children, their siblings, so that their mother can go to paid employment. Or that they themselves leave school to go into paid employment. So it’s reall mothers and elder daughters that form this economic foundation for both the family as a complete economic unity (because men’s wages are so small) but also the eldest daughters keep the families running if the mother is involved in other activities.
19:25 Triple oppression (female, non-white, working class). Describe these oppressions on the plantation and how women coped.
20:09 So Asian women on the plantations have a triple burden of oppression in terms of as women in the plantation communities, they are not equally valued as workers. They do not have equal voice or position in their families, and as Asian women in the plantations certainly being non-white means that the racial hierarchy, you’re lower. But even within the Asian communities, there’s different hierarchies for different ethnic groups. And then being working class and the producing class of HI puts another burden in terms of being compensated in such a small way for such an enormous amount of work.
And this really becomes a heavy load for women and I think women of color throughout history find they’re similarly situated. But as immigrants, you have less access to power. You have less access to the English language. You have less access to other earning opportunities. And on the plantations, there really is a sole source of power and that is the plantation and the plantation manager. It is a very constricting and restrictive community and if you were brought to HI on a contract, you were expected to fulfil that contract and of course, if you are earning very small wages, a lot of families were in debt to the plantations. So it was not a matter of just being able to pick up and leave and start anew some place else.
How women really addressed these or engaged or keep themselves going despite these oppressions and the difficulties, I think in terms of the gender oppression, women really had strong communities with their peers and that’s always been a strong resource for women. That despite how lonely or isolated they might feel from their family of origin, that they end up forming very strong friendships with particular women.
In terms of the ethnic and racial oppression, I think women are involved politically in some labor organizing and some political activities, depending upon their particular personal interest. So you see some K community women who are very involved with K nationalist activities.
Also, people come with a strong belief of who they are as their own…like no one in J think’s I’m J and this means that I’m going to be different from other people when I get to HI. People are who they are but when they come to a different place and find out they are being treated differently because of their ethnic background, then they have to begin to think about the power structures that reinforce this and how can they acquire or wrestle some power for their own community. I think that’s how some women put their energy into child rearing and education for their children, feeling that will help the larger community in addition to the local community politics.
People also, when they leave their home countries, don’t just abandon their politics and things from their home country either. People are involved with the political discussions and political turmoil of hteir home countries.
In terms of the class issues in HI, I think people came to HI. They understood that they were going to be laborers, but might not have understood that they were going to be at the bottom of the hierarchy. And I think that’s where you see more of the labor organizing and political organizing in terms of feeling that we might be laborers, but we have a certain level of human dignity and we require a certain level of payment and we have to be able to sustain ourselves (sort of the Marxist reproduction of the workforce, that if you don’t pay us enough that we can build our families and build a community, then we have to engage in organized behavior and organized resistance. And that’s where you get the labor organizing).
25:40 How did women’s immigration develop plantation culture?
25:57 The influx of pb really begins to change the plantation community from an overwhelmingly single male laborer community and culture to one that’s more focused on families, especially within the J community. There’s always been women and there have always been families. And different ethnic groups on the plantation have different demographics in terms of the Port or the Puerto have strong family development, but they also have a lot of single male laborers. But with the direct large influx of pb, you see this change in to more of a focus on meeting the needs of families and laborers who are heads of households. So part of it is that you end up with demands for better housing, you end up with demands for more pay because workers who have families need to earn more. They might be more stable in terms of employees and come to work more than single men, but they also have more obligations. You also see some development of social organizations that are not just for single men.
But you also see this bifurcation. You have to remember that if we’re talking about single male laborers, we’re talking about 17, 18, 19, 20 y.o. males and they’re very interested in alcohol, gambling, prostitution, and organized sports and those are activities that are in direct opposition to what are established as family concerns, right? That if you have a family, community based concern then you’re interested in limiting access to all of those things. And you’re also concerned about your children’s access to all of those things. And you’re concerned about young girls’ access to a community that has a high density of single males.
So pb really are the beginning of the turn towards a more family oriented and community base that’s more than just single men, so that you can begin to see there’s more religious organizations, there’s schools, there’s social—there’s always social organizations, but when they’re meeting the needs of single men, they do different things than when they’re meeting the needs of families. And with families, you also see that people begin to have an orientation towards the future that includes their future and they begin thinking about whether they are going to be staying where they are living and investing in making that particular place better as a community or are they going to be working there for a little while and then they are going to be moving on. So you have people investing more of themselves both politically and emotionally in a community that includes what they see are their children.
29:22 Women’s contributions to labor resistance. Individual acts. Strikes.
30:02 Women’s participation in organized labor resistance or organized labor takes a couple of different leads. The largest labor strikes or events are in 1909 or 1920 when there are island-wide strikes on the plantations. Women are definitely a part of the field labor force at that time and they are very much a part of withholding their labor during these strikes. Women are not particularly visible in terms of the leadership of the strikes, but the 1920 strike does include demands for maternity leave and other issues that were particularly important to women. They were also important to men (in terms of maternity leave and acknowledging that their female waged workers in the field who need a break and the ability to come back to their employment after they have their children).
Women are also of course, vital in the traditional sense of offering support service during a strike so that if people are kicked out of their plantation housing like they were during the 1920s strike, then who is feeding the strikers, who’s taking care of families, who’s maintaining and pulling together the tent cities where people are congregating after they’ve been expelled from their housing.
So women are really needing to be, you have to visualize them every where because the historical record doesn’t give a clear picture of where they are. We have to assume that they are involved in everything, but because of their family responsibilities they are not going to be at the forefront of a lot of public events. They’re not the leadership, they’re not the vocal members, but they are able to articulate that they have concerns like materinity leave for the 1920 strike.
Now the 1909 strike, there are many fewer women who are in the field labor at that point. Their immigration comes after that strike. But the women who were involved are solid in their walking away and striking the plantations. So the 1909 strike is particularly of J workers. So what the planters then believe is they have to expand their labor pool beyond the J because they’re constituting 75% of the labor force and that includes women.
After the 1920s we see women are having children and we see fewer women as field laborers. But some of the second generation women are working in the offices and in the 1946 strike, we see women not so much as field laborers, but more as community support and giving emotional as well as physical sustenance to the strikers. It’s actually, there’s a need to be more imaginative about where we see women in individual resistance and in collective reistance except to know that they are solidly supporting those strikes and those labor events. Because there’s no way you can have a 100% (or nearly 100%) walkout with out the support of your family and women in your community because that’s the key component that they play.
34:46 Cheap labor, why men specifically recruited and how were women viewed. And why J had 1:5 women ratio
36:45 Males are targeted primarily for labor recruitment because they are capable of working very hard. Plantation labor is physically exhausting. It is physically exhausting for men as well as women, but certainly men are associated wih much more physical labor. Also, you do not have to have community oversight of single males in that communities are less likely to send young women to be recruited for work unless there is a means by which you can secure their physical and social and mental well being. So men would be recruited primarily because they can leave the community and go some place that might not be well monitored.
In terms of having a requirement that a certain percent be female has to do with a couple of different things. One is the same desire to have a community that is not entirely single males and that there is a desire to have women as the bearers of family and social and community morays. And also because the J government was aware of the anti-Asian sentiment of the US against C laborers. And C laborers did not have a requirement to recruit women, so the J government is interested in having families and women as a competitive work force. And that’s more diplomatic in trying to address: they knew there was anti-A and anti-C sentiment. But the US is not good about differentiating between Asian populations. So the J were saying we’re not China, but we’re still going to maintain a more well-rounded community and include women as immigrants.
39:45 Myth of working hard to send $ home. Intentionally misled to secure cheap labor force? And how this fits into capitalism and US expansion.
40:45 The discussion about the expectations immigrants have because of the recruitment that’s made, the belief that recruiters will pitch to all immigrants that the US is the place paved with gold and that’s where you can make your fortune, was never an accurate depiction of what people actually had to do. You’re never really sure if people in their heart of hearts, they knew nothing could be that easy, but they didn’t necessarily know how hard it would be.
Immigration requires that people leave a secure known community for an unknown place and unknown work. So recruiters have to, if they gave people the reality of how it was, that you’re going to work 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, and you’re going to be so tired to get up the next morning but we’re going to kick you out of bed and whip you until you get there, nooone would come if they knew that was the reality! I think a regimented and underpaid workforce is how the sugar plantations make their profit. They could theoretically afford to pay more. They could have shorter work hours. But the work is still going to be physically back breaking. Industrialized labor. The US grows because of the blood and the sweat and the tears of all its industrial workers, immigrant/native, but especially its immigrants who are paid the smallest amount of wages possible. And that workers really have no way until they’ve engaged with this industrialized machine to calculate or understand what they’re expected to give in return for what they’re going to get.
Immigrants have always been the most vulnerable and the least paid of workers in the US and HI. And it is a.. there’s a link between our own national mythology that everyone works their guts out but then it’s better for their children in the next generation. And that’s our mythology because people who stayed here are the ones who say this was worth it. We don’t in our mythology take into account the people who said, “Forget this. I can’t do this anymore.” We forget about the people who are broken physically and emotionally and who their children are left to themselves or else they don’t’ have children.
And young single men, this labor force that gives their physical strength and energy to this industrialized machine, they have to be replaced. They can only work for so long. So that’s part of the recruitment and the mythology. You have to be continually recruiting because the plantation machine and as well as the industries on the mainland are just chewing young workers up. That’s how industrialization works and that’s how progress and growth are made. And I don’t think that people can ever have a clear idea of what it is that’s required of them when they’re immigrating. If you told them what it’s going to be like, no one would come.
45:26 Plantations as a vehicle that brings HI a part of US, but can you talk about plantation history and it’s relationship to US colonization of HI/annexation. And Asians being the low paid/unpaid laborers on the west coast vs. African slaves on east coast
The development of sugar plantations in HI and it’s relationship to the colonization of HI and its acquisitoion or the over throw of the kingdom of HI. Sugar is intimately involved in all of this developoment. When the sugar planters and the sugar factors (the people who owned plantations) are all owned by offshore corporations and they’re all owned and run by Americans. With the development of sugar and the industrialization of sugar, HI needs to be able to sell their products. And they develop the reciprocity Agreement with the US between the kingdom of HI and the US where the US will accept HI’s sugar without placing an importation fee in exchange for the PH delta. So it is really the militarization of HI and the US is intimately interested in HI because of PH.
And what happens is the sugar planters are Americans who are living in HI. And the kingdom of HI does not require that they become citizens. So the sugar planters are very interested financially in what the kingdom of HI and the US are doing, but the US, until PH becomes part of the negotiations and something the US can aquire, the US doesn’t care about HI’s sugar. But with the ability to access PH and then begin to export sugar to the US tarrif-free, then there’s a lot of infrastructure development and money flow into HI through sugar. So that the development of the sugar industry correlates with the American white elite in HI, which then challenge and are part of the overthrow of the HIan kingdom, so that HI’s loss, the kingdom of HI’s loss to the US is a military overthrow, but sugar is intimately involved in pressing for HI’s giving of the PH delta to the US.
3:10 Colonization and how building a colony requires low paid labor and NH is dying or could choose not to work, so in terms of US colony in HI, how does the plantation laborers and pb fit in.
4:30 The relationship between the sugar industry and the US in its development in terms of HI as a territory of the US, once it is overthrown and taken. But HI really works as a colonial economy in terms of the workforce is low-waged, the workforce is vulnerable to exploitation and expulsion (if you’re an immigrant and the US decides no more J immigrants, there aren’t going to be any). It also has as a colonial economy, the top teir, the people who are implementing economic and political decisions are those white Americans who also control financially the plantations. So that what colonies are about exporting and exporting natural resources for the benefit of the host country so that HI is busy growing sugar and exporting it and the money that is made from this is made for corporations that are American and that benefit a very small percentage of the population and there’s a small educated and white colonial administrative level. NH are still involved in terms of the local legislature, but they’ve been disenfranchised by the US taking HI as a territory. And the US is most interested in HI as a resource for its military so that it is then a refueling station for Pacific exploration and Pacific wars. So every thing that HI does industrially becomes an important resource or is directly tied to what the US needs, either militarily or economically. And the US doesn’t need sugar from HI, then they’re not really that interested in it, but once it becomes a territory, it is more responsible to meet the needs of HI’s sugar industry.
Now in terms of labor, Asian immigration and women immigrants. For a colonial economy, you have to have a workforce that is replaceable and is under duress in terms of that there is an ability to say no more immigration from this country or we’re going to return you. And we see in HI in the 1930s with the economic debression that F are encouraged to return to the F and because the US has also colonized the F, there is a much more fluid migraion between the F and the US, but the US also has a lot more power over that immigration and those immigrants.
5 home country [to replace paragraph above]