Hawaii 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 Hawaii'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. They also reveal complex fissures of class and religion within the Japanese communities themselves. The author's comparative analysis of the Japanese communities in Hawaii, California, and Washington presents a clear picture of what historian Yuji Ichioka called the "distinctive histories" as well as the shared experiences of Japanese Americans.
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