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Library Exclusion and the Rise of Japanese Bookstores in Prewar Honolulu

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Item Summary

Title:Library Exclusion and the Rise of Japanese Bookstores in Prewar Honolulu
Authors:Wertheimer, Andrew
Asato, Noriko
Keywords:Japanese Americans
Print Culture
LC Subject Headings:Japanese Americans
Date Issued:10 Feb 2019
Publisher:The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (IJIDI)
Citation:Andrew Wertheimer & Noriko Asato, “Library Exclusion and the Rise of Japanese Bookstores in Prewar Honolulu.” International Journal of Information, Diversity & Inclusion 3 (2019): 13-43
Abstract:Research on the history of print culture and library service to immigrants in America has almost exclusively focused on European immigration to the East Coast. Such a narrative, sidelines the experience of Asian Americans among others. This article explores how the Library of Hawaii, which was the Territory’s main public library ignored the needs of Japanese immigrants at a time when they made up the largest ethnic group. In 1940, there were 157,905 Japanese Americans in the Territory including first generation Issei, many of whom had limited English proficiency as well as Hawaiʻi-born Nisei or second-generation. Excluded from the public library, the Issei created their own rich print culture including at least 41 stores selling Japanese language books. This paper is based on archival sources, published reports, and secondary studies to cover the library history. In addition, the forgotten history of Japanese bookstores and reading in Honolulu will be brought into light by mining articles and advertisements that appeared in Honolulu’s Japanese American newspapers from the late 1800s until the beginning of World War II, when Japanese bookselling came to an abrupt end. The paper makes advances in terms of research approaches for the study of immigrant print culture and also offers insight for librarians today to reflect on when they consider the challenge of serving immigrants.
Pages/Duration:46 pages
Rights:CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Journal:The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (IJIDI)
Appears in Collections: Asato, Noriko

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