Library Exclusion and the Rise of Japanese Bookstores in Prewar Honolulu

Date
2019-02-10
Authors
Wertheimer, Andrew
Asato, Noriko
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (IJIDI)
Volume
3
Number/Issue
1
Starting Page
13
Ending Page
43
Alternative Title
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.
Description
Keywords
Japanese Americans, Print Culture
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
Extent
46 pages
Format
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Rights
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Rights Holder
Collections
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