Nakayama Joji

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Nakayama Jôji was a Japanese official of the Meiji period, prominent in particular as head of the Japanese section of the Hawaiian government's Bureau of Immigration.

Nakayama served as head of the Customs House in Yokohama in 1872, before being named Japanese Consul General to Rome that same year, and then becoming a member of the Imperial Household Staff in 1876.

In 1885, he came to Hawaii aboard the City of Tokio, alongside the first Japanese contract laborers to immigrate to Hawaii. Shortly afterwards, he became head of the Japanese section of the Hawaiian Bureau of Immigration. In this position, he earned around $250 per month,[1] in addition to profiting from various fees and the like he imposed upon the plantation workers; for example, for a time, he charged workers an additional fee to bring their wives to Hawaii - a fee which was paid not to administrative or governmental budgets, but into his own pocket.


  • Franklin Odo and Kazuko Sinoto, A Pictorial History of the Japanese in Hawaii 1885-1924, Bishop Museum (1985), 50, 55.
  1. For comparison, plantation workers during this period made on average $9-15 per month.