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While immigrants from mainland Japan had been [[Japanese immigration to Hawaii|coming to Hawaii]] since [[1868]] (and more regularly since [[1885]]), Okinawans first began emigrating to Hawaii in [[1900]]. Though initially recruited as contract laborers, by the end of the year in 1900, the Organic Acts passed by the US Congress had outlawed contract labor, freeing Japanese and Okinawan plantation workers alike (along with those of Chinese, Korean, Filipino, and Hawaiian descent, among others) from their contracts.
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While immigrants from mainland Japan had been [[Japanese immigration to Hawaii|coming to Hawaii]] since [[1868]] (and more regularly since [[1885]]), Okinawans first began emigrating to Hawaii in [[1900]]. Though initially recruited as contract laborers, in June 1900, mere months after their arrival, the Organic Acts passed by the US Congress had outlawed contract labor, freeing Japanese and Okinawan plantation workers alike (along with those of Chinese, Korean, Filipino, and Hawaiian descent, among others) from their contracts.
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[[Toyama Kyuzo|Tôyama Kyûzô]] is generally regarded as the "father" of Okinawan immigration to Hawaii. With economic conditions growing increasingly dire in [[Okinawa prefecture]], which had been [[Ryukyu shobun|annexed by Japan]] in the 1870s, Tôyama, a leader of the [[Freedom and People's Rights Movement]] (''Jiyû minken undô'') in Okinawa, petitioned the Japanese government to allow Okinawans to emigrate overseas in search of better lives.
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[[Toyama Kyuzo|Tôyama Kyûzô]] is generally regarded as the "father" of Okinawan immigration to Hawaii. With economic conditions growing increasingly dire in [[Okinawa prefecture]], which had been [[Ryukyu shobun|annexed by Japan]] in the 1870s, Tôyama, a leader of the [[Freedom and People's Rights Movement]] (''Jiyû minken undô'') in Okinawa, petitioned the Japanese government to allow Okinawans to emigrate overseas in search of better lives. The first group of Okinawans to arrive in Hawaii numbered 26, and began work on Ewa Plantation on O'ahu a week later.<ref>Odo and Sinoto, 200.</ref>
    
Once in Hawaii, Okinawans formed their own community, separate from that of the Japanese, who observed somewhat different customs, spoke a different language, and showed prejudice against the Okinawans. They would later go on to form separate social organizations, separate Buddhist temples, and the like.
 
Once in Hawaii, Okinawans formed their own community, separate from that of the Japanese, who observed somewhat different customs, spoke a different language, and showed prejudice against the Okinawans. They would later go on to form separate social organizations, separate Buddhist temples, and the like.
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==References==
 
==References==
 
*Franklin Odo and Kazuko Sinoto, ''A Pictorial History of the Japanese in Hawaii 1885-1924'', Bishop Museum (1985), 80.
 
*Franklin Odo and Kazuko Sinoto, ''A Pictorial History of the Japanese in Hawaii 1885-1924'', Bishop Museum (1985), 80.
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<references/>
    
[[Category:Meiji Period]]
 
[[Category:Meiji Period]]
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