During World War II, authorities arrested and incarcerated Japanese on the island of Hawaiʻi due to racist fears. Many scholars skim over the details of the incarceration of residents of neighbor islands as part of the larger narrative of Oʻahu incarceration, where authorities held Japanese, Germans and Italians at sites like Sand Island and Honoʻuliʻuli. However, these lives and experiences are meaningful to understanding the incarceration experience in Hawai‘i and expanding the focus beyond Oʻahu to encompass the neighbor islands and rural areas—two areas still in need of study in order to understand the history of Hawai‘i’s Japanese.
Kelli Y. Nakamura is an assistant professor at Kapiʻolani Community College. Her research interests focus upon Japanese and Japanese American history and she has published articles in the Journal of World History, Amerasia, the Historian, and, also, the Hawaiian Journal of History. She also teaches at the Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies, and History Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa focusing on gender and race during World War II.
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