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In Defense of JusticeJoseph Kurihara and the Japanese American Struggle for Equality$
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Eileen H. Tamura

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037788

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037788.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Growing Up American

Growing Up American

(p.9) Chapter 1 Growing Up American
In Defense of Justice

Eileen H. Tamura

University of Illinois Press

This chapter traces Kurihara's childhood in Hawaiʻi. Kurihara was born on January 1, 1895, two years after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and three years before the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution that resulted in the occupation of the islands as an American territory. Kurihara first attended Kaiulani School in September 1903. Like his classmates, many of whom were also children of immigrants, Kurihara was a U.S. citizen because he was born in Hawaiʻi. According to the Organic Act, which created the Territory of Hawaii, all who had been citizens of the Republic of Hawaii—which meant those born or naturalized in the Hawaiian islands—were “declared to be citizens of the United States.” In race-conscious America in the early twentieth century, however, the meaning of citizenship for racial and ethnic minorities was amorphous. Thus, Kurihara and other Asian Americans were often treated as noncitizens or as “new” Americans.

Keywords:   Hawaiian monarchy, American territory, Kaiulani School, Organic Act, U.S. citizenship, Asian Americans, new Americans

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