Japanese women in Hawaii in the 1800s worked in the plantations, but many of them also worked as prostitutes.
As Hawaii served as a hub for the whaling industry in the 1800s, many transient men came to Hawaii, and the prostitution industry in Hawaii boomed. But who did the boom benefit?
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union activist Ada Murcutt laments the sex trafficking of Japanese women in Hawaii:
“… Japanese girls are employed on the plantations. They have … long hours and small pay. The procurer visits the scene of their labors and assumes the role of ‘guide, philosopher and friend.’ He generally begins by [sympathizing] with them in their hard lot and ends by promising to get them easy, lucrative employment in the city. The poor girl, ignorant of his wily devices, gladly accepts his proffered assistance, the plantation hoe or rake is dropped, the city is sought, and the first link in a chain … is forged, and too late the girl awakes to the fact that her erstwhile benefactor is her master and she his slave.”
Read more in the editorial “Slavery Under the Stars of Stripes.”
Today in history — July 2, 1856 — The Pacific Commercial Advertiser — later known as The Honolulu Advertiser — debuted on the streets of Honolulu. The first issue reported the marriage of King Kamehameha IV and Emma Rooke.
Read more about it in the very first issue!
Pacific commercial advertiser, July 2, 1856
The Pacific Commercial Advertiser was an Establishment newspaper in English and Hawaiian Honolulu, weekly, semiweekly, then daily except Sun,
2 Jul 1856–3o Mar 1921.
According to Helen Chapin, the PCA is the 2nd oldest continuously published newspaper in Hawai‘i. (The Friend began in 1843.)
Founding editor Whitney observed correctly that it is a paper “destined to exert more than an ephemeral influence on . . . our community and nation.” Original publication coincided in 1856 with the U.S. 4th of July observance. Except for 1880–1887, when Walter Murray Gibson ran it and supported King Kaläkaua and his policies, the PCA was editorially and in its news columns pro-American and pro-annexation. Whitney also began the Daily Bulletin, ancestor of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Other title: Daily Pacific Commercial Advertiser.
Included in Hoku Loa O Hawaii (Morning Star), which became a separate publication in 1856, and Nupepa Kuokoa (Independent Press), (1861–1927). Pubs 19th c: Henry M. Whitney, James Black, James Auld, Henry L. Sheldon, Walter Murray Gibson, W. G. Irwin & Co, Hawaiian Gazette Co, Lorrin A. Thurston; 2oth c: Lorrin A. Thurston, Advertiser Publishing Co, Thurston Twigg-Smith family, Gannett Co, Inc. Eds: 19th c: Henry M. Whitney, W. L. Green, H.A.P. Carter, H. L. Sheldon,Walter Murray Gibson, Joseph. S. Webb, Robert J. Creighton, Wray Taylor, Henry Northrup Castle, Arthur Johnstone, Wallace Rider Farrington, W. N. Armstrong, Walter Gifford Smith; 2oth c: Walter Gifford Smith, Roderick O. Matheson, Edward P. Irwin, Sam Trissel. Cont by Honolulu Advertiser, The (1921- )
Union List: AH mf, HSL mf, UHM mf General circulation.