“Gannenmono Spirit and Hawaii-Japan Relations”

Professor Masako Iino
Published with Permission

Hawai‘i is one of the most popular destinations for Japanese tourists. When they fly into Honolulu, the first thing they notice is that the airport has a name: the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. He was the first Japanese American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives (1959) and, later, the first in the U.S. Senate (1962). At the airport, tourists also find an exhibit titled “Celebrating Our Local Heroes,” highlighting the accomplishments of Daniel K. Inouye and Wally Yonamine, a legendary Hawai‘i-born baseball player who played in Japan for nearly four decades. This makes the Japanese visitors to Hawai‘i feel quite at home. It also strengthens the positive image of Nikkei in Hawai‘i that they have through media reports and by learning the history of Hawai‘i, including the history of the Gannenmono. Japanese people in Japan are aware of the great contributions Nikkei have made in Hawai‘i, in the U.S. and, consequently, in the world.

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