Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/156

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quite different from that of the coolies, the half slaves, of the continent of Asia.

These laborers were treated essentially as slaves in Hawaii. They carried with them none of the culture of Japan, they received none in their new homes. They did not go as colonists. The Japanese with homes do not willingly leave these homes where "their own customs fit them like a garment," to form new ones in another region. The Japanese are not spontaneously colonists. They will go to other lands for study or for trade or for higher wages. But they go with the hope to return. The coolies went to Hawaii solely under the incentive of higher wages. When Hawaii was annexed to the United States the shackles of their slavery was thrown off, and the same impulse of higher wages carried them on to San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver.

In 1899, Mr. W. W. Scott, of Honolulu, a former resident of Japan, warned the Japanese authorities of the dangers involved in this movement of Japanese laborers to California. Their lower standard of living and of wages would make them exploitable. This would bring them in conflict with labor unions. Economic clash would beget race prejudice, and Japan could not afford to be judged by her least attractive and least efficient representatives. Influenced by these and similar considerations the Japanese government in 1899 refused passports to all unskilled laborers, and since that time none have come from Japan direct to the Pacific states.

But in response to the continuous demand of Hawaii they were for a time allowed to go there. Japanese people already constituted the great majority of the population of these islands. Even after passports were refused to laborers going to Hawaii, the immigration of coolies from Hawaii to San Francisco still continued.

There was and is a very great demand for Japanese help among the orchardists of California. No other labor has been adequate and available and it is not easy to see what the fruit interests are to do without Japanese help. In this work the European laborer has scarcely entered into competition. The prices paid the Japanese are not less than the wages of American labor in the same lines. The demand for Japanese workers in household service and in canning establishments has also been great and unsatisfied.

From the fisheries which the Japanese have almost monopolized in British Columbia and in Hawaii, they have been virtually excluded by statutes limiting the fisheries of California, Oregon and Washington to citizens of these states. Unless born in the United States the Japanese can not become citizens.

A large portion of the Japanese laborers avoided the orchards and established themselves in the cities where, as laundrymen, restaurant