Early Korean Immigrants in Hawaii: Their Social Backgrounds and Politics, 1903-1915

Wednesday, March 09, 2005
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Room 3232, Campbell Hall
Los Angeles, 90095

presented by...


The UCLA Asian American Studies Center




Center for Korean Studies






Yong Ho Choe, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus, History

University of Hawaii, Manoa



Arrivals of 7,200 Koreans in Hawaii to work on sugar plantations in 1903-1905 marked a great historical significance as it opened a way for contacts of Korean people at a grass-root level with the Western world, in which Christian church acted as an important intermediary.  Contrary to earlier contentions, newly discovered data indicate rural and agrarian origins of the early Korean immigrants to the United States.  With the tragic news of Korea being reduced to a colony in 1910 when Korea was annexed by Japan, the Korean immigrants in Hawaii played a key role in the independence movement to regain Korean sovereignty.  Claiming to be the representative organization of all oversea Koreans, the Korean National Association (KNA) was the main instrument of Korean nationalist activities in the United States.  In 1915, there was a big clash over the control of the KNA in Hawaii between two giant leaders—Syngman Rhee and Pak Yong-man.  Going beyond the issue of the KNA domination, the 1915 conflict entailed disagreements over the strategies of Korean nationalist movement abroad.



This program is funded in part by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

For more information contact the AASC at (310) 825-2974.

Cost : Free

AASCTel: (310) 825-2974

Sponsor(s): Center for Korean Studies, Asian American Studies Center, Henry Luce Foundation