Monday, August 22, 2011

"A Friendship That Grows"

Over this past weekend I was at the Hawaii State Library perusing the microfiche records of Honolulu’s Star Bulletin, today known as the Star Advertiser.

In September, 1960 Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko (now Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko) came to Hawaii. The occasion was the 100th anniversary of the arrival here of the Japanese Embassy on the USS Powhatan, but also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first large group of immigrants from Japan. They came to work in the sugar plantations.

Virtually nothing was substantively reported on the Japanese Embassy. More coverage was given to the arrival of the Japanese sugar workers. This somewhat surprises me, given the visit by members of the imperial family from Japan.

Below is the text from various stories mentioning the first Japanese diplomatic mission from 1860.

A Friendship That Grows

Star Bulletin: Thursday, September 22, 1960

A century ago, Hawaii, then an independent kingdom, entertained representatives of Japan on their way to Washington to sign a treaty of commerce and amity with the United States.

Today, Hawaii, now a full partner in the sisterhood of states, welcomes with even more enthusiasm than that displayed 100 years ago the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan, on a good-will state visit commemorating the important centennial.

Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko also will help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first large group of immigrants from Japan to work in Hawaii’s booming sugar industry. Sugar had made rapid gains after King Kalakaua negotiated a trade treaty with the United States in 1875.

The contribution of the Japanese to Hawaii’s growth is self-evident. Today the children and grandchildren of the early immigrants are among the business, professional and civic leaders of the community, and hold positions of high trust in our government.

Hawaii has been charmed by Prince Akihito before. He won our hearts in 1953 as a modest youth of 19. Today and tomorrow we expect to be charmed also by his attractive young princess, whose marriage into the royal family attracted almost as much notice in this country as it did in Japan.

The Japanese royal coupe will find Hawaii hospitable and friendly, eager to make their visit as pleasant as possible. For they are more than a personable young couple, they are symbols of a people with whom Hawaii has inseparable links.

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