Dr. Kale Yu, Assistant Profesor of History, publishes essay in the journal from the Center for Pacific and Asian American Ministries (CPAAM) at Claremont School of Theology in Pasadena, CA. This journal article explores life on the Hawaiian plantations in the period 1905-1945, through the lives of Korean immigrants and their children, spanning the era from the tumultuous fall of Korea's last kingdom through the Interwar War years and into World War II. Their lives and history encompassed two of the most significant changes for this first generation of Korean immigrants: the conversion to Christianity, and the impact of the fall of Korea under Japanese colonization.
The lives of Koreans on the Hawaiian plantations illuminate the nature of the anxieties they experienced, and reveal the patterns of church communities that served as focal points of not only their religious devotion but also political mobilization and activities. This article explores the ways in which Korean church communities in Hawaii were influenced by nationalistic sentiment, and vice versa. As the local church became the center of the Korean community, the church also embraced policies of Korean self-determinism and movement toward independence.
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