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Voices from the CanefieldsFolksongs from Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawai'i$
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Franklin Odo

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199813032

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199813032.001.0001

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Despair and Defiance

Despair and Defiance

(p.39) 3 Despair and Defiance
Voices from the Canefields

Franklin Odo

Oxford University Press

Sugar plantation work in this early period, into the 1930s, was harsh and unprotected by unions or effective legal enforcement. Field overseers were demanding and sometimes cruel. Picture brides who had never met their husbands in person were disappointed in spouses and living conditions, often worse than the poverty they had fled. But workers, including women, confronted despair with various forms of personal and collective agency, defying powerful forces, whether overseers and bosses with strikes or husbands with desertion.

Keywords:   Picture brides, Alcohol, Gambling, Prostitution, 1900 Chinatown fire, Oppression from Japanese government officials

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