Zenichi Kawazoe Newspaper Scrapbooks Collection on Japanese in Hawaiʻi, 1916-1970

Permanent URI for this collection

The Zenichi Kawazoe Newspaper Scrapbooks Collection on Japanese in Hawaiʻi contains 191 scrapbooks of clippings from Japanese language newspapers published from 1916 to 1970 that were compiled by Zenichi Kawazoe. The scrapbooks are on various subjects relating to the Japanese community with articles mainly from newspapers: Beifu Jiho (Tokyo), Nippu Jiji (Honolulu), and Hawaii Times (Honolulu).

The Nippu Jiji, a Japanese and English language newspaper published daily except Sundays from 1905-1942 in Honolulu, is known to be one of the two most influential general circulation Japanese language papers in Hawaiʻi during the 20th century. According to Hawaiʻi newspaper scholar Helen Chapin, “the paper served to remind island Japanese of their heritage and encourage them to become good citizens in their new home.” The paper was shut down after the start of World War II but reopened again by the military in January 1942. The paper was renamed to Hawaii Times in November 1942. The Hawaii Times also known as Hawai Taimusu was a Japanese and English language newspaper published weekly in Honolulu from 1942-1985. According to Chapin, the paper was “a leading paper in the Territory and the State achieving a circulation of 12,000.”

The bulk of the clippings are from the 1950s and 1960s. The clippings are arranged in chronological order. Some of the clippings are arranged chronologically in the Eastern manner (right to left), while others are arranged in the Western manner (left to right). The scrapbooks have no pagination. The majority of the collection is in Japanese with little content in English. The descriptive records for each scrapbook lists an approximate date range, a brief description of subjects covered, the newspaper titles the clippings are from, and the style (Western or Eastern) the scrapbook pages are arranged in. This information was compiled by a Japanese language student. The Issue Date field is the first date listed of the approximate date range. The Series/Report No. lists the newspaper titles of the clippings.

Kawazoe’s collection of scrapbooks shows a deep concern for and interest in the lives of Japanese and Japanese Americans. The scrapbooks document political and cultural events in Hawaiʻi and Japan, as well as issues between Japan and Hawai'i. The articles and advertisements detail life in Hawai'i’s Japanese community and the collection also includes a handwritten list of newspaper articles and a chronology concerning the Japanese in Hawaiʻi.

The scrapbooks were part of the Kawazoe collection, a collection of printed records of Japanese in Hawaiʻi and materials about Japan that was donated to the UHM Hawaiian Collection by Zenichi Kawazoe's daughter, Jean Kawazoe on January 31, 1989. The donation was accepted by librarian Michaelyn Chou who managed the UHM Hawaiian collection at that time. The collection included 25 boxes of books, notebooks, and other printed materials concerning Japanese in Hawaiʻi from the estate of the late Mr. Zenichi Kawazoe. Franklin Odo brought this collection to Chou’s attention and personally delivered the materials. The 191 scrapbooks from this collection were added to Hawaiian Rare and are the ones that are digitized and made available in this collection. The rest of the materials were published books and were added to the Hawaiian and Asia Collections with a bookplates inserted with the name of “Kenpu Kawazoe.”

Zenichi Kawazoe, also known as Kenpu, was a reporter for Nippu Jiji and Hawaii Times. He was born in Papaloa on the island of Hawaiʻi in 1904 to issei parents and passed away in 1971 at the age of 67 at Kuakini Hospital in Honolulu. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Kawazoe was interned on Oʻahu at the Sand Island Detention Camp and at the Honouliuli Internment Camp. While at Honouliuli, Kawazoe would share stories about the hardships endured by the issei. Harry Minoru Urata, a fellow internee and a mentee of Kawazoe’s recalls, “He used to talk to me about the immigrants, so I took interest. 'Urata-san,’ he would say, ʻyou know what happened, what the issei people went through?”

Kawazoe had a lasting impression on Urata. Years later at Kawazoe’s urging he devoted his life to documenting the hole hole bushi songs that were sung by issei laborers while they stripped dry leaves from sugarcane. After the war, Urata recalls his mentor Kawazoe telling him, “Urata-san, how 'bout you? You know about hole hole bushi and you know the language. How 'bout you interviewing?”

In an unpublished manuscript, Confidential stories at Honouliuli internment camp located at the Japanese Cultural Center originally written by Jack Y. Tasaka in Japanese and translated into English by Ari Uchida of Hawaiʻi, a poem written by Kawazoe called Moon night at Sand Island was recorded. The words from his poem are below:

Isolated from the world outside, on this Sand Island,
Tonight watching moon over palm trees,
Though our outside world forgotten,
The longer I watch, the more I feel depressed.

I miss my old life,
With my wife and children at our backyard,
Watching moon with our joy,
Now, I am very alone watching.

I am a son of immigrants, 
Built our foundation in paradise Hawaii,
It took us two generations,
Why, why am I detained.

Chapin, Helen G., Guide to Newspapers of Hawaii 1834-2000. Second printing, Hawaiian Historical Society, 2003.

“Hole Hole Bushi: Voices From the Canefields, Songs of the Heart.” Hawaii Herald, 4 May 1984, p. 7.

Tasaka, Jack Y. Confidential Stories at Honouliuli Internment Camp. Trans. Ari Uchida. [Honolulu], 1980. MS. Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. The Untold Story: The Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i. Web. [July 25, 2018].

“Tears flow from singing and finding ʻhole hole bushi’.” Honoluu Star-Bulletin & Advertiser, 2 Jul. 1978, p. A14.

"Zenichi Kawazoe." Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 13 Apr. 1971, p. D6.

Preferred Citation
[Item Title], Zenichi Kawazoe Newspaper Scrapbooks Collection on Japanese in Hawaiʻi, Hawaiian and Pacific Collections, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 123