ハワイの歴史  ハワイに最初に移り住んだのは約1500年前のポリネシア人であったといわれる。1788年キャプテンクックにより発見、「サンドイッチ諸島」と名付けられたハワイ諸島は、その後1810年カメハメハ大王1世により統一されハワイ王国が建国された。その後、西洋文化との交流を経て経済的に発展し、1898年クーデターののちアメリカの属領となった。その後もサトウキビ産業を中心に発展を続け、そして1941年ハワイ真珠湾攻撃を起点とした太平洋戦争を経験し、1959年アメリカ50番目の州となり現在に至っている。
 日系人が2世、3世の世代となった1941年ハワイ真珠湾を日本軍が攻撃、日本は敵国となる。2000人以上もの社会的地位が高くコミュニティに対する影響力の高い日系人が強制収容所に収容された。そして、アメリカで生まれ育った日系人の若い世代もアメリカへの忠誠心を示すため、自ら志願し戦争へと参加した。その志願兵を含む、日系人のみで編成されたthe 442nd Regimental Combat Teamとthe 100th Infantry Battalionは歴史に名を遺す有名な部隊となった。戦中、戦後における日系人の功績が現在のハワイ社会における日系人の地位につながっていることを忘れてはならないだろう。
History of Hawaii The first people to settle in Hawaii were Polynesians, who began to arrive approximately 1,500 years ago. In 1788 the Hawaiian islands were discovered by Captain James Cook, who named them the Sandwich Islands. The nation of Hawaii dates to 1810, when King Kamehameha the Great united the islands under his rule. Later, after exchange with Western cultures began, the economy grew, and a coup d’état brought the territory under American control. Hawaii continued to develop, with industry focused mainly on sugar cane. The Pacific War began in 1941 with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hawaii became the 50th American state in 1959 and remains so today.
Japan’s relationship with Hawaii began with the abovementioned immigration agreement. The first 150 Japanese settlers in Hawaii, who arrived at the Port of Honolulu in 1868, are known as the gannenmono (“people of the first year”). The gannenmono toiled in the cane fields under harsh conditions, yet gradually the Japanese community grew, both in numbers and in social standing.
By the time of the Japanese Army’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii’s Japanese community was in its second and third generations. Japan was declared an enemy country. Given the high social position the nikkeijin (Japanese-Americans) had achieved, the effect of the attack was devastating: Over 2,000 powerful and influential Japanese-Americans were forcibly rounded up and interned. Younger Japanese-Americans, born and raised in the United States and eager to prove their loyalty, volunteered to take part in the war against Germany and Italy. These volunteers and other nikkeijin were organized into units composed entirely of Japanese-Americans, which bequeathed their names to history as the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion. It must never be forgotten that the meritorious service of these echelons and others during and after the war gave rise to the high social position the nikkeijin enjoy in Hawaii today.