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stated at this meeting that its purpose was “to consider the ways and method for securing higher wages for Japanese laborers on plantations;” that the name for the organization formed that night, proposed by Negoro, was So Kiu Kishi Kai, meaning “Higher Wage Consummation Association.” After the name had been approved, officers were elected. Makino chairman, Negoro secretary, and “Yamashiro, if I remember rightly, treasurer.”. In Makino's speech he declared that they should get at things in the spirit of old Japan"-"yamado tomasi” meaning “the spirit that drives everybody away' -no matter who the contestants may be. Whenever the Japanese go into a certain thing with a determined purpose of arriving-accomplishing a certain thing, they use that spirit, that yamado. Negoro says that when the strike was got up “we went there. The laborers formed higher-wage associations, but had no official connection with us," although “we agreed to assist it through.” Although, as he claimed, the higher-wage associations throughout the group had no official relations with each other, their formation was in a way “caused by the Honolulu association." At the meeting at the Y.M.C. A. building, the officers-Makino, Negoro, and Yamashirowere authorized to appoint a committee of 20 other members of the association, Negoro stating that the “way or method or system of securing higher wages was to be left entirely to the discretion" of the committee; Tasaka saying, “We must do our best, and in order to accomplish that purpose we must stick together;" and Makino and Negoro urging that higher wages be secured “regardless of consequences."

The agitation for higher wages was conducted at first as a publicopinion campaign, not only among plantation laborers, but also among the English-speaking residents of the Territory. Its weakness was principally that it was a plea for the Japanese as Japanese, and not for labor as a whole; and therefore the appeal did not inspire lively sympathy among workers of other nationalities, either on the plantations or in outside industries. But the argument of the Japanese Higher Wage Association was well presented, as is indicated by the following copy of its published demands upon the Planters' Association, together with the arguments and the exhibits in support of these demands:

HONOLULU, HAWAII, January -, 1909. Hon. W. O. SMITH,

Secretary Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association, Honolulu. Sir: The Higher Wage Association is asking for a raise of wages of the plantation hands to a sum above $22.50 a month, and we beg to state as the grounds thereof the following: We ask for an increased pay for plantation hands, because we think they deserve it and because they are doing the same amount of work, of equal quality, within same space of time, as done by any labor of any other nationality.

The Japanese here are not coolies. They are both here and in Japan equal of any man before the law. The class distinction has been abolished in Japan 50 years ago, and there is no coolie class in Japan, though there are laborers. Therefore they deserve the same consideration as any other labor. They are an ambitious, industrious, and frugal people, ambitious to improve their conditions and better their lots and leave their children wiser and richer than themselves.

In asking for an increase of wages, we are not seeking to get control of the plantations. Nothing is further away from our intentions than any such alleged ulterior motive. On the other hand, the demand for higher wages comes from the economic and social progress of the time. The general standard of life in Japan has risen so much that small savings of the laborers-a few hundred dollars, say-no more guarantees an easy life, as used to be 10 or 15 years ago. The general tendency, therefore, among the laborers is to settle here rather than go back to Japan with a small savings. Consequently the number of laborers who send for their wives are increasing, and with increase of the married laborers the number of children are also increasing. And increased social expenditures inevitably follow the formation of family by the laborers. Thus in the recent years the status of plantation laborers has undergone a complete change from a transient to a settled labor, a change which should be welcomed and encouraged by the planters and other well-wishers for the future of Hawaii, because Ilawaii is going to have a resident and citizen labor.

The prices of the daily necessities have increased 25 per cent since the present wage schedule has been adopted. The 25 per cent of $18 is $4.50. For the laborers, therefore, to maintain their life as easily and as comfortably as before they must have $22.50 at least. When we further consider the multiplication of churches, chapels, temples, and schools, and the increase of the laborers' dependents, such as their wives and children, all impartial observers will agree that the demand for a wage of $22.50 or more is neither extravagant nor extraordinary.

It is often stated in the papers representing the planters’interests that the general average of wages earned by the Japanese laborers are not less than $20 per month. In answer to this statement we must state that we are not asking for $20 but for $22.50 or more a month, and, that it is not a fact that common laborers, for whom we are demanding higher wages, are earning $20 a month, but the fact is that they are getting only $13 or $14 a month, and this only by laborers of more than average industriousness. The wage schedule at the present time is $18 per month of 26 working days, and the laborer is deducted a day's wages for every day of the month he did not work. Under such circumstances how can a man earn every month $20 or more than that sum? We admit that there are Japanese hands who are getting higher wages than $18. But they are not common laborers. They are lunas, carpenters, and mill hands, and others who are doing work requiring skill, training, and experience. The class of people for whom we are demanding $22.50 a month at least are not those working men but unskilled laborers. These unskilled laborers are given only 69 cents a day, and, as experience shows, no one can work more than 20 or 21 days per month on an average throughout the year, their earnings can never exceed $13 or $14 a month. The physiological reasons and the social responsibilities of the laborer render it impossible to work more than that number of days. Such being the case, how can a laborer earn $20 a month? It is not we whom the planters are dealing with, but the laborers. And they know how much they are earning every month, and they say that they are not getting more than $13 or $14 per month on an average.

It is sometimes stated by the planters that men doing contract work, such as the cutting of cane, the loading of cane, or those who are raising cane on contract system, are getting $23 or more. We know that there are many evils in connection with the contract system and that there were more failures than successes in the contracts. But granting for the sake of argument that all contracts are beneficial to the Japanese and that they are getting $23, the fact nevertheless remains that not all Japanese are engaged in the raising of cane on the contract system or other piecework and that to engage in those employments they must possess an enterprising spirit and business ability and special physical strength not possessed by ordinary laborers. The earnings of men engaged in those branches of employment can not properly be taken into consideration in the discussion of the wages of common unskilled labor.

Common laborers are getting, and they can get, no more than $13 or $14 per month. With this small income how can they maintain their wives and children decently and properly? How can they provide for their old age, for sickness, and other unfortunate circumstances? The labor is given only a living wage. The living wage for the single laborer and a living wage for a married laborer must be different. The present wage is insufficient even for a single laborer, because the prices of daily necessities have increased. How much more so when we consider the increased responsibilities of the married laborers, whose number is gradually increasing among the Japanese hands on the plantations?

In building up Hawaii's sugar industry, the Japanese have contributed 70 per cent of its labor force. The labor statistics show the following percentage of Japanese labor to the entire labor force of Hawaii who were employed in the upbuilding of Hawaii's sugar industry:

Year. 1894. 1895. 1896 1897 1898 1900.

Per cent.

69
60
57
50
60
74

Year. 1901. 1902. 1904. 1905. 1906. 1907.

Per cent.

71 74 71 C5 64 73

The labor which did so much for the upbuilding of Hawaii's only industry is certainly entitled to moderate increase of wages when the prices of daily necessities have advanced and their social and family responsibilities have increased, so as to enable them to maintain their families and their dependents in a decent, respectable manner. The number of women has increased from 17,338 in 1904 to 19,604 in 1907. And as the number of women coming to Hawaii has increased since the beginning of 1908, there will be no less than 21,000 or 22,000 at the present time. This is an increase of some 5,000 women when compared with that of 1904, the year before the present wage schedule was adopted. Large as the number increased is, it is only the beginning—it only shows the tendency of the thing. According to the latest statistics of the Japanese consulate, there are 25,000 to 35,000 unmarried Japanese male population in these Hawaiian Islands, who, if they could, would all send for their wives.

At the present time there are some 20,000 Japanese children between the ages of 1 to 17 who are dependent upon laborers.

To meet the spiritual and educational wants the Japanese laborers now maintain 59 churches and missions, with 61° ministers and preachers, and of these, fully one-third of its number was added since the present wage schedule was adopted. They have 68 schools, with a teaching force of 80 teachers and assistants. Of this number, 61 per cent was increased since 1904, the year before the present wage scheddule was adopted, and 37 per cent since the present wage schedule was adopted.

Of these churches and schools, most of them are, to say the least, very moderate affairs. There is only one temple which cost $20.200 and less than 10 which have cost $6,000. All the rest are buildings of from $600 to $1,000, wherein the laborers worship their God or their Buddha and give their children their education. A large amount of money is needed to build respectable churches and schools as worthy of the name of free labor.

Further, the life in the present quarters given to the Japanese laborers is utterly unfit for married men or for bringing up their children, both from the sanitary, and moral points of view. The laborers need money for building their homes.

The planters might say that laborers are sending money home, and that this shows they are saving at the present rate of wages. But we want to say to this that the amount sent to Japan has not increased this five or seven years, though the prices in Japan have increased more than in Hawaii which is 25 per cent. Therefore, the laborers here are not giving as substantial support to their dear ones in Japan as used to give five or seven years ago. In other words, the amount of money sent to Japan has actually diminished in terms of the prices of the daily necessities. Further, we want to submit that the efficiency of Japanese as labor is equal of any, and therefore they are entitled to increase of wages until their wages equal to that given to laborers of other nationalties, both in money, house, and land. And in this connection it is wholly immaterial, if the Japanese laborers are now sending or saving more money than before. If they were millionaires, still they are entitled to demand $22.50 a month and a house and a lot of i acre of good land, because they do the same amount of work of equal quality in the same space of time as other laborers who are given $22.50 and an acre of good land and a cottage.

It is a danger to any community to have a large mass of underpaid and underfed laborers. They may not know themselves that they are being wronged, but they will be a ready material which will serve the demagogic purposes of ambitious and unscrupulous men. If the wages be increased to a sum above $22.50, with an acre of good land and a decent cottage to live in, this community will have a contented, intelligent, and substantial resident labor, who can look beyond their own immediate welfare, and give thought to the general welfare of the community. In other words, the increased wages will give Hawaii a middle class of substantial citizens.

We beg to take this opportunity to correct the often reiterated but erroneous view of the planters that the plantation hands themselves are not favoring the increase of their wages. The movement has been on for nearly five months and the laborers in plantations are thoroughly awakened to the fact that they deserve an increase in their wages to such a sum as will equal the wages given to the laborers of other nationalities, and that they are doing equal if not more than the laborers who are given $22.50 and land and a cottage. We have many thousands of members who are the plantation laborers. The entire labor of Waimanalo has joined our association, and from Halehaku many hundreds of laborers have joined our association; from Makaweli came a letter under a signature of a man signing his name as the representative of labor, applying that the laborers in that plantation be allowed to join us; and we received from other plantations many earnest and enthusiastic letters. We have many letters and cards of application in which the applicants have affixed their seals, which are considered by the Japanese as equal of their reputation, property, and even life itself. And we further beg to state here that among our members we have many small merchants in and around the plantations, whose customers are Japanese laborers working in plantations. With these facts before you how can you say that the demand for higher wages does not come from the laborers themselves? How can the charge that the movement for higher wages is carried on by irresponsible persons be sustained ? Are the laborers irresponsible persons when they demand a higher wages? Are the merchants, who are supplying to the needs of laborers, irresponsible persons when they join in the demand for higher wages for the laborers ? Are we irresponsible persons, when we are backed by such strength of real parties in interest? We and our members who have joined our association are laboring under a great disadvantage, and yet we have succeeded in securing such a number of membership. We would suggest to the planters that we and your representatives go among the laborers and personally ask them if they do or do not want their wages raised, giving, of course, in the first place, a guaranty that they will not be fired out if they express their wishes for a higher wages. But no such circuitous way is necessary. Our demand is not unreasonable. We are not thinking what we will do if our request be not heard by the planters. We are trusting to the planters' good sense and sense of justice and equity, and trusting that they will listen to the voice of reason and justice.

In conclusion, we beg to submit that the demand for a higher wages is based upon the following reasons:

1. That the efficiency of Japanese laborers is equal of any labor who are getting higher wages, and that therefore they are entitled to demand equal wages as the labor of other nationalities; and that therefore the demand for an increase to a sum above $22.50 a month is not unreasonable.

2. That the prices of their daily necessities have advanced 25 per cent since the present wages schedule was adopted.

3. That the churches and schools have to be increased in number and that their spiritual and material qualities must be improved.

4. That the true and lasting welfare of Hawaii demands an increase in wages of plantation hands.

5. That the demands for a higher wages is indorsed by all plantation laborers and merchants who sell them their daily necessities.

6. That the Higher Wages Association is actually backed, in its demand for a higher wages, by thousands of laborers themselves and morally by the entire Japanese population in these islands.

100781°—Bull. 94-11

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