Takeshi Takahashi reports on the 1909 strike of thousands of Japanese sugar workers to receive the same pay, they got half, as other workers on Hawaii’s plantations and appeals to fellow workers in the I.W.W. to support a Japanese language press.
‘Japanese in Hawaii Fight the Enemy, Appeal for Solidarity’ by Takeshi Takahashi from The Industrial Worker. Vol. 1 No. 18. July 15, 1909.
The brutal police force of Hawaii, it seems to me, are not able to crush the vigor of the awakening giant, the Japanese strikers in Hawaii. Most of the strikers, though, went back to the fields. They are preparing for more vigorous fighting in near future.
It was a fact that the Japanese union of Hawaii, numbering 9000 membership. In their convention which took place for several days, after stormy sessions decided that the general strike shall not be declared for sympathy toward the strikers of the Higher Wage Association. But a committee was appointed that will proceed immediately to the employers, demanding the wage asked by the strikers.
It was also a fact that a part of the Japanese workers opposed the action of strike. But when the strike happened they did not hesitate
to assist in supporting the fund from out of their wages: This action, however, did not escape criticism. Of course they failed, and they are once more ready to fight. If the general strike shall not be declared on July 8th the action will follow at some time next month.
Beware! The war between working class and capitalist class in the island is not to end yet!
The capitalists of the Island with the aid of governmental force succeeded at first battle, but our boys, whose spirit is expressed in their song. “We rather die and scatter like cherry blossoms than to be a coward of shame, existing like mere brick and stone,” will never rest till they shall win. The brotherhood of employers is realized between Japanese and American. A Japanese capitalist paper, “Hawaii Shimpo,’* associated with “The Call” and “The Advertiser,” attacked the strikers during the time.
Especially a donkey-faced fellow, namely, Uyeno, Japanese counsel general in his honorable position, must be remembered eternally. In our brain, as he was a most venomous antagonist of the strikers.
In another way, a game was also played on the same ground: “Japanese formed a conspiracy to seize the Island on behalf of the mother country.” Such lies are so familiar to us that any workingman can easily tell this is quite absurd.
The battle between poor and rich in the Island Is not to end. American workingmen agitate! Agitate Japanese slaves to revolt!
When they come to the field together with us in revolutionary economic action, the future of American labor movement lies on the field of triumph.
The figure of development of Japanese workers in the Island may be of Interest to you and you find how Japanese workers carry on the important production of the Island.
AN APPEAL FOR SOLIDARITY.
Fellow Workers: We, a group of Japanese workers, whose feelings are with you, undertook a little publication which Is known as “The Proletarian,” for the cause of Industrial Union. It is a little paper but certainly hits the right point! We are receiving every day many encouraging letters and comments from various parts of the country, though, a few of which from the enemy condemn us!—that Is to say, we have good references and a recommendation to give you.
“The Proletarian” is the paper that upholds the principles of the I.W.W., advocating in English and Japanese languages, therefore, it must be controlled by I.W.W.
One Label, One Union and One Enemy.
“Wherever and whenever” our motto must be this! We decided that “The Proletarian” should stand as an organ of I.W.W. Our banner must be a clear red in its label, and the whole object will be devoted to the I.W.W. That organization is the only revolutionary organization in America.
No. 2 will contain a brief translation of I.W.W. Hand Book, which explains the I.W.W. position clearly and concisely, and I.W.W. preamble with detailed comment. It will conclude with an invitation to Join the I.W.W. for individuals and groups. The address of I.W.W. local headquarters will be given in same edition.
Fellow Workers: Permit us to state frankly that we are in a very poor position to publish in the Japanese language where printing costs just twice as much as English. We are compelled to call for your aid.
So far, as the “Japanese question” Is a very heated one and one that also confronts you, we will not allow ourselves to fail to carry out the aims of the I.W.W. In this. Our mission is to overthrow present society and it finally, made us determined to undertake this work, though yet not able to afford It. We are not a writer nor speaker. We are all enslaved in Chicago by wages this hot weather. We engage in this “awful plot” after the day’s work, the only hours that our masters kindly allow us to take the rest for tomorrow’s sacrifice.
Will you appreciate our work and help us in sending your subscription for “The Proletarian”? As Japanese readers are limited in their number, we have to get subs among English speaking members and friends partly. Send your sub for “The Proletarian.” It contains English articles you may be interested in. Yearly sub. 25c. Address 302 Wells St. Chicago.
Besides keeping up “The Proletarian” we will try to organize the Japanese body accordingly with advancing of the organ. As soon as the paper will have firmly been established one of us will go west where the hottest campaign will possibly be expected.
Yours for industrial Freedom.
The Industrial Union Bulletin, and the Industrial Worker were newspapers published by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) from 1907 until 1913. First printed in Joliet, Illinois, IUB incorporated The Voice of Labor, the newspaper of the American Labor Union which had joined the IWW, and another IWW affiliate, International Metal Worker.The Trautmann-DeLeon faction issued its weekly from March 1907. Soon after, De Leon would be expelled and Trautmann would continue IUB until March 1909. It was edited by A. S. Edwards. 1909, production moved to Spokane, Washington and became The Industrial Worker, “the voice of revolutionary industrial unionism.”
PDF of full issue: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/industrialworker/iw/v1n18-jul-15-1909-IW.pdf