S-Space College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원) The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) Journal of Korean Law Journal of Korean Law Volume 11 Number 1/2 (2011)
The Historical Development of Early Korean Immigration to Hawaii and its Legal Structure
- Baik, Tae-Ung
- Issue Date
- BK 21 law
- Journal of Korean Law, Vol.11 No.1, pp. 77-100
- Korea; Hawaii; Joseon; Korean immigration; contract labor; passport; visa; yuminwon; Jibjo; Hojo
- The Joseon dynasty opened its doors to the United States of America in 1882 and gradually to other western countries giving up its isolation policy. One of the dramatic results of this policy change was that Emperor Gojong granted permission to allow Korean emigration to Hawaii in 1902. The first group of 102 Korean immigrants, including 21 wives and 26 children under the age of 18, arrived at Honolulu Harbor on January 13, 1903. Approximately 7,400 Korean laborers immigrated to Hawaii in the next two and one half years until immigration ended in August 1905. The purpose of this paper is to review the legal structures that supported Korean immigration to Hawaii from 1903 to 1910, when the Daehan Empire lost its sovereign power. This article first reviews the socio-economic and legal conditions leading to importation of Chinese and Japanese laborers to the Kingdom of Hawaii prior to the arrival of Koreans. Then, Korea’ diplomatic and legal arrangements for the immigration of Korean laborers are examined. American legal policies and structures for Korean immigrants are also reviewed.