From 1895 to 1985, the Nippu Jiji, later known as the Hawaii Times, was the oldest and largest Japanese language newspaper in Hawai’i and the United States prior to World War II. Translated, Nippu Jiji means “newspaper for telling timely news.” It was a powerful tool within the Japanese American community providing readers with up-to-date information on local and international events and issues. It also played a pivotal role in plantation history. In the early 1900s it appealed to the sugar plantation association to improve the wages and working conditions of Japanese plantation workers. More significantly, it helped its readers to understand the importance of the strikes that followed.
When the Nippu Jiji closed in 1985, nearly 30,000 photographs from the newspaper were left behind in boxes. Eventually these images came into the hands of Dr. Dennis Ogawa, Professor of American Studies in the Department of American Studies, University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Dr. Ogawa created the Hawaii Times Photo Archives Foundation to oversee the development of a database that would allow people access to the Nippu Jiji images and their invaluable captions in Japanese and English.
The Hawaii Times Photo Archives Foundation has completed two of five sections in the Nippu Jiji Photo Archive Project: Section One, “Identification and organization of all photos according to the original newspaper categories/filing system,” and Section Two, “Evaluation of historical and cultural value of the photos.”
Work on Section Three, “Preservation of Photos,” began with a condition survey submitted by graduate students enrolled in a course with Lynn Davis, Head of Preservation at UH Hamilton Library. Using the condition survey as a basis augmented by consultations with Ms. Davis and Ms. Deborah Dunn (also from the Preservation Department), Dr. Karen Kosasa, director of the Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program submitted and received a small grant from the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to transfer over one third of the collection into archival housing in 2008. The preservation project continues with additional support from the Hawaii Times Photo Archives Foundation and the Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program.
Students enrolled in independent study courses with Dr. Ogawa have been working on Section Four, “Creation of an Electronic Database” by scanning photographs and entering captions into an electronic database. After scanning each image, students carefully examine the photograph and enter key words or phrases that will help future users to access the database. As of May 2004, approximately 60% of the 30,000 images had been scanned into the database.
Since Fall 2004, students in the Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program have worked on Section Four of the Nippu Jiji Photo Archive Project on a volunteer basis.
Work on Section Five, “Formulation of thematic links with quality photos” will follow the completion of Section Four.
The archive is located in the Department of American Studies and is temporarily closed.
Nippu Jiji Archive Condition Survey
Dr. Dennis Ogawa
Dr. Karen Kosasa
Department of American Studies
University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Moore Hall 324
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone + Email (Dr. Ogawa): (808) 956-8685, <dogawa@ >
Phone + Email (Dr. Kosasa): (808) 956-8676, <kosasa@ >
Fax: (808) 956-4733
Affiliates: The Hawaii Times Photo Archives Foundation
Collections Size: Approximately 30,000 objects (photographs, negatives, captions on newspaper clippings, etc.)
The Hawaii Times Photo Archives Foundation
Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts
Dr. Dennis Ogawa
Sandra Noda Matsumoto
Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program:
Dr. Karen K. Kosasa
Tara Nakamura, Lani Teves, Melissa Rand
UHM Preservation Dept., Hamilton Library
Lynn A. Davis
LIS Student Condition Survey Report:
Meagan Radomski, Dawn Sueoka, Ju Sun Yi