Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce

Coordinates: 21°17′39″N 157°49′25″W / 21.294056°N 157.823643°W / 21.294056; -157.823643

The Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce (ホノルル日本人商工会議所) is a business organization that promotes economic growth in Hawaii and Japan.

Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce
TypeNon-governmental organization


After the Chinatown fire of 1900, 37 Japanese businessmen formed the Emergency Japanese Association to help Japanese immigrants who became homeless because of the fire. The organization was soon renamed the Honolulu Japan Merchants Association (Honolulu Nipponjin Shonin Doshikai).[1] Once all of the Japanese immigrants were rehoused and claims were filed with the Hawaiian government, the group changed their focus to issues of trade between Hawaii and Japan that affected issei business owners. In 1908 the organization changed its name again to the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce, and from 1916 onward they worked out of an office above the Yokohama Specie Bank branch in Honolulu.[2]

In 1939, the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce merged with the Japanese Merchants Association (Chuo Rengo) and the Honolulu Japanese Contractors Association, and changed its name to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.[2][3]

During World War II, many Chamber members were arrested and interned either in Hawaii or on the mainland. Since many members were missing, the Chamber's activities were put on hold until 1947, when the organization reactivated.

In 1960, the Chamber built an office in Moʻiliʻili. It included a cultural hall and tea house. In 1968, the organization became an associate member of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. During the 1980s there was a movement to create a cultural center to preserve Japanese American history in Hawaii. Thus, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii was founded in 1987.[4]

Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of CommerceEdit

The Junior Chamber of Commerce was founded by nisei in 1949. Its creation was initially opposed by the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce because they believed that the organization's goals would run counter to the post-war "Americanization" of second-generation Japanese people.[5]

They are associated with the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. Much of their work is focused on community service.


The Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce holds many professional development and networking events throughout the year. They also hold cultural events such as their annual Shinnen Enkai New Year's Celebration.[6] Since 1978, they have also sponsored an annual exhibition at the Honolulu Museum of Art.[7]

Cherry Blossom FestivalEdit

The Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce has held an annual beauty pageant since 1953. The Cherry Blossom festival is one of the longest-running ethnic beauty pageants in Hawaii.[5] Until 1998, contestants had to be of full Japanese descent. Considered long overdue, given that other ethnic beauty pageants had allowed mixed-race contestants for years prior, these rules were changed to reflect Hawaii's multiracial population.[8][9]

Further readingEdit

  • Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce (1970). "虹の橋": 日工商70年史 [Rainbow bridge: a 70-year history of the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce]. Honolulu: 日本人商工会議所. OCLC 16337927.


  1. ^ Tom., Coffman (2003). The island edge of America : a political history of Hawai'i. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 0585478856. OCLC 53481907.
  2. ^ a b Kimura, Yukiko (1992). Issei : Japanese immigrants in Hawaii (paperback ed.). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0824814819. OCLC 37566798.
  3. ^ "Kumaji Furuya". encyclopedia.densho.org. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  4. ^ Mōʻiliʻili : the life of a community. Ruby, Laura., Moiliili Community Center. (1st ed.). Honolulu, Hawaiʻi: Mōʻiliʻili Community Center. 2005. ISBN 0967654815. OCLC 76066103.CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ a b Yano, Christine Reiko (2006). Crowning the nice girl : gender, ethnicity, and culture in Hawaii's Cherry Blossom Festival. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 9781435666085. OCLC 256819224.
  6. ^ "Shinnen Enkai New Year's celebration". KHON. 2019-01-03. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  7. ^ "Honolulu Museum of Art » 38th Annual HJCC Commitment to Excellence Exhibition". honolulumuseum.org. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  8. ^ Asian settler colonialism : from local governance to the habits of everyday life in Hawai'i. Fujikane, Candace,, Okamura, Jonathan Y. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. 2008. ISBN 9781441619617. OCLC 647928155.CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ Encyclopedia of Asian American folklore and folklife. Lee, Jonathan H. X., Nadeau, Kathleen M., 1952-. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. 2011. ISBN 9780313350672. OCLC 701335337.CS1 maint: others (link)

External linksEdit