1929 Aala Automotive Union Guide to Honolulu

ホノルル案内 : 布哇 / [Honolulu Guide : Hawaii]. - Main View

1929 Aala Automotive Union Guide to Honolulu


Handy guide for Japanese travelers to Honolulu.


ホノルル案内 : 布哇 / [Honolulu Guide : Hawaii].
  1929 (dated)     18 x 25.25 in (45.72 x 64.135 cm)     1 : 10000


This is a rare 1929 (Showa 4) map and guide of Honolulu, Hawaii, made by the Aala Automotive Union (アアラ自動車組合) for Japanese tourists. It is a very detailed guide that would have helped travelers navigate with some ease.
A Closer Look
Aside from the map of Honolulu, and a small inset map at right of Oahu, much of the guide is taken up by photographs and brief descriptions of famous sites. Other sections describe Hawaii's geography, history, population, various industries (sugar, coffee, pineapples, and so on), climate, and religion. Advertisements for Japanese businesses in Honolulu catering to traveler's needs, including mail services, general stores, souvenir shops, and bookstores are noted. At bottom-center of the verso is an advertisement for Aala's hired car service and a list of prices for a hired car to visit various tourist sites.

The original owner has scribbled some notes in handwriting on the advertisement for Nippon Yusen (日本郵船會社), a major shipping and mail company still in operation. A note at the top of the recto (front) declares that the Port of Call Passenger Information Department of the Aala Automotive Union (アアラ自動車組合寄港船客案内部), the maker of the map, has been approved by the Honolulu Police Department. It appears that Aala agents waited at port to hand these guides out to arriving passengers as they disembarked.
Japanese Immigration to Hawaii
Japanese exchange with Hawaii dates to the early 19th century when, in 1806, the survivors of the ill-fated Japanese cargo ship Inawaka-maru, were stranded on the archipelago. These survivors were treated well by the king, leading to an official Hawaiian delegation to Japan in 1866. The first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, 142 men and 6 women known as the Gannenmono (元年者), arrived two years later in 1868 (Meiji 1). These first Japanese immigrants were brought to Hawaii as low-cost labor to work sugar plantations. Following mistreatments associated with the sugar plantations, the emperor banned further immigration to Hawaii until 1885. In that year, a second wave of 153 Japanese immigrants arrived, also to indentured work on sugarcane and pineapple plantations. Further immigration followed, with about 900 total immigrants arriving in 1885 alone. Nearly 30,000 followed in the subsequent years. Many returned to Japan when their three-year plantation contracts expired, but some stayed, becoming known as the Issei, the first generation. Their children, born in Hawaii, were consequently known as the Nisei.

Japanese immigrants to Hawaii were generally ill-treated as second-class citizens. They nonetheless maintained their Japanese language, religion, and traditions, often preferring to bring marriage partners from Japan rather than wed locals. Thus, a large and mostly homogenous Japanese community emerged, with their own businesses, neighborhoods, hospitals, and schools. As Japan became wealthier and more industrialized in the early twentieth century, Hawaii became a popular destination for Japanese tourists. Today, Japanese culture remains a vibrant part of the culture of Hawaii and Japanese Hawaiians make up the second largest ethnic group in Hawaii.

This large Japanese population, roughly 160,000 by 1941, was one of the reasons the Japanese Empire set their sights on Hawaii during World War II, a plan upended by the Battle of Midway. Unlike Japanese-Americans on the mainland, nearly all Japanese-Americans in Hawaii escaped internment as they had already been thoroughly vetted by the U.S. military before the Pearl Harbor attack and determined to be loyal (Hawaii was under martial law and administered by the U.S. Army throughout the war). Moreover, the Japanese-American population in Hawaii was so large that it was impractical to intern them in Hawaii or transport them to the mainland, and such a move also risked a collapse of the local economy. Nisei from Hawaii composed the majority of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated regiment in U.S. military history.
History of Honolulu
Honolulu has been an important city since it was made the site of Kamehameha I's court in the early 19th century. It has remained the capital and largest city of Hawaii ever since. Hawaii attracted many immigrants from Japan (including Korea following its annexation by Japan), China, the Philippines, and elsewhere, mainly to work on plantations cultivating sugar, pineapple, and other agricultural goods. Over time, a greater portion of these communities settled in the urban environment of Honolulu. These immigrants and their descendants faced continuous harassment from the white community, evident, for example, in the Honolulu Chinatown Fire of 1900.
Publication History and Census
This map was published by the Port of Call Passenger Information Department of the Aala Automotive Union (アアラ自動車組合寄港船客案内部) in 1929 (Showa 4). It does not appear in any institutional holdings and is very scarce to the market. This map is similar to an undated but presumably later guide to Honolulu published by Aala (OCLC 1020932646) held by a handful of institutions in Japan and the United States.


Aala Automotive Union (アアラ自動車組合; c. 1913 - 1940) was a Japanese-American automobile association and taxi company active in Honolulu that produced guides for Japanese tourists. More by this mapmaker...


Good. Some repairs to the fold lines, slight dampstaining to some margins.