Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

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Ma, Katherine : Portrait of a Female Chinese Immigrant by Janice H. Ma
Year of Arrival 1985

Katherine Kaitak Ma immigrated to the United States in 1985. Growing up in Guangzhou, Katherine and her family worked hard but always felt like there were more opportunities for them elsewhere. “I wanted to do more and live better.” said Katherine. Katherine felt limited under the strict regulation of the communist government and decided to move to Hong Kong as a teen. Leaving her family behind, she immigrated to Hong Kong and started a new life for herself. During the time that she was living there, Hong Kong was a temporary colony of the British Empire. In 1997, it would be back under the control of China. Fearing that she would once again be living under the same limitations as those present in her hometown, Katherine considered moving to the United States.

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Mah, Yel Sen : Pioneer from Cheng Gong by Linda Wing
Year of Arrival 1922

In 1922, Wong Gin Wing brought his wife Mah Yel Sen from China to the United States. They docked at Angel Island after a 30-day trip from Canton with stopovers in Shanghai, Yokohama, and Honolulu. Entering the United States for the third time with a merchant's passport, Wong Gin Wing was immediately released from Angel Island while Mah Yel Sen was detained. He returned the following day and saw many women crowd the second floor windows of the immigration station, eagerly looking for their arriving mates. Wong Gin Wing and the other husbands, previously freed from the detention center returned, bearing dim sum packages for their still detained spouses on "visiting day."

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Makishima, George Akira : George Akira Makishima story by Eva Martinez
Year of Arrival 1940

On May 8, 1940, 19-year-old U.S. citizen George Akira Makishima arrived at the Port of San Francisco on the SS Tatuta Maru. He was returning from Japan where he had lived with his paternal grandparents for nearly a decade.

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Marbach, Flora and Lizzy : Flora Sara Marbach, 50, and Lizzy Marbach, 12:Fleeing Hitler’s Germany for a new life in America by Erika Alvarez
Year of Arrival 1940

By late spring 1940, Hitler’s armies had roared through and conquered the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Paris was next to topple, in June 1940, when Flora Marbach was awaiting a visa to flee Vienna, Germany. A Jew, and a widow since 1937, Flora must have found the early days of the Third Reich terrible, especially after the government abruptly confiscated her husband’s textile factory and left her without any compensation. She managed to survive on some money of her own and her husband’s insurance, but she knew that as Jews, she and her twelve-year-old daughter, Lizzy, would have no future in a German-occupied Europe. They had to get out, but how??

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Marill, Alfred and Klara : From the National Archives’ Angel Island files - One Family’s Story: Alfred Israel Marill and Klara Elizabeth Sara Marill by Lakhpreet "Preeti" Gill
Year of Arrival 1940

Editor's note: Shortly after we posted the profile of Alfred and Klara Marrill, AIISF was contacted by Richard Kobayashi, who is the grandson of Alfred and Klara Marill.  His mother is Alice Marill Kobayashi, who journeyed to the U.S. a year before her parents came through Angel Island.  Richard’s sister Carol  read the profile online and Richard very graciously sent us his grandfather’s detailed account of their journey from Vienna to Angel Island in 1940. Read Alfred's Journal below.


Matsuzawa, Atsushi and Kanae  : The Matsuzawas: Nisei Marye Kimoto Remembers Her Family and Its Angel Island Experiences by Nancy F. Fong
Year of Arrival 1911

At 87 and living in Culver City, CA, Marye Kimoto fondly looked back on the lives of her family, which included her issei parents who were first generation Japanese immigrants, as well as her younger sister Bessie and herself, nisei who were the American born children of issei.

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Ming, Jenny Gar-Yee Jang : Fate and the importance of remembering where you came from: The Jenny Ming story by Eva Martinez
Year of Arrival 1964

based on an interview of Jenny Ming by Eddie Wong

In 1955, after waiting for their third child to be born, the Jang family left their home in communist-ruled Canton, China, for the relative safety of Macau.  Macau had been under Portuguese rule since 1887 and the newly established Beijing government was temporarily ignoring the region.

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Monsef, Marcie  : From Tehran to California by Emily T Harris
Year of Arrival 1967

I’ve known Marcie Monsef, or rather she has known me, since my birth. In fact, we share a name: Marzieh, her legal name, is my middle name. Marcie is my stepfather’s mother and has always been an important part of my life.

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Moy, Damon : My Father, Damon Moy by Diane Lo
Year of Arrival 1940

A longtime resident in Sacramento,CA, Mr. Damon Moy immigrated to the U.S. in 1940 and was detained on Angel Island for three months.  After a long career in the food service industry, he and his wife Helen retired in Honolulu where their children now reside.

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Nakamura, Mantsuchi and Sojuro : Mantsuchi and Sojuro Nakamura: Japanese Immigrant Farmers in California’s Central Valley by Grant Din
Year of Arrival 1902

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Nakamura, Kiyoye : Kiyoye Nakamura: Picture Bride by Tene Woo Kember
Year of Arrival 1918

Editor's note: After we posted Tene’s article, we received inquiries about the status of Kiyoye Nakamura. Did we know if she was able to land in the United States (this information for some reason was not in her file)? We did some more research and found the good news that it appears that the Nakamuras were listed in the 1930 census in Vacaville, California, with a three year old son, but the sad news that Kiyoye passed away of cancer in Vacaville in 1937. We also found a ship log showing Toragusu returning to the U.S. in 1940, with no listing for his son and can only speculate that he brought his son back to Japan to be raised.

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Ng, Lit : The Adventures of Lit Ng by Roy Chan
Year of Arrival 1939

“In my life, I feel so fortunate. Even if you don't have an education, you still could make it here in the United States. I made it. If I can make it, other people can too.” - Lit Ng

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Nikonenko, Paul and Mary : The Nikonenkos: Married at Sea on the Way to Angel Island by Eugenia Bailey
Year of Arrival 1923

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