Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

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Hishida, George : George Hishida – A Life in Photography Interrupted by World War II by Grant Din
Year of Arrival 1913

George Mioya Hishida immigrated to the United States from Fukushima, Japan in 1913 and developed a thriving photography business in Fresno. Unfortunately, reports from a misguided informant resulted in his arrest and internment away from his family for over a year during World War II.  This story includes a copy of a rare letter he wrote from Angel Island requesting his release, copies of letters from his wife and daughter, and insights from his daughter Grayce. For more information on Japanese Americans on Angel Island during World War II, visit our website here.

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Hoh, Harry Sai and Woo Shee : Harry Sai Hoh (Hoh Sai Hoo) and Woo Shee Hoh by Laurene Wu McClain
Year of Arrival 1918

This biography is based on a) stories that were told to me by various family members, b) statements from my grandparents’ immigration papers preserved at the United States National Archives in San Bruno, California, c) information from an oral history that I took of my mother Helen Hoh Wu, in 1993, and d) my own remembrances of these grandparents who nurtured me as a young girl and woman growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Hong, Robert : A True Chinese American Story by AIISF
Year of Arrival 1936

Filmmaker Jeffrey Chin contributes this introductory segment of a three-part series on Robert Hong, a former detainee, who was 11 years old in 1936 when he first landed on Angel Island. Stay tuned for more segments in the weeks ahead.

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Honigberg, Zelik, Rajzla Matla, and Bronislaw : From Warsaw to San Francisco by Larisa Proulx
Year of Arrival 1941

On May 10th, 1941 the Honigberg Family: Zelik, Rajzla Matla, and Bronislaw, arrived in San Francisco, California and were held at an immigration facility on 801 Silver Avenue. Here they were detained, interrogated, and inspected by U.S. Immigration Officials due to ‘suspicion’ concerning the family’s paid passage to the United States. Immigration officials stated that not only did they need to verify who paid for their steamship tickets to the United States, but that they also needed to verify the family’s ability to sustain themselves financially while residing in the country. The family’s interrogation on Silver Avenue was just one of the many challenges for the Honigberg family in finally obtaining their liberty and safety.

 

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Horn, Fong : From China to the Keystone State by Jennie A. Horn
Year of Arrival 1922

Daughter Jennie Horn provides a vivid description of her father’s interrogation and detention on Angel Island. Her article transports the reader back to 1922 when two paper brothers boarded the S.S.Nanking in Hong Kong and set off on a journey that would end in Pennsylvania.

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Hsu, Ming Chen : A Life in Government Service and Job Creation by Grant Din
Year of Arrival 1944

AIISF Board Member Ming Chen Hsu’s life has been one of enormous challenges, great adventures, and substantial professional achievement. She has been a pioneer in her field and served under many government administrations when there were few women or Asians in these positions. Born in Beijing, China, she attended schools in China and Singapore. When the Japanese invaded China in 1937, her family was in danger because her father was in the Chinese government. They fled Beijing and were able to stay one step ahead of the Japanese. After moving to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chunking, and Kunming, Ming eventually left China alone in the hopes of studying in the United States.

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Huey, Sam Herbert : Stories from our Father, Sam Herbert Huey (aka Sam Shu Huey), an Angel Island Immigrant by the Huey children
Year of Arrival 1923

Known to family and friends as "Herb," Sam Shu Huey lived an interesting and accomplished life.  Arriving on Angel Island when he was 10 years old, Sam endured two months of questioning before being reunited with his father.  Years later he served in the U.S. Army until 1952 when he was discharged with the rank of Major. A career as a civil engineer followed.  In his retirement years, Herb remained actively engaged in the Asian American community.

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Inaba, Toshiko : Banned from America for Marrying an Alien Ineligible to Citizenship: The Case of Toshiko Inaba by Judy Yung
Year of Arrival 1928

On September 3, 1928, twenty-year-old Toshiko Inaba arrived in San Francisco with her eighteen-year-old brother Akira.  Both were kibeis (born in the U.S. but educated in Japan) who held birth certificates proving their right to return to the U.S.  However, while Akira was readily admitted, Toshiko was denied admission on the grounds that she had lost her U.S. citizenship by marrying Tatorao Yamamoto, an “alien ineligible to citizenship,” while in Japan.  It didn’t matter that the marriage had been annulled within a few months and that she had never lived with him as man and wife.  She would spend the next sixteen months on Angel Island, waiting for the results of her appeal to the Secretary of Labor in Washington, D.C., the U.S. District Court, and finally, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  A victim of racist and sexist immigration and nationality laws, Toshiko Inaba was deported back to Japan on January 15, 1930.

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Interpreters, Anonymous : Behind the Scenes: Stories from Angel Island Interpreters by Sammie Wills
Year of Arrival Unknown

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Ito, Kaoru Okawa : Kaoru Okawa Ito: Entrepreneur, Teacher, Pioneer, Independent Before Her Time by Grant Din
Year of Arrival 1919

Japanese immigrant Kaoru Okawa Ito was an entrepreneur, educator, and artist, operated sewing schools in Oakland and Stockton, taught tea ceremony and flower arrangement, and was one of the first Japanese Americans to become a naturalized citizen in 1953,  shortly after the ban on Japanese naturalization, in effect since 1790, was finally lifted.

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Jang, Louise (AhLee) : Louise Lee Jang's Journey from Courtland to China. by Jeffrey Lehman with editing by Eddie, Louise and Randy Jang
Year of Arrival Born in U.S.

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Jeong, Hop : A Paper Son's Tale by Olivia Pollak with Hop Jeong and Kelsey Owyang
Year of Arrival 1940

Hop was born in Canton, China in 1930, where he lived with his mother, father, and two siblings. When Hop was just ten years old (his paper said he was eight years old), his parents sent him by ship to America, as a member of his grandfather’s paper family.

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Jeong, Dick (Duck) : Lucky Duck: Paper Son Dick (Duck) Jeong by Kelsey Owyang
Year of Arrival 1939

As a paper son, Jeong Bak-Ho had certain rules to follow. First, he needed to memorize the contents of the coaching papers his paper father had sent to him; he could use this information to prepare for his interrogations on Angel Island. Then, before the ship docked in America, he had to throw the coaching papers into the sea. This way, he would carry no evidence that he was immigrating under a false identity.

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