Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

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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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Jew, Richard Jeong : The Tale of Richard Jeong Jew by Kiyoshi Din
Year of Arrival 1937

Richard Jeong Jew’s Angel Island experiences, from his autobiography:

“Story of the Water Buffalo from Hong Kong,” written in 1996.

Richard Jeong Jew was born as Jew Jeong Ngar on September 4, 1924, in Sun Huey Village, Dow Moon, in the Chung Shun District about one hundred miles from Hong Kong.  He made the voyage to America in 1937, he said, as an illegal immigrant.  Later, he became known as Richard Jew when he started school in San Francisco in 1938.

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Jin, Sheung Ngaw : A Paper Daughter's Angel Island Story by Flo Oy Wong
Year of Arrival 1940

Summary Interview by Flo Oy Wong with Lily Wong Chooey on November 23, 1999.

Jin, Sheung Ngaw – 1940 (AIIS Detainee May 30 – June 19, 1940)

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Jiu, How : Sharing the Angel Island Immigration Experience of How Jiu by Lena and Polly Fong
Year of Arrival 1928

How Jiu’s journey to America was full of drama and daring.  Daughter Lena Fong and granddaughter Polly Fong share this account of a remarkable woman’s life in Oakland Chinatown during the tough Depression through the post World War II years.

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Jung, Frank and Grace : The Only Chinese in Town: An Appreciation of Frank and Grace Jung by John Jung
Year of Arrival 1921

Lo Kwok Fui, my father, used false identity papers to immigrate in 1921 from his Hoiping village in Guangdong, China, to the United States at the age of 20. He had hopes of earning a better living than possible in his impoverished village and sending money back to help his parents and brothers in China. Upon his arrival at the Angel Island Immigration Detention Center in San Francisco bay, his paper father, a Chinese merchant, came from Chinatown with two Caucasian witnesses to testify in support of his application to enter the U. S.

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Kawai, Michi : A Day at Angel Island by Michi Kawai
Year of Arrival 1915

AIISF logoEditor Judy Yung's Note: Japanese immigrants were the second largest group after the Chinese to be processed at the Angel Island Immigration Station.  Approximately 90,000 Japanese were admitted through Angel Island between 1910 and 1940.  Because the Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907 barred the emigration of Japanese laborers to the United States, the new arrivals consisted mainly of parents, wives, and children of Japanese residents.  In contrast to the Chinese experience at Angel Island, the Japanese had an easier time.  Armed with passports issued by the Japanese government and birth and marriage certificates proving their right to immigrate, the overwhelming majority were processed and admitted within a day or two. Less than 1 percent were ever excluded or deported.  It is probably because their stays at Angel Island were short that few have left written or oral accounts of their detention experience. The following description of Japanese life at Angel Island is thus rare.  It was excerpted from two works by Michi Kawai, general secretary of the YWCA of Japan from 1912 to 1926: My Lantern (Tokyo: Kyo Bun Kwan, 1939) and "A Day at Angel Island," Joshi Seinenkai, September 1915, translated by John Akiyama.  Kawai made three visits to Angel Island in 1915 while in the United States to attend the YWCA National Training School in New York and to investigate the condition of Japanese women on the Pacific Coast.  A graduate of Bryn Mawr College and founder of Keisen Girls School in Tokyo, Kawai was a strong advocate of women's education.  It was largely through her efforts that the YWCA in Japan and in the United States became directly involved in preparing and assisting Japanese women to adapt to their new lives in America.


 

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Kim, Chansuma "Chom Soon" : Chansuna “Chom Soon” Kim: A Korean Adoptee in 1914 by Dennis Nguyen
Year of Arrival 1914

On August 10, 1914, a Board of Special Inquiry, consisting of inspectors J.P. Lawler, D.J. Griffiths, and J.A. Robinson, held an unusual hearing on the case of an eight-year-old Korean adoptee who had arrived in San Francisco on the S.S. Persia that day. The Korean child’s birth name was Chansuna Kim; however, the passport that was issued by the Japanese government gave her name as Chom Soon Kim. The child was accompanied by her legal guardian, Dr. Amanda Francis Hillman, who had been a medical doctor for the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society in Korea for three years prior to arriving at Angel Island.

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Kitano, Kou : Memories of Angel Island by Chizu Iiyama
Year of Arrival 1914

Mrs. Kou Kitano arrived on Angel Island in 1914 and waited for her husband, who she had only seen in a photograph. Thus, begins the journey of a Japanese picture bride, as told by her daughter, Chizu Iiyama.

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Kobashigawa, Jiro Dick : The Story of Jiro Dick Kobashigawa by Grant Din
Year of Arrival 1931

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Mr. Kobashigawa moved to Japan with his family when he was six years old. When he became 16 years old, his father sent him back to the U.S. to work and support the family.  He spent three weeks at the Angel Island Immigration Station in 1931.  His account of life in the Detention Barracks provides a detailed description of the isolation and anxiety immigrants experienced.

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Kobayashi, Alice Marill : A Jewish Student Refugee in 1939 by Eva Martinez
Year of Arrival 1939

Edited by Alice Kobayashi/Carol Kobayashi 06/06/12

On May 17, 2012, Eva Martinez interviewed Alice (Marill) Kobayashi over the phone about her family’s journey to the United States when they fled Hitler’s persecution of Jews. Alice current lives in retirement home in Atlanta, GA.

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Lee, Moy : “She roared wherever she went;” the story of Moy Lee, entrepreneur and liberated woman by Suzanne Eng
Year of Arrival 1937

I began this journey after hearing these fascinating stories of Moy at her funeral; I wanted to know how someone who dared to come to America at 21 during the Exclusion Act and anti-Chinese sentiments could find success and also become a multimillionaire (a woman, no less). I wanted to see how her struggles turned to ambition could help me and future generations.

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Lee, Mrs. Yoke Suey : Mrs. Lee Yoke Suey's Fifteen Month Detainment on Angel Island by AIISF
Year of Arrival 1923

"Detained at Liberty's Door" is the story of the unjust detention of one individual, Mrs. Lee Yoke Suey, and the battle to secure her release. In the video is a film clip by Freida Lee Mock, from her 1974 documentary, Jung-Sai: Chinese Americans, of a visit by Mrs. Lee's daughter to the barracks where her mother was detained for 15 and a half months. It is a rare glimpse of the Angel Island Immigration barracks from the 1970s, long before they were renovated 2000's. Please watch the 12-minute story below.

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