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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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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Ozaki, Otokichi (Muin) : Angel Island was one of Eight Detention Centers for Otokichi Ozaki by Grant Din
Year of Arrival 1904

Family Torn Apart, edited by Gail Honda, tells the story of Otokichi Ozaki from Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaiˋi. It is based on letters, poetry and radio scripts in the collection of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiˋi. Ozaki was a Japanese language school teacher, tanka poet, anthurium grower and a leader of the Japanese community in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaiˋi. He spent a little over a week on Angel Island in March and April of 1942.

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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 1900

The story of the Nakamura brothers of Japan and Reedley, California, is an example of the challenges many Japanese immigrants faced in the U.S. After many challenges, they were both able to establish farming businesses and raise families, only to find their worlds torn apart shortly after Pearl Harbor when both were arrested and sent to a temporary detention center called Sharp Park, near Pacifica, CA. Older brother Mantsuchi was then sent to Fort McDowell at Angel Island and then to Lordsburg and Santa Fe, New Mexico before finally being reunited with his family at Poston, Arizona, while younger brother Sojuro was reunited with his family earlier at Poston, avoiding the U.S. Army and Department of Justice camps where Mantsuchi was sent. For more information on the use of Angel Island to house Japanese detainees, visit our webpage.

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Soga, Yasutaro  : Journalist Yasutaro Soga’s Detention on Angel Island During World War II by Grant Din
Year of Arrival 1896

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Yanagioka, Kane : A Legacy of Love by Judy Kawamoto, edited by Kelsey Owyang
Year of Arrival 1913

In 2010, nearly 100 years after Japanese immigrants Gonpei and Kane Yanagioka reunited in California, AIISF interviewed the couple’s daughter, Shizue. She recounts her immigrant parents’ challenging – but ultimately joyful – life in the United States.

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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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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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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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Fong, Hong May : A Life's Adventure of a Paper Daughter: Fong Hong May (Helen Fong) by Calvin Fong
Year of Arrival 1925

After the death of Fong Poy’s (aka Fong Wan) second wife, Fannie Ng in 1924, he didn’t trust his own instincts in selecting another wife.  He decided to have a traditionally-arranged marriage through his parents in China, and requested his mother and sisters to select a young woman who would be compatible with his strong (albeit, stubborn) character.  Since his family believed in horoscopes, they most likely consulted the Chinese astrological charts and horoscopes of prospective brides for mutual compatibility. They interviewed several eligible girls from the nearby villages and decided on a young woman from the Lee clan.  Back-and-forth negotiations ensued between the two families, with probing questions from the Lee family concerning Fong Poy’s character, demeanor and ability to care for his new wife.  After an agreement was made, Fong Poy gave a large dowry to the Lee family as per Chinese custom.  The selected maiden was the envy of her friends and other eligible girls because the chosen one would marry a prosperous “wah que” (overseas Chinese) living in America.

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

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Ohashi, Mihi Endo : Reflections from the grandson of a Japanese picture bride by Glenn Osaka
Year of Arrival 1912

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