Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

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Rohr, Max, Fanni and Gertrude : To Brooklyn via Angel Island, - With Thanks For The Support of Family. by Andrea Bradley
Year of Arrival 1940

AIISF is pleased to present the story of Max, Fanni, and Gertrude Rohr, who fled Nazi-held Vienna in 1940 and made the arduous journey across Russia and China to reach Angel Island in June 1940.  They were among the hundreds of Jewish refugees who found new homes in the U.S. before the Holocaust.    

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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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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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Lim, Fook Keung : Biography (January 3, 1909 – February 20, 1986) by Hazel Lim Hoshiko
Year of Arrival 1923

Daughter Hazel Lim shares the wide arc of her father’s life, who was detained on Angel Island at age 15, worked in San Francisco Chinatown restaurants in his youth, served in the Army-Air Force in World War II, and retired in San Gabriel as a grocery store owner.

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Schrimmer, Manfred : A Tale of Four Cities, Two Islands, Eleven Testimonies, and Three Rulings by Tene Kember, edited by Kelsey Owyang
Year of Arrival 1940

   

Low, Dick (Ko Shew) : A Tribute to My Father, Dick Low, on his 90th birthday, 1995 by Kenneth Ko Low
Year of Arrival 1921

Ko Shew immigrated to the U.S. in 1921 under the name Dick Low.  He worked hard throughout his life, starting out as a farm laborer and eventually becoming a department store manager.  Kenneth Ko Low reflects upon the many gifts and life lessons his father bestowed upon him.

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Low, Raymond : A Remembrance of Raymond Low by Arthur Low
Year of Arrival 1938

Arthur Low traces the life of his father from humble beginnings in Toisan. China to life in Sacramento, CA.  Despite difficult times, Raymond Low worked hard at two jobs, bought a house and raised four children with his wife Yvonne.  Today, his grandson, Evan Low is the Mayor of Campbell,CA.

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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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Wong, Poy (James) : Life in America (Nov 11, 1901 – Jan 4, 1990) by Linda Lum
Year of Arrival 1916

Wong Poy began his life in America with three months of interrogations, but he was finally landed in March 1916.  After working and studying in San Francisco, he moved to Augusta, GA where he spent many years in the grocery business.  He finally settled in Oakland, CA.

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Friesen, Nick : Remembering Nick Friesen (1913-2011) by Judy Yung
Year of Arrival 1929

Nick Friesen, a former Angel Island detainee who I had the good fortune to interview in 2008, died of a massive stroke on January 4, 2011.  I was told that he had purchased a three-wheel bike at a thrift store in Reedley, California, and was riding it home when he had the stroke.  He was 97 years old.  I thought to myself, that’s so like Nick—active and on the move to the very end.

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Yee, Helen : My Immigrant Story by Helen Yee
Year of Arrival 1940

I was born in San Francisco at St. Luke Hospital on June 26, 1923. When I was 4 months old, my parents took me to Detroit, Michigan to enable themselves to open a laundry there. Due to the fast progression of the Ford and the General Motors Corp. business had expanded. Thus, the laundry business was a good thriving business. My parents heard of it through word of mouth. However mom had bad health problems. Medical bills used up the earnings. My dad’s mother, Grandma Yee, who lives in a remote village in China, sent word for my dad to return to China to remarry, after my mother died at age 32. I was the oldest at 12 years old. There were six of us. The youngest was one year old, not yet two. We arrived in China on January 1936. I became ill, then bedridden for two years, during the latter part of my four-year stay in China.

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Eng, James L. : James L. Eng’s Odyssey by James L. Eng
Year of Arrival 1931

Our ancestral home was in Fook Lim Village in Hoysan, AKA Taishan, county in Quangdong Province, China.  The village is approximately sixty five miles west of Hong Kong.

My grandfather, Ng Ming Sun, left his wife and two young sons to return to Mexico for the second time. During his first visit, he realized that Mexico would not serve his future. His new plan was to work in the United States to help his family and later, retire to China.

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Park, Rose Young Soon : Two Korean Woman and a Child at Angel Island by Judy Yung
Year of Arrival 1914

There were no more than 1,000 Koreans among the half million immigrants who sought admission through the port of San Francisco between 1910 and 1940.  Fleeing a harsh life in Korea under Japanese colonial rule since 1910, most were young men claiming to be refugee students, but there were also picture brides, wives, and children of Korean alien residents.  To circumvent the Japanese government’s ban on Korean emigration, many had to steal across the northern Korean border into Manchuria and make their way to Shanghai, where they could book passage on an American steamer going to the United States.  Some were lucky enough to secure Japanese passports that allowed them to travel directly to the United States.  Among the lucky ones was three-year-old Rose Park.

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