Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

 

IMMIGRANT VOICES

 

Learn How to Create your Story
Stories by Immigrant's Last Name

        
Sort stories by 


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.

Read More

 

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.

Read More

 

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.


 

Read More

   

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.

Read More

 

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.

Read More

   

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.

Read More

 

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.

Read More

   

Lee, Bak Huen : Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station by Lia Chang
Year of Arrival 1937

In recognition of my grandmother’s 90th birthday, I am sharing this article I wrote about her experience of being detained at the Angel Island Immigration Station, which appeared online in the September 19, 2000 edition of A. Media, Inc.

Read More

 

Lee, Show Nam : “We were real, so there was no need to be afraid.” Lum Ngow’s Long Stay on Angel Island by Judy Yung
Year of Arrival 1935

On February 5, 1935, fifteen-year-old Lum Ngow and his mother Ow Soak Yong arrived in San Francisco from China on the President Taft.  They had come to join his father Lum Bew, a merchant who ran Lung Kee, a Chinese poultry and deli in Oakland Chinatown.  Family members of the merchant class were exempt from the Chinese Exclusion Act and they should have been admitted into the country.  Instead, mother and son were detained on Angel Island for eighteen months, fighting a legal battle to prove they were in fact the son and wife of Lum Bew. 

Read More

   

Lee, Charlie : A Family Profile of the Charlie Lee and Mary Sullivan Family by Marilyn Lee McConnell
Year of Arrival 1911

My name is Marilyn Lee McConnell, and I am a member of the Ng family.  I grew up in Oakland, California, not knowing that I belonged to the Ng/Eng family. Why was that?

Read More

 

Lee, Don Yee Fung : My Journey from China to America by William Wong
Year of Arrival 1939

Adapted from an interview conducted by William Wong, edited by Jordan Yee and Eddie Wong

Don Yee Fung Lee looks back at the hardships and trials of his life with great candor and feeling.  From very harsh beginnings, he forged a life that is rich with accomplishments on the professional and personal level.

Read More

   

Lee Masters, Margaret : Margaret Lee Masters, M.D. (Lee Jee Jung): From Churches to Pediatrics by Larisa Proulx
Year of Arrival 1900

In the early fall of 1940, sixteen-year-old Lee Jee Jung (Margaret) left war-torn Hong Kong with her seventeen-year-old brother Lee See Jung (Philip) to go to America. Margaret’s father, Rev. Shau Yan Lee, had sent for them.  Eleven years ago, he himself had gone to America to be a Baptist minister to the Chinese in Northern California and later, Mississippi and Texas.  Initially, Margaret’s father did not intend on bringing her to America. However, due to the death of her oldest sister and brother in China from typhoid fever around the time of the Japanese invasion in Canton, and her second oldest sister being no longer a minor, she and her brother were selected to join their father in America.

Read More

 

Leong, C. Tony and May : The Journeys of C. Tony Leong and May Chung Leong to America via Angel Island  by Tony C. Leong, Jr., Ph.D.
Year of Arrival 1914

Tony C. Leong, Jr. contributes a fascinating and detailed account of secrets uncovered in the tangled tale of paper sons so common among Chinese Americans.

Read More

   

Page 6 of 12

Join our e-news list