Unknown discoveries written by Japanese Angel Island immigrants come to light

VOICES OF ANGEL ISLAND: INSCRIPTIONS AND IMMIGRANT POETRY, 1910-1945 By Charles Egan (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020, 342 pp., $108 hard cover / $86.40 ebook) The Chinese poetry carved in the walls of the former U.S. immigration station on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay is known by visitors and scholars, and played a large part in the buildings being saved for future generations. What is less known is that Japanese, Korean, Russian, Punjabi and other immigrants also […]

My tsuru

I am a member of Tsuru for Solidarity. I am not an activist, nor am I a trained artist, but I have painted 12 large tsuru (paper cranes) of various sizes. I paint because it gives me pleasure and a way to express myself. Last year, like many Japanese Americans, I began by folding hundreds […]

Ferry service to Angel Island from SF may end due to declining sales

Blue and Gold Fleet service from San Francisco to Angel Island may end due to declining sales, a company spokeswoman said Dec. 18. In September, the company filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission to discontinue service, raising concerns at the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, which aims to make people more aware […]

Docuseries offers fresh look at Asian American experience

“Asian Americans,” a five-hour film series chronicling the contributions and challenges of the fastest-growing ethnic group in America, is being shown this month on PBS during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Personal histories and new academic research cast a fresh lens on U.S. history and the role Asian Americans have played in it. Renee Tajima-Peña, […]

The real deal on the first Japanese colony in the U.S.

The Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm and the Creation of Japanese America By Daniel A. Métraux (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & LIttlefield, 2019, 158 pp., $85, hardcover) There are books that I feel all members of the Japanese American community should have in their personal library: Michi Nishiura Weglyn’s “Years of Infamy: The Untold Story […]

On healing the ache of the familiar

There is a particular ache that many Japanese Americans feel when we see images of our World War II mass incarceration, or “camp.” It’s a bittersweet struggle with recognition and connection across barriers of time and space. If the faces and settings are not our relatives, the chilling fact remains that they might be, or […]

Pilgrimage remembers 150 years after Wakamatsu Colony established

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — Along a curved dirt path, sat a historical white farmhouse site surrounded by patches of green grass. The site was the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony farmhouse. Inside, the historic site contained photos and informational graphics about the first Japanese colony in the United States that were on view for the […]

ICE profiteers should not use JA incarceration to justify their work

There is a growing movement in the Japanese American community to stop the Trump administration from incarcerating children and families, led by survivors of the World War II camps who grew up as child prisoners. Many of their descendants — including myself — are working to support them. But not everyone in the JA community […]

Trump’s anti-immigrant campaign castigated: Critics concerned about JA private contractor’s oversight of ICE detention centers

The Trump administration’s anti-immigrant campaign has ignited a firestorm of protests from many concerned Americans, who are horrified by the inhumane treatment of the immigrants — especially children — and concerned over the unsatisfactory inspections of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers by a Nikkei-owned for-profit corporation. Carl Takei, a senior staff attorney for the […]

Newsom, Bay Area officials deplore new immigration rule

Gov. Gavin Newsom and an array of Bay Area officials on Aug. 12 deplored a new rule by President Donald Trump’s administration that will make it harder for low-income legal immigrants to extend their stays or seek permanent residency. “This is a reckless policy that targets the health and well-being of immigrant families and communities […]

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