Category Archives: Asia

Kimiko – Japanese Hidden Within

  Sirens blaring, fighter planes soaring, and the cries of thousands, this was the everyday life and struggles of Japanese men, women, and children. It was a life filled with bombings, hunger, and loneliness. My grandmother, Kimiko, was just five years old when World War II broke out. It was one filled with terror and misery, a world in which ... Read More »

Hideo Tomoyasu – Japanese American Experience

  Being an American doesn’t mean you’re a citizen, it’s a feeling. It’s faith, believing in your country, supporting it through good and bad, and paying your duty. When you have that, nobody can touch you. I interviewed my mother in order to learn about my grandfather, Hideo Tomoyasu, and his immigration to Hawaii.  My grandfather was born in 1920 ... Read More »

Escaping Post-War Vietnam

“We left our house with our small bag to go to the cargo ship knowing that I may never see my house again, and that we could be shot for walking the streets during the curfew.” My uncle Tai was born and grew up in Cholon. Cholon was a district of Saigon which was the capital of old South Vietnam. ... Read More »

Huey Leong

In the early 1900s, my great grandpa smuggled himself in a boat, hiding from the authorities, coming to America, not knowing what his future held, in a foreign land thousands of miles from his family. My great grandpa, Huey Leong, was born in Canton, China, a period of many cultural uprisings. Huey felt that his life was unfulfilled, and was ... Read More »

Jennifer Jin’s Story (China)

Realizing that my kids grew up without much love from me, as a mother, I decided to move to America. Squeezing through the tight aisle of Boeing 767, I found seat number 27F and sat in the little chair. My name is Jennifer Jin, a person who dreams of advising and supporting others with patience and a faithful heart. I ... Read More »

From Cabugao to the Bay (Philippines)

Elizabeth was born in Cabugao, a rural town in the Philippines. Recounting her memories of Cabugao, she told me, “There were a lot of poor people. It’s called the barrio, Padayog in Ilocano (dialect of this region). My grandparents’ house was next to our house, so we saw them everyday. I used to have a black cat, and my dad had a ... Read More »

Freedom’s Call (Korea)

Focusing on improving his golf game and visiting family, Jack Jhin lives his life relaxed. At 81, Jack has been through countless tales, both wonderful and terrible experiences. For this story, he recalls his journey to America and his life there as a first-generation immigrant. Growing up in Seoul, South Korea, Jack Jhin was very fortunate. Coming from a family ... Read More »

Sacrifice (Hong Kong)

I remember one day coming home with soot and dust covering the shoulders of my coat from the pollution. My son once asked me, “Why did you leave China with such a good job to come to America? You work much harder here than back in China.” In China, I was considered upper class. I had a high income, lived ... Read More »

Made in Taiwan

From that day on, he told himself that if he couldn’t fly aircraft, he could at least make one. The number 8 in Chinese culture has always been a prized symbol, with its pronunciation sounding similar to prosperity and good fortune.  My father was born on August 8th, 1958, and throughout his childhood, he was always told he was lucky ... Read More »

Americhina: The Immigration Story of Y. L. Chew

Photo of Y. L. Chew at her home in San Leandro, California, taken circa 2016.

Imagine a woman—40-years-old yet unmarried—in a country that does not recognize her hardships, a country only recently recognized by the United States. Imagine having lived there for her whole life, persecuted by nearly everyone around her, and known by no one in the journey that lies ahead of her. This was China in 1981, a year of great uncertainties and ... Read More »

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