The Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj),

the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF),

and the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA)




October 11, 2003

from 9:00 a. m. to 12:30 noon

at the
San Jose Museum of Art


The symposium will feature scholars and community people examining the history and experiences of
Chinese immigrants at Angel Island and Japanese Americans who were interned in concentration camps
during World War II, as well as highlight efforts to research and to reclaim these oft-neglected stories.

Admission to the symposium is free.

For more information please telephone 408-294-3138 or visit


The symposium runs in conjunction with the Japanese American Museum of San Jose's exhibition 1942: Luggage From Home To Camp by visual artist Flo Oy Wong. Wong's installation explores what six Japanese Americans of the San Jose area - Lola Tanaka Abe, Elsie Mayeda Honda, David M. Sakai, Eiichi Edward Sakauye, Esau Shimizu, and Misao Yamano Shiotsuka - carried to internment camp during World War II. These six people were among the 120,000 Japanese Americans who were forcibly removed and incarcerated during World War II. They were placed in temporary "assembly"centers then desolate camps in the interior of the United States. The exhibition is housed in a replica of a Tule Lake (in Northern California) barrack, designed and created by Jimi Yamaichi, JAMsj museum director and curator.

Between 1910 and 1940, an estimated 175,000 Chinese immigrants were detained in the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay. Although hundreds of thousands of immigrants crossing the Pacific Ocean from around the world came through Angel Island, its greatest significance is tied to the story of Chinese immigrants who were detained the longest and in greater numbers. Because of the harsh enforcement of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. The average stay at Angel Island for most Chinese immigrants was two to three weeks, but some were forced to remain on the island for as long as two years while appealing adverse decisions to higher courts in Washington, D. C.

The symposium will consist of the following speakers who will discuss the similarities between Chinese exclusion and Japanese internment and its political implications today.

  • Dr. Wendy Ng, Professor, Sociology, San Jose State University
  • Dr. Judy Yung, Professor, American Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Dale Ching, a former Angel Island detainee
  • Jimi Yamaichi, a former Tule Lake incarceree
  • Eiichi Edward Sakauye, a former Heart Mountain incarceree
  • Dr. Steve Fugita, Professor, Social Psychology, Santa Clara University, panel moderator.
  • Connie Young Yu, historian, symposium discussant

The symposium will also feature remarks by Congressman Mike Honda, Jerry Hiura, a member of the California Arts Council, Diane Matsuda, Director of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, and Joe Yasutake, president of JAMsj. Flo Oy Wong will also present a slide show of art about the Angel Island detainee experience and the Japanese American internment experience. 1942: Luggage From Home To Camp catalogs and Heart Mountain: A Photo Essay by Eiichi Edward Sakauye will be available for purchase. At the conclusion of the symposium, 1942 project participants will sign catalogs.

An added post attraction is a tour by Val DeLang, Director of Education of the San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA), of Beyond Manzanar, an interactive virtual reality installation by Tamiko Thiel and Zara Houshmand that explores the way cultural groups are demonized during times of crisis.

SJMA has exhibited two previous shows dealing with the Japanese American internment. The View from Within: Japanese American Art from the Internment Camps, 1942-1945, on view from January 15 to April 10, 1994, offered an intimate picture of the internment experience, directly communicated through the artistic responses of the interned artists. An American Diary: Paintings by Roger Shimomura, on display from October 15, 2000 to January 7, 2001, showed artworks inspired by translations of the artist's grandmother's wartime diaries, which she kept during the three years (1942 - 1945) she spent in Camp Minidoka, Idaho.

The Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) collects, preserves, and disseminates the arts, culture, and history of Japanese Americans (JAs) in Santa Clara County. Founded in 1987, JAMsj focuses on educating the community about the Japanese American experience before, during, and after World War II.

The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) was founded by a group of Asian Americans in 1983 to raise funds for the completion of the barracks renovation plans. AIISF’s goals also include educational outreach and community activities to ensure that the history and tragic experiences of Asian immigrants at the Angel Island Immigration Station will not be forgotten. AIISF is resolved that the Angel Island Immigration Station should receive similar national recognition and enjoy the same national significance as the Ellis Island Immigration Station, off the coast of New York City. For more information visit:

The Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) is the oldest and largest organization dedicated to the study, documentation, and dissemination of Chinese American history. Founded in 1962, CHSA promotes the contributions that Chinese Americans living in this country have made to the United States of America. For more information visit:

This symposium is made possible in part by grants from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, Applied Materials, Excellence in the Arts, a program of the Arts Council Silicon Valley, and the CALIFORNIA COUNCIL FOR THE HUMANITIES as part of its statewide California Stories Initiative. Additional sponsors include the San Jose Mercury News, Union Bank, Yosh Uchida, Stephen Nakashima, Duncan Iwagaki, and others.


San Jose Museum of Art 110 South Market St. San Jose, CA

Japanese American Museum of San Jose | Design2Market (Design Consultant) | Jim Nagareda (Photography)