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30 September 2016

Journey back to understand the Japanese experience

On Saturday, 2016 Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 11am to 3pm is the 3rd annual Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage presented by the Nichi Bei Foundation.  Just be sure to catch the 9:45am San Francisco ferry or the 10 am ferry from Tiburon to make the opening ceremony.

This year’s theme is "Family Reunion" and will focus on honoring the immigrant ancestors and rediscovering the history of the Japanese and Japanese American legacy at Angel Island. From 1910 to 1940, a total of  85,000 people of Japanese descent passed through here before being allowed to set foot in the U.S.
CGS Volunteers from the 2015 Pilgrimage
A group of volunteers from the California Genealogical Society (CGS), led by President Linda Okazaki, will be there to help people begin tracing their family history.

“Most people are curious about their family history. They want to know how to unveil the mystery of the past and understand the lives of their ancestors,” says Linda.

Linda has researched her husband’s Japanese ancestry and this journey has led her to discover everything from Immigration Records to Evacuee Case Files to DNA --- with many more intriguing bits in between.

Who’s involved with this effort?

What will be on display?
Historical exhibits specific to the Japanese and Japanese American experience on Angel Island, including those sent there from Hawai‘i during World War II

Who will be recognized?
  • Professor Charles Egan, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, San Francisco State University who translated poems published in the Nichi Bei Shimbun written by Issei between 1910 and 1924.
  • The Hokoda family, whose descendants wrote the oldest known writing found in the Immigration Station barracks, who are from Hiroshima Prefecture. They were discovered by Professor Egan and visited the Immigration Station for the first time last year.
What else is happening?
  • Talk on "Nikkei at Angel Island" by San Francisco State University Asian American Studies Professor Christen Sasaki, Ph.D.
  • Musical performances by Berkeley Genyukai and Friends, along with Cal Raijin Taiko of UC Berkeley
  • Storytelling vignettes
  • Children’s activities
With so much to see and do, this a wonderful way to relive the Japanese immigrant experience to America.  It’s also just a wonderful way to spend some time on San Francisco Bay enjoying your family and friends.

Stop by and say hello to Linda and the volunteers if you attend.

Domo Arrigato!

Photos courtesy of Linda Okazaki

Copyright © 2016 by California Genealogical Society