Grant Din

Grant Din is community relations director at the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, where his work includes coordination and creation of content for AIISF’s Immigrant Voices website and research into the World War II experiences of internees of Japanese descent on the island. Din has worked in nonprofits in the Asian American community for thirty years and serves on the boards of Mu Films and the Marcus Foster Education Fund. An avid genealogist, he enjoys working with friends to help others explore their Asian American roots. Din has a B.A. in sociology from Yale University and an M.A. in public policy analysis from Claremont Graduate University and lives with his family in Oakland.

Updated February 2015

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The Angel Island Story of Kane Mineta, Norman Mineta’s mother

Americans know Norman Mineta as the first Asian American in a presidential cabinet, when he was secretary of commerce under President Bill Clinton, secretary of transportation under George Bush, where he took decisive action after the attacks of 9/11, and as a U.S. Congressman, councilman, and mayor of San Jose. He also received an Immigrant Heritage Award from the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) in 2015. What they may not know is that his roots go through Angel Island, because his mother Kane (pronounced Kah-neh) was a picture bride who was questioned on the island in 1914 ...

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Internment of Japanese Americans on Angel Island during World War II

The Shigenaga Brothers’ Detention on Angel Island and the Continent During World War II

Kakuro’s life in Hawai`i and arrest

Kakuro Shigenaga was born in the Hibagun district of Hiroshima-ken on August 30, 1896, came to Hawai`i in February of 1913, and settled on Maui. He was a salesman at the Kobayashi General Store in Kahului, Maui and married to Yoshie. They had four children.

Kakuro was arrested on January 7, 1942, one month after Pearl Harbor was attacked, because his diary was found during a search of his brother Shigeo’s house, and the FBI claimed his writings contained anti-American and pro-Japanese sentiments. Grandson Mark Shigenaga said that Kakuro was ...

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Internment of Japanese Americans on Angel Island during World War II

Nentaro Ide's Detention at the Age of 75

Nentaro (also known as Toshitaro or Mantaro) Ide was born in Fukuoka, Japan on October 13, 1867, and according to his internment file, arrived in Hawaii in 1901, where he worked on a dairy farm and lived until 1906, then left for Seattle, where he briefly lived. He then moved to San Francisco and then Concord in 1909.

He was foreman of the Shadelands Ranch, owned by the Penniman family, and also started a hotel and grocery store. Sheila Rogstad, historian of the Walnut Creek Historical Society, now housed at the former ranch, says Ide also supplied many Ygnacio Valley ...

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Internment of Japanese Americans on Angel Island during World War II

Rev. Asataro Yamada's Detention on Angel Island Due to His Religious Practices

Born in Aki-gun, Japan in 1878, Asataro Yamada first came to the United States in 1898 into the port of Seattle at a time when there were few restrictions on Japanese immigration. He then worked as a sailor for many years on ships that sailed all over the Pacific. He worked as a farm laborer, ran his own hardware store in Seattle, sold Chevrolet cars, and taught people from Japan how to drive, according to his grandson Byron Ishiwata. He and his wife Fusa had five children, all born in Seattle in the 1910s (one of them died as an ...

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Internment of Japanese Americans on Angel Island during World War II

Journalist Yasutaro Soga’s Detention on Angel Island During World War II

Japanese immigrants were arrested by the FBI on both the mainland U.S. and the islands of the Territory of Hawaii on December 7, 1941 and in the following months. By law they were “enemy aliens” and could be taken away as internees. As mentioned elsewhere on our site, Asians could not become U.S. citizens, by law. One of these immigrants was Yasutaro Soga, editor of a Japanese language newspaper in Honolulu. He and several hundred other prominent Issei (Japanese immigrants) were arrested on the evening of the attack on Pearl Harbor and sent to Sand Island, near Honolulu ...

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