Volume 4 (1998-99)

Volume 4

Korean American Historical Society Occasional Papers

Volume Four begins with an oral history interview of Susan Ahn Cuddy, the eldest daughter of Korean independence movement leader "Tosan" Ahn, Ch'ang-Ho. Over the course of three years, Mrs. Cuddy shares with us her experiences: memories of her father; growing up with her siblings in the Los Angeles Korean community under her mother's wing; her experiences in the Navy during World War II as the first woman gunnery officer; her interracial marriage; and her thoughts about the Korean community for the future. Included are never-before-seen family photos, including the Heungsadan, and actor Philip Ahn.
Next, we have a special section on the sensitive issue of Korean Adoptions, whereby we present differing perspectives in the form of a profile of the adult and child participants in a local Korean culture camp; two essays by adoptive parents; and excerpts from interviews with young adult adoptees. In addition to an overview of Korean adoptions to the U.S. and the ongoing debate over interracial adoptions, we describe the participants of the culture camp, including the reasons they have for participating. Next, touching essays by parents give us a window into the lives of Caucasian families who have brought Koreans into their lives. Lastly, we get to hear from some young adult Korean Americans regarding their experiences of being adopted, and find just how difficult growing up in an interracial adoption can be without the necessary support.
For our Community Reports, we bring you three articles. The first, "Fighting Spirit" by local sports historian Joseph Svinth, explores the world of Korean amateur and professional boxers from the mid-1920s through the end of World War II. Here, we learn of rough-and-tumble world of the Korean boxers who trained in Japanese colleges and assumed Japanese names, such as Tetsuro Uemura, Teiken Jo, Umio Gen, and Japan professional featherweight champion Ryushin Boku. We also hear of the fights: for example, of the "all-Japan" team which fought San Jose State University to a tie in 1939, and of which only one of its five members was Japanese. This is followed by a look into the experiences of the newly-developing Korean immigrant community in Australia, which began in the 1970s, by Gil Soo Han. Lastly, foreign policy analyst Bruce Bechtol, Jr. introduces us to the growing influence Korean American community organizations are coming to have upon U.S. domestic and foreign policy towards the Korean peninsula.
Finally, we present three book reviews: Daisy Chun Rhodes' first book of Hawaiian oral histories, Passages to Paradise, by author Gregory Pak; Sonia Ryang's North Koreans in Japan by Erin Chung; and Soo Young Chin's Doing What Had to be Done: the Life Narrative of Dora Yum Kim, by oral historian Sonia Sunoo--a Korean pioneer in her own right.

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