SAN FRANCISCO — The Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage will be launched on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Immigration Station at Angel Island State Park.

Program with speakers and performance will begin at 12:30 p.m.

The purpose of the pilgrimage is to rediscover the little-known history of the Japanese and Japanese American legacy at Angel Island, where 85,000 persons of Japanese descent — the second-largest immigrant group — landed between 1910 to 1940, before setting foot in America.

Japanese immigrants arrive at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.
Japanese immigrants arrive at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.

Program highlights:

• Honoring late San Francisco State University Professor George Araki and former California State Parks employee Alexander Weiss, and an exhibit relating to their “rediscovery” of the Immigration Station barracks.

• Talk on the Japanese experience on Angel Island by Judy Yung, co-author of “Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America.”

• Presentation by Grant Din of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation on new research on those of Japanese descent — more than 600 from Hawaii and nearly 100 from the mainland — who were temporarily detained on Angel Island during World War II en route to Department of Justice internment camps on the mainland.

• Linda Harms Okazaki of the California Genealogical Society will guide genealogical research; participants will have free access to to do research on their own family trees.

• Storytelling presented by the San Francisco JACL.

• Bento lunch (optional pre-order)

Presented by the Nichi Bei Foundation in partnership with the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation and National Japanese American Historical Society.

Special packages (order by Sept. 25):

• Tiburon Package: Departing at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. Includes round-trip Tiburon Ferry ticket, park entrance fee and museum fee. $25 general, $22 for seniors 65+ and children 6-12.

• S.F. Pier 41 Package: Departing at 9:45 a.m. or 11:45 a.m. Includes round-trip Blue and Gold Ferry ticket, park entrance fee and museum fee. $25 general, $18 for seniors 65+ and children 5-11.

• Bento lunch pre-order: $10 general, $8 for children.

For more information on packages and to RSVP, email or visit

Funding from: Wayne Maeda Educational Fund/Nichi Bei Foundation, Lane Hirabayashi/UCLA Asian American Studies, Berkeley JACL, San Francisco JACL, J-Sei

Community support by: California Genealogical Society, San Francisco JACL, Berkeley JACL, Florin JACL, S.F. State University Asian American Studies, Japanese American Museum of San Jose, J-Sei (partial list)

After the pilgrimage: “Finding Your Roots: A Genealogy Workshop” on Saturday, Nov. 1, from 12 to 5 p.m. at NJAHS Peace Gallery, 1684 Post St., San Francisco. Free but space is limited. Hands-on research workshop to access ship registry records on with focus on World War II camp genealogy. Rosalyn Tonai, NJAHS executive director, will be on hand to aid participants in their research. RSVP: (415) 921-5007 or

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