Alice Y. Chai

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1979



In 1923, Mrs. K., a nineteen-year-old picture bride-to-be, left a small mountain village in Kyong-sang province, Korea, to marry a forty-five-year-old Korean immigrant who awaited her arrival in Honolulu, Hawaii. Now seventy-five years old, Mrs. K. has spent fifty-five years of her life as a resident of the island of Oahu.

For Mrs. K., one of the 101 remaining out of 1,000 Korean picture brides who came to Hawaii between 1910 and 1924, life in Hawaii followed a similar pattern to that of other picture brides. She worked alongside her husband at an army laundry service; then she ran a laundry shop, a boarding house, a vegetable farm; and finally she built and managed multi-unit apartment buildings. Mrs. K.'s life story reads like an American dream-come-true.



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