Distinguished Asian Americans: A Biographical Dictionary

By Hyung-Chan Kim; Dorothy Cordova et al. | Go to book overview

KYUTARO ABIKO

(1865–1936)

Newspaper Publisher, Community Leader

Kyutaro Abiko, leader of the Japanese Community of San Francisco, was a newspaper publisher, farm colony pioneer, and head of the Japanese American Business Promotion Company (Nichibei Kangyosha). Abiko was born in 1865 in the town of Suibara, in Niigata prefecture, Japan. Since his mother died soon after he was born, his maternal grandparents raised him. As a youngster he contributed to the family business by selling candles and paper in nearby villages. At the age of seventeen Abiko and several friends ran away from home, intending to move to the city and then stow away on a ship to America, where he hoped to make his fortune. He lived for several years in Tokyo, where he took English classes and converted to Christianity in 1883.

Inspired by the American ships that sailed into Tokyo’s harbors, Abiko decided to sail abroad. He immigrated to America in 1885 under the patronage of the Fukuinkai (Gospel Society), the first Japanese immigrant organization in San Francisco, founded by Methodists and Congregationalists. Abiko settled in San Francisco, where he worked as a schoolboy in an English-speaking home and attended the Lincoln Grammar School. Following graduation from the Boys’ High School he enrolled in the University of California at Berkeley. While attending Berkeley, Abiko became an influential leader and instructor of the Methodist Branch Fukuinkai.

After graduation from U. C. Berkeley, Abiko began a laundry business and a restaurant, both of which earned only small profits. In 1897 he purchased a Japanese newspaper, and in 1899 he combined his paper

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Distinguished Asian Americans: A Biographical Dictionary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Preface i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction xiii
  • Kyutaro Abiko 1
  • John Fugue Aiso 15
  • Chang Apana 18
  • Thang Nguyen Barrett 28
  • Benjamin J. Cayetano 37
  • Boona Cheema 52
  • Nna Chen Chennault 55
  • Connie Chung 76
  • Victoria Manalo Draves 89
  • Bobby Enriquez 94
  • March Fong Eu 97
  • Soon Hyun 130
  • Lawson Fusao Inada 134
  • Maxine Hong Kingston 164
  • Michelle Kwan 172
  • Genevieve (Genny) Lim 192
  • John Keun Lim 196
  • Daniel S. C. Liu 200
  • Benjamin Menor 238
  • Patsy Takemoto Mink 246
  • Hiroshi H. Miyamura 252
  • Ronald Tai Young Moon 256
  • Toshio Mori 258
  • Josie Cruz Natori 262
  • Isamu Noguchi 266
  • Soon Tek Oh 270
  • Vincent H. Okamoto 273
  • James Matsumoto Omura 278
  • Safi U. Qureshy 295
  • Robert Santos 310
  • George Shima 316
  • Paull Hobom Shin 318
  • Sichan Siv 322
  • Stanley Sue 328
  • Amy Tan 335
  • Togo William Tanaka 337
  • Chang Lin Tien 339
  • Edison Uno 343
  • Charles B. Wang 345
  • Jade Snow Wong 355
  • Appendix A - Fields of Professional Activity 373
  • Appendix B - Ethnic Subgroups 389
  • Index 395
  • Editors 429
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