WORDS OF WISDOM
FROM THE RAINBOW STATE (2021)
102 Koreans came to Hawaii on Jan,13,1903,
starting the Korean immigration to the Americas.
Journalist Jinyoung Lee Won explores the inspiring history of Koreans in Hawaii. 102 Koreans came to Hawaii on January 13, 1903, starting the Korean immigration to the Americas. This small and forlorn group made incredible sacrifices and started the influx of Korean culture and heritage to the Hawaiian Islands. Jinyoung interviews various people in a look back on the lives of these initial Korean immigrants. This is to shed light on one of the colors of the Hawaiian rainbow that is Korea and to discuss the values toward each other in this unique time of ethnicism amidst a pandemic
We meet with third-generation Korean American writer Gary Pak in a botanical garden on the island of Oahu. His grandmother Ok Soon Lim was a so-called ‘picture bride’ who came to Hawaii from Korea in 1910. The writer provides profound insight into the words of love passed down by his grandmother, who raised a dozen children in a foreign land.
Harry Kim is a household name on the Big Island of Hawaii. The former mayor of Hilo was born as the youngest among eight children from a sugarcane plantation worker and a picture bride from Korea. The role of his parents was crucial in Harry’s becoming a leading Hawaiian political figure.
The former Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, Ronald Moon, discusses his grandfather’s arrival in Hawaii from Korea a century ago. Like others in those first waves of Korean immigrants to America, they carried little more than their culture, their values and a strong work ethic. Moon says: "I have no reservations in saying that if not for my parents’ teachings and values, I certainly would not be here."
Michael Lim, a violinist of the Hawaii Symphony, tries to learn more about his great-grandparents. From the viewpoint of their great-grandson, we gaze into the lives of this courageous couple and their legacy in the history of the Hawaiian Korean community.
The season finale for WWRS begins quite far away from Hawaii. Jinyoung goes to Incheon to retrace the footsteps of her ancestors from 120 years ago. At the Museum of Korea Emigration History in Incheon, she meets Daisy Yang, who shares words of wisdom passed down from her grandparents and parents, adding that "love will protect you from all harms."
Watch Full Episodes