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Korean National Association in Hawaii and related lawsuits collection

Identifier: 3004

Scope and Contents

The Korean National Association in Hawaii and related lawsuits collection, 1915-1945, consists of twelve folders of photocopied legal documents, correspondence, and articles. The majority of folders within the collection comprise legal documents in the form of lawsuits filed primarily by the Korean National Association of Hawaii (KNA) or persons affiliated with the organization, many of which were held in first circuit Territory of Hawaii court. There are also a few matters pertaining to individuals unaffiliated with the KNA, such as one against Republic of Korea president Syngman Rhee. The remainder of the collection consists of two folders of non-court related documents, pertaining to both the KNA and the United Korean Committee in America in the form of correspondence, articles, and research.


  • 1915 - 1945


Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of the Korean Heritage Library. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Korean Heritage Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Historical Note

Korean immigration to Hawaii has been a constant in the 20th century. The first large group of Korean immigrants arrived in January 13, 1903, travelling on the RMS Gaelic, which landed in the United States before they took up residence on various islands in the Territory of Hawaii. By 1905, more than 7,000 Koreans populated Hawaii. Many early immigrants of this period had some contract with American missionaries in Korea. For some, immigrating to the Territory of Hawaii was considered useful, in part, to help them in the modernization of their homeland.

The Korean National Association (KNA) was established in 1909 in both Hawaii and San Francisco for the purpose of uniting all Koreans in the United States in a common cause. The KNA in Hawaii was composed primarily of Korean sugar-plantation workers, who sacrificed their wages to support the Korean liberation movement. At the same time, the KNA broadened its goals to support the needs of the Koreans in Hawaii and expanding the educational opportunities of the children. The KNA also focused on the struggle for political leadership in the Korean community in Hawaii, in which Syngman Rhee largely prevailed.


.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



By the year 1905 more than 7,000 Koreans populated the Territory of Hawaii. In 1909, the Korean National Association in Hawaii was established, along with a main headquarters in San Francisco, with a purpose for uniting all Koreans in the United States in a common cause. This small collection comprises lawsuits filed by the KNA and affiliated persons living in Hawaii between the period of 1915 and 1945, as well as some non-KNA related cases, unified by the struggle for political leadership in the Korean community in Hawaii under the rising power of Syngman Rhee.


Folders are arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Sold to David Hyun by Roberta Chang and subsequently gifted to USC.

Finding aid for the Korean National Association in Hawaii and related lawsuits collection
Sarah Cassone
2018 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries East Asian Library Repository

Doheny Memorial Library
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-1825 United States