Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Details: "The Legend of Zhao"

" Descendant of the 2nd emperor of the Song Dynasty (Zhao Gunagyi), Jue Joe was born and raised in a chicken coop, in 1860. He grew up dirt poor and vowed that his descendants would never suffer as he had. " Auntie Soo-Yin

Ever wonder why the Jue clan is so tall when Jue Joe and Jue Nui immigrated from Southern China where people are usually quite short ? How does a descendant of an emperor of China end up born and raised in a chicken coop ? The answers make a fascinating story and lead us way back in time into ancient China at the time of the Song ( or Sung) dynasty. Many thanks for Auntie Soo-Yin for writing her book the " Legend of Zhao" and tracing the Jue Clan roots all the way back to Emperor Taizong of the Song Dynasty and even earlier still.

Taizong, Wade-Giles romanization T’ai-tsung, personal name (xingming) Zhao Jiong, original name Zhao Kuangyi, or Zhao Guangyi (b. 939, China—d. 997, China), temple name (miaohao) was the second emperor of the Song dynasty (960–1279) and brother of the first emperor, Taizu. He was responsible for unifying all of China under the Song Dynasty. Here are some portraits of Emperor Zhao( Jue ) Guangyi

"In civil administration Taizong paid particular attention to education, helping to develop the civil-service examination system and to further its use in determining entrance into the bureaucracy. He centralized control more thoroughly than ever before in Chinese history, concentrating great power in the emperor’s hands. He followed the Tang dynasty’s prefectural system and divided China into 15 provinces, each of which was under a governor. By the end of Taizong’s reign, Song rule had become established, and the dynasty had begun its great cultural and economic achievements."
The Song dynasty period has been called the Chinese Renaissance. Probably the most advanced civilization in the world at the time , it was vibrant time in the arts, literature ,science and technology. "
The scientific development in the Song Dynasty ranked forefront in the world of the time. The world-shaking China's three greatest inventions-the gun powder, compass, movable-type printing were invented at that time, which altered the whole world's civilized rate of progress."

"The Song dynasty (Chinese: 宋朝) was a ruling dynasty in China from 960-1279. Its founding marked the reunification of China for the first time since the fall of the Tang dynasty in 907.
The Song dynasty itself can be divided into two distinct periods: the Northern Song and Southern Song. The Northern Song (960-1127) signifies the time when the Song capital was in the northern city of Kaifeng and the dynasty controlled all China. The Southern Song (1127-1279) refers to the time after the Song lost control of northern China to the Khitan Liao dynasty, itself later conquered by the Jurchen Jin dynasty. The Song court retreated south of the Yangtze River and made their capital at Hangzhou"

A famous Chinese general, Yue Fei, of the Southern Song dynasty who fought heroically against northern invaders has been immortalized in Chinese lore and song as a symbol of Chinese patriotism and loyalty to country.

Here is a nice tour of modern day Hangzhou , capital of the Southern Song Dynasty and some history about the dynasty itself.

"The northern Jin dynasty was overrun by the Mongols (Genghis Khan/Kublai Khan) in 1234, who subsequently took control of northern China and maintained uneasy relations with the Southern Song court. The Mongol Yuan dynasty, proclaimed in 1271, finally destroyed the Song dynasty in 1279 and once more unified China, this time as part of a vast Mongol empire.
In 1276 the Southern Song court fled to Guangdong by boat, fleeing Mongol invaders, and leaving the Emperor Gong of Song China behind. Any hope of resistance centred on two young princes, Emperor Gong's brothers. The older boy, Zhao Shi, aged nine was declared emperor, and, in 1277, the imperial court sought refuge first in Silvermine Bay (Mui Wo) on Lantau Island and later in today's Kowloon City, Hong Kong (see also Sung Wong Toi). The older brother became ill and died, and was succeeded by the younger, Zhao Bing, aged seven. When on March 19, 1279 the Song army was defeated in its last battle, the Battle of Yamen, against the Mongols in the Pearl River Delta, a high official is said to have taken the boy emperor in his arms and jumped from a clifftop into the sea, drowning both of them. "

And thus our family's imperial legacy ended. The Zhao(Jue) family were no longer royals and became commoners. The family line had moved from the North to the South with the fortunes of the Song dynasty . Jue Joe and his brothers and other members of the Jue clan who were descended from royal northern blood were tall as are northern Chinese and different then the other southern Chinese around them .

Here is a tribute to the imperial legacy of the Jue (Zhao) clan and the Song Dynasty.

Courtesy of Auntie Soo-Yin , here is the direct lineage of San Tong Jue . The " Nay " generation born in the USA includes Auntie Soo-Yin and her siblings including my father.(Click to enlarge).

Here is some information concerning the Zhao (Jue ) surname and a nice list of famous people with our family surname .

"Zhao is represented in Cantonese by either Chu, Chiu, Chew, Jue or Siu."
Here is the Chinese character for Zhao (Jue) in simplified Chinese . It is easier than the more complicated traditional Chinese character for our surname that my grandmother Kwok taught me to write as a child . ( The original character is at the beginning of this post. )

edited 10/2/2010 see Auntie Soo-Yin's comments concerning the origin of the Zhao (Jue) Chinese character . Please click on the image below to see details.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Details: Rev. Wai Shing Kwok and the Jue Joe Ranch Chinese School

"Chinese-language schools have been an integral part of the Chinese immigrant community in the United States, and in the Chinese diaspora worldwide. In the United States, Chinese-language schools date back to the late 1880s, having survived legal exclusion and associated adversarial circumstances.
Just like other ethnic-language schools in German, Scandinavian, Jewish, Greek, and Japanese immigrant communities, Chinese-language schools in much of the pre-World War II era aimed to preserve language and cultural heritage in the second and succeeding generations."
After-School Institutions in Chinese and Korean Immigrant Communities: A Model for Others? By Min Zhou and Susan S. Kim,University of California, Los Angeles

My maternal grandfather Rev. Wai Shing Kwok immigrated from China along with my grandmother Kopo Yung Kwok and their young son ,Johnny in 1920 .My grandfather's family were farmers but he had become educated in Chinese and Christian schools in China as had my grandmother who came from the family of a high government official in Shanghai. Both my grandfather and my grandmother had converted to Christianity in China and actually met in church. My grandfather's immigration was with the aid of the Fat Ming Company,a well estabilshed book seller in San Francisco . The company helped to attest to my grandfather's status as a teacher and scholar. Teachers and scholars were one of the exempt classes allowed to immigrate under the Chinese Exclusion Act.

After arriving in the United States my grandfather accepted a position as head teacher in a budding Chinese language school being started in Sacramento , the Kwai Wah School . "Immigrants Fong Sik,Chan Tai Oy, and Fong Bun Wall started the school by renting an old house on P street between Fourth and Fifth in the Spring of 1924. Kwok Wai Shing from the Methodist Mission was enaged to be the teacher . The Kwai Wah School purchased and remodeled an old house for their use on 519 N Street on December 13, 1926 and named it the Chinese Christian Church with Kwok Wai Shing conducting religious services. Kwok Wai Shing was not actually a minister, so on August 16,1931 the Chinese Christian Union in San Francisco held a ceremony at the Chinese Presbyterian Church and officially ordained Kwok Wai Shing." Canton Footprints, Sacramento's Chinese Legacy by Philip P. Choy , 2007

Wai Shing and Kopo Yung Kwok had 5 children : Johnny who was born in Shanghai , Andrew , Sarah, my mother Alice, and Esther who were all born in the United States..

The school became a major Chinese language school for the Sacramento Chinese community and many prominent members of the community learned Chinese as young students under the tutelage of my grandfather . One student was William Fong who later became a well respected and well loved physician in Sacramento for many years. William Fong recently passed away. Norma On , one of my mother's friends , who also attended the school wrote this remembrance of William Fong's time at Kwai Wah School :
William’s intellect was well known not just in the public school system but
also at the Kwai Wah Chinese Language School. He was one of the four
outstanding students that was often called upon by Mr. Wai Shing Kwok to
stand up in front of class to translate our lessons written on a large
blackboard from English to Chinese. William and the others were always calm
and deliberate as they were aware of Mr. Kwok’s persona, a strict
disciplinarian who had a low tolerance for errors."

Here are some pictures of my grandfather and grandmother Kwok and the Kwai Wah School :

This first picture is of a graduating class in 1927

This picture is of the school in 1947 . My mother Alice is in the front row , 2nd girl from the left.

The Church that my Grandfather Kwok started later became the Chinese Community Church now located on Gilgunn way in Sacramento .

"Our forefathers began the ministry of the present-day church in 1924. They established the Kwai Wah Language School in a converted residence on 5th and P Streets in Sacramento to provide education for future generations of American-born Chinese. They also created the Kwai Wah Marching Band, the first of its kind in the Chinese community. In the late 1920s, the church moved to 519 N Street in the heart of the Chinese community.

In 1939, a severe storm damaged the church, and it had to be razed. With the help of the Reformed Church in America (RCA), a two-story building was put up. The church continued to thrive until the mid 1940’s. After the City lifted restrictions on where Asians could buy residential property, many Chinese moved to the suburbs. For several years, the church struggled to rebuild its congregational base. In 1951, again with the help of the RCA, the church located to its current site and built the sanctuary and education building."

_ About Us , Chinese Community Church, Sacramento

San Tong Jue , like many Chinese immigrant parents , felt that it was important for his children to learn the Chinese language . Being on a ranch in the San Fernando valley , however, meant that there were no easily accessible Chinese language schools for his children . The problem was solved when his eldest son Jack married Alice Kwok .San Tong learned that Rev. Kwok was planning to retire from his position as pastor of the Chinese Christian Church and head of the Kwai Wah Chinese language school in Sacramento and move to Los Angeles to be nearer his children and grandchildren.

San Tong proposed to Rev. Kwok that he teach San Tong's younger children ( Soo Jan , Guy , Pingeleen , and Soo-Yin ) Chinese language on the Jue Joe Ranch . Mr. Kwok agreed and San Tong converted Jue Joe's old cabin to a traditional one room school house complete with blackboard , desks , and warmed by a pot bellied stove. As a young child I remember seeing the schoolroom and thought it was pretty cool for my aunts and uncle to go to school right on the ranch. I didn't quite realize at the time that they had to go to school twice , first regular public school and then Chinese school !

Auntie Pingeleen and Auntie Soo Yin told me that Chinese school on the Jue Joe ranch was from 4 to 5 pm every day Monday through Friday and Mr . Kwok was a pretty strict teacher . Auntie Pingeleen said after several years of going to Mr. Kwok's Chinese school she was able to read a Chinese newspaper and had a pretty good command of the language.
I do not remember my grandfather Kwok as a strict guy at all , I think that is because he spoiled me rotten !
Here is my grandpa Kwok and I .

Later after we moved to our Lassen house , Grandfather Kwok and Grandmother Kwok lived within walking distance and tried to teach the new generation ( my brother and sisters and I ) Chinese at their house . I remember going to my grandparents house after school .. I think my grandfather had passed away and my grandmother was trying to teach us Chinese . All I remember is that I was not interested at all and was a very poor student and just wanted to go play or watch cartoons and felt sorry for myself . I think she gave up in short order ! I wished I had stayed with it as my Chinese language skills are essentially nonexistent except for ordering Chinese dishes in Cantonese at local restaurants !

Here is a picture of my Mom and Dad , Grandpa and Grandma Kwok , my brother and sisters and myself :

Monday, September 20, 2010

Joan and Richard's 60th Wedding Anniversary!

The Yen and Jue Clan and friends gathered this weekend to celebrate my Auntie Joan's 80th birthday and the 60th wedding anniversary of Auntie Joan and Uncle Richard. We all had a great time and enjoyed spending time with each other ! My Auntie Joan is the eldest daughter of San Tong Jue .

Here is the happy couple 60 years ago :

And here is the great video that my cousin Bob shared at the event:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Details-Thomas G. Chung and the Chung Family

After the wonderful 60th Anniversary party , Auntie Joan was kind enough to share with me some great pictures of my great grandfather Tom Chung  and the Chung Family .

Ok . Let's start with this great information from Auntie Joan. " My paternal grandfather, Tom Chung(actual surname Hom) married G'ma Chung (maiden surname unknown). She was born in the U.S. in a little gold mining camp in Cal. She had bound feet, and had no formal education . The Tom Chung family eventually had a small grocery store in , then the Pueblo of Los Angeles, which had at the time only about 5 Chinese families. They had 3 boys and 3 girls ( Tommy , Jimmy , Willie, Rose , Layne and May -all using the last name Chung). My father (San Tong) met Rosemary Chung in LA at their grocery store and began to write and visit with her whenever his family went out to LA to stock up on Chinese staples. Eventually , they got married and had 2 children Jack and Joan"..

Here is a picture of  my great grandfather Tom Chung , with youngest son Willie .

Here is a picture of my great grandfather Tom Chung in later years .

Here is a picture of my great grandmother Chung ( Tom Chung's wife- Rose Chung's mother )

Here is a picture of Great grandmother Chung with her youngest son Willie to her upper right and her oldest son Tommy (Thomas G. Chung)  and some of his children to her left. . Seated just below Willie is Great grandmother Chung's youngest daughter May.

The boy in front of the horse is Jimmie ,the middle son of Tom Chung and Great grandmother Chung, and the girl on the horse is my grandmother Rose . We are not sure who the young man behind her is .

Ok , let's explore some additional facts in the Jue Joe story concerning " Thomas Chung"
The first mention of a "Thomas Chung " is in a sworn deposition of Jue Joe in 1918 to immigration authorities that he is a merchant and thus able to bring his family over from China .
"Jew Joe, being first duly sworn, deposes and says: That he is a Chinese merchant, now at the age of sixty-two years, residing in the City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, State of California; that he is now and for the last twelve months has been a member of the commission merchant firm of Thos. G. Chung and Company; that said firm of Thos. G. Chung and Company now is and for many years past has been engaged in buying and selling farm products at No. 117-118 Los Angeles Market, Sixth and Alameda Streets , in the City of Los Angeles, State of California."

The next mention of a "Thomas Chung " is in this Los Angeles Times newspaper article about the Los Angeles County Asparagus Grower's association dated 4/26/1925. ( ps. this article gives a fascinating report on Asparagus farming in the mid 1920's in the San Fernando valley. Just click on the image to enlarge and read.)
"One of California's newest and most successful co-operative marketing organizations is the Los Angeles County Asparagus Grower's association, formed last year by twelve local growers to faciliate the disposal of the rapidly increasing output of their fields. The members control 90 per cent of approximately 250 acres planted to Asparagus in Los Angeles county.. With the exception of S.O. Houghton of Van Nuys all the growers are Chinese and among them are some of the best truck farmers in Southern California . The president is Joseph Woo, Van Nuys. Thomas G Chung, Los Angeles is vice president...."
(Click to enlarge and read the article )

The next mention of a "Thomas Chung " is a follow up article in the Los Angeles Times on 10/11/1925, 6 months later , about the same Asparagus Grower's association . In this article "Thomas D. Chung" is listed as secretary of the organization and Jue Joe as a director. The only Caucasian ,S. O . Houghton, has taken over the vice presidency of the organization . I think the  name is an error and refers to Thomas G. Chung.

The Thomas Chung referred to in these documents is  Thomas G. Chung. Thomas G. Chung was the older brother of Rosemary Chung and the son of Tom Chung . Rose was San Tong Jue's first wife and mother of my father Jack and Auntie Joan . Thomas G. Chung was my grand uncle on my Dad's mother's side. Jue Joe was my great grandfather on my Dad's father's side. Thomas G. Chung and  my great grandfather Jue Joe had a business relationship.  My great grandfather Tom Chung began the family grocery business in Los Angeles and his son Thomas G. developed the business into a large and successful commission produce operation. Born in the United States, Thomas G. was a merchant fluent in English and Chinese and knew Jue Joe and the other asparagus growers and although he was not a grower himself was involved in selling the product on the market . It would have made sense to have a market man involved in the Association along with the growers.  Earlier in 1918 it would have made sense for Jue Joe to buy into Thomas Chung's business as a silent partner , as many Chinese farmers did , in order to prove "merchant " status so that he could bring his family from China .
The Chung and the Jue families have strong roots together.  We were joined by marriage as well as in business affairs !

Friday, September 17, 2010

Details: Jue Shee's Textbook?

Here is a fascinating contribution today from my cousin , Michael Jue (Guy Jue's son and San Tong Jue's grandson) . Click on the pictures to enlarge and see details .ps The Clan is gathering in Phoenix tomorrow for Auntie Joan (San Tong Jue's daughter) and Uncle Richard's 60th wedding anniversary :

From Michael ;
Hi JR,

I've kept these books that I found in one of my dad's boxes a long time ago. I always thought that they were my grandmother's, but after reading your blog about Jue Shee, I wonder if they may have been his. There is a name in Chinese and what looks like the initials "J. S.", which doesn't really fit with my grandmother's name. I could be completely wrong and these were from my mom's side of the family though. Mom, do you remember who these belonged to? The neat thing is that the copyright dates are 1901 and 1902. These are over 100 years old! 1901 and 1902 would correspond to the time that he was at Cal. It's pretty amazing that we have so many Cal alums in our family spanning something like 95 years. Anyway, maybe Auntie Soo-Yin remembers seeing these too.

We'll see all of you tomorrow in Phoenix!

edited 6/11/2012  Recently we obtained from Pomona University, Jue Shee's Pomona transcript. These textbooks were from a course he took in college prep ( high school level) elementary chemistry at Pomona Prep School in 1904.  More information about new discoveries concerning Jue Shee's academic career can be found here.