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 Gunjiro Aoki

Gunjiro Aoki

Death 6 Feb 1932 (aged 53)
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 83046471 · View Source
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Father: Kumaji Aoki
1830 – 1892

Mother: Tase Sone
1843 – 1911

Spouse: Helen Gladys Emery
1888 – 1947
New York Times

Emery, Aided by Her Father, Marries Aoki
Sunday, March 28, 1909

Leading the paper is a report that Helen Gladys Emery and Gunjiro Aoki were married yesterday in Seattle, "after a journey of more than 1,000 miles, which they were compelled to take to avoid the laws of California and Oregon against the intermarriage of Caucasians and Orientals."

The bride's father, John Emery, the archdeacon of the Episcopal diocese of California, obtained the marriage license and arranged for the ceremony, though he opposed the union and said after the wedding that it was to be "regretted." The bride, 21, has given a soul-searching account of her struggle to defend her love for Aoki against the racism of her home state and the mob mania of her hometown, Corte Madera, Calif.

New York Times
March 26, 1909

The bridegroom, 24, is described as "a Japanese who had formerly been a servant in the house of her parents." Unfortunately, the reports have not included his point of view. As for any Japanese view, the report says only: "Aoki met a number of local Japanese this morning and had an enthusiastic welcome in the lower portion of the city, where news of the proposed marriage has been a subject of interested comment for days past. A number of Japanese after the ceremony took the ground that a marriage of this kind, where the bride's family is so prominent, will do much to allay sentiment against interrace unions."

The ceremony was to have taken place yesterday in Tacoma, Wash., but "the Mayor of that city issued a statement declaring that the couple would not be permitted to remain there, and warning all the clergy against uniting them." After the ceremony, leaving to return to California, Mr. Emery told reporters: "My daughter is of legal age and I had the right to do nothing. My only interest lay in seeing that there was no trickery and that the honor of my girl and my family was fully protected. I came North for the sole purpose of seeing that Miss Emery was legally married. I do not care to talk of her choice of the man, except to say that the whole thing is to be regretted. I employed attorneys in California to look up the Washington law on the legality of marriage of whites and colored races, and was told that such unions are legalized here. I then started for Washington to see that my daughter was legally married.

Mr. and Mrs. Aoki will spend their honeymoon on a ranch in the Hoods Canal country. It is owned by a business man of San Francisco, a friend of mine, whose name I will not divulge. He has offered them a lease of the place on a percentage of the crop from the fruit trees. The wedded pair will either make that place their home or they will purchase a fruit ranch in some other part of the State, I cannot now say where. This proposition is under advisement. I am pledged not to divulge any of their plans, and, as a matter of fact, their future has been settled on. My wife will remain here for a time, and I shall go back to San Francisco. I shall not be at my work there for some time, as I have other engagements which will take some days."

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  • Created by: Arthur Allen Moore III
  • Added: 6 Jan 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 83046471
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Gunjiro Aoki (1 Jul 1878–6 Feb 1932), Find A Grave Memorial no. 83046471, ; Maintained by Arthur Allen Moore III (contributor 46828136) Unknown.