Asians in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with Yung Lyun Ko and Shuk Ko
Part 1


Part 2


Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Yung Lyun Ko arrived in the United States from Korea in 1972. As a young assistant professor at Kun Kook University in Seoul, he had decided to further his career through graduate study in educational statistics at Illinois State University in Bloomington, Illinois. After his family arrived in 1973, however, he could no longer afford to continue his study, and he went to work as an aspiration therapist in a hospital in Chicago. In 1974 Ko and his family moved to Minneapolis after Korean friends persuaded him to do so by saying that the Twin Cities provided a better environment to work and raise a family. Although Ko was a professional in Korea, his training was not transferable to American society, and he had to take a blue-collar job working at Crown Meat Company in Minneapolis. Frustrated by this situation, Ko threw himself into working for the Korean community through the Korean Association of Minnesota. In 1974 he was instrumental in establishing the Korean Institute, a Saturday school for Korean children of immigrants and adoptive parents, where classes in Korean language and culture, as well as social activities, were provided on a weekly basis. In 1979 Ko began a two-year term as president of the Korean Association. He and his family are also active in the Korean United Methodist Church in Oakdale. Shuk Ko arrived with the children in Bloomington, Illinois, in 1973 to join her husband. After they moved to Minnesota she also became active in Korean community organizations in addition to full-time work outside their home. As the wife of the president of the Korean Association she was expected to organize and persuade the women to do much of the work for special events in the Korean community, such as cooking meals for large numbers of people, and arranging children's activities. Shuk and the children are also active in the Korean United Methodist Church. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: The Kos discuss the dynamics of the Korean community in the Twin Cities, and the cultural and religious organizations in the community. They also discuss the problems of childrearing in the immigrant situation and their concern that the children will develop a Korean or Korean-American identity. Yung Lyun discusses special events, such as Korean Day, that are organized annually by the Korean Association, and Shuk describes the changing family structure and extensive work of the women in community activities. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: Because he is president of the Korean Association, Yung Lyun Ko is in a position to know a great deal about the Korean community and to provide information on all the community organizations. Shuk Ko is also in a position to know about the contributions of the women to community events and programs.
Quantity 1.5 hours sound cassette
90 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 01:30:16 running time
Creation Interviewee: Ko, Yung Lyun
Interviewee: Ko, Shuk
Interviewer: Mason, Sarah R.
Made in Mounds View, Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Asian Americans -- Minnesota
Korean Americans -- Minnesota.
Made in Mounds View, Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 12/19/1979
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 51
Accession Number AV1981.361.20
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Asians in Minnesota Oral History Project'

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