Dr. Alice Yun Chai's Web Page

Here is a page where you can find a short bio and some source information on my mother, Dr. Alice Yun Chai (1928-2011).

If you have questions, corrections, or further information about my mother's life, please email me at sunki@hawaii.edu, or write to me at the Department of Sociology, University of Hawai`i, Honolulu HI 96822, USA.

Aloha, Sun-Ki Chai

Selected Writings and Media

Chai, Alice Yun

1957. Attitudes of America-Educated Korean Students Toward America and Americanization (M.A. Thesis)

1962. Kinship And Mate Selection In Korea (Ph.D. Dissertation).

1968. Community Development in Korea: A Bibliography of Works in the Korean Language. Honolulu: East-West Center.

1979. Mrs. K.: Oral History of a Korean Picture Bride. Womens Studies Newsletter 7(4): 1013.

1981. An Asian-American Womans View of the CR Sessions. Womens Studies Quarterly 9(3): 16.

1983. Coping with the Oppressions of Gender, Class and Race: Asian Immigrant Women. Engage/Social Action ATLA Religion Database: 5662.

1985. Towards a Holistic Paradigm for Asian-American Womens Studies: A Synthesis of Feminist Scholarship and Women of Colors Feminist Politics. Womens Studies International Forum 8(1): 5965.

1987. Adaptive Strategies of Recent Korean Immigrant Women in Hawaii. In Beyond the Public/Domestic Dichotomy. Janet Sharistanian, ed. New York: Greenwood Press.

1987. Freed from the Elders but Locked into Labor: Korean Immigrant Women in Hawaii. Womens Studies: An Inter-Disciplinary Journal 13(3): 223  234.

1988. Global Feminism through Class Consciousness and Integrative Feminist Politics: The Case of Republic of Korea. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Women's Studies Association (10th, Minneapolis, MN, June 22-26, 1988).

1988. Womens History in Public: Picture Brides of Hawaii. Teaching the New Womens History 16(1/2): 51-62.

1993. The Struggle of Asian and Asian American Women Toward a Total Liberation: A Korean Methodist Womans Vocational Journey. In Spirituality and Social Responsibility. Rosemary Skinner Keller, ed. Pp. 248-263, 327-328. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

1993. Asian-Pacific Feminist Coalition Politics: The Chongshindae/Jugunianfu (Comfort Women) Movement. Korean Studies 17: 67-91.

1997. Integrative Feminist Politics in the Republic of Korea. In Nationalist Feminisms. Lois West, ed. New York: Routledge.

1998. Korean Feminist and Human Rights Politics: The Chongshindae/Jugunianfu ("Comfort Women") Movement. In Young L. Song and Ailee Moon, ed. Korean American Women: From Tradition to Modern Feminism, eds. Pp. 237-254. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.

1999. Korea: Modern Period. In Womens Studies Encyclopedia. Helen Tierney, ed. Pp. 821-824. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Chai, Alice Yun, and Barbara Kawakami

1985. Picture Brides: Hawaiis Early Immigrant Women. Video.
(project summary)

Chai, Alice Yun, and Christine Fugate

1990. Fighting for Our Lives: Korean Immigrant Women Vendors in Waikiki. Video.


Mail Order Brides: The Past Lives in the Present. Mildred Hamilton, San Francisco Examiner. June 8, 1986

Alice Chai: A Woman in Constant Creative Struggle. Christina Lowrie, Asian Women. March 20, 1990.

Brief Outline of Personal History

Birth and Upbringing

Born Yun Young Koo on 7/10/1928 in Seoul

Parents Dr. Yun Il Sun and Margaret Cho Young Sook

Father Dean of Medical School and President of Seoul National University during April 19 revolution

Mother Lived to age 104 in 2007

Oldest child of 7 siblings

Nickname "Mun Gyeong"

"Brothers work in the kitchen and daughters greet the guests"

Korean War

Worked for U.S. Air Force Chaplains Office as Interpreter; Supervised Orphanage

Evacuated to Busan with 1000 Orphans

Took name Alice after Alice Appenzeller of Ewha University


Kyeongi Girls High School, 1945

Seoul National University, 1950, B.A. in Music

Wesley Scholarship to Study in U.S. 1953

Ohio Wesleyan University, 1955, B.A. in Sociology

Ohio State University, 1957, M.A. in Anthropology

Ohio State University, 1962, Ph.D. in Anthropology

Advisor Erika E. Bourguignon

Work History

Taught at both Seoul National and Ewha Universities, 1960-63

Researcher at East-West Center 1965-74

Member of Women's Studies Department, University of Hawai`i, 1975-83 (?)

Specialization in Feminism and Asian-Pacific Women

History of Picture Brides

Systematic attempt to document experiences of first-generation Asian immigrant women through interview

Writings and video on subject translated into Korean and Japanese

Woman-centered Immigrant Businesses

National attention to first-generation Korean vendors in Waikiki

Organized International Market Place vendors facing displacement by plans for Convention Center

Jeongshindae/Juugun Ianfu ("Comfort Women")

Wrote and engaged in speaking tours in U.S., Japan, and Korea, 1993-

Organized panel on Comfort Women at Womens United Nations 1996

Dr. Yun Jeong-Ok: "AYC is the first and foremost U.S. Scholar working on Jeongshindae"

Activism in United Methodist Church

Member of Christ Methodist Church since 1963

Grandparents on both sides leaders in early Methodist movement in Korea

Active lay leader (gweonsa), attended national conferences from 1980s to 2000

Wrote and organized meetings about patriarchy in Korean church

(Semi-serious) self-description: "Methodist Asian-Pacific Radical Feminist Marxist"


Program from 80th Birthday Celebration, July 10, 2008

Program from Memorial Service, May 11, 2011

Photo Album

100 days old, 1928

The Yun Family - Young-Koo in back

The Yun Clan - Yun Il-Sun (center left, standing), Chi-young (center), and Bosun (center right), 1950s

Korean students picnic in Columbus, Ohio - first meeting with Hi Chang Chai, 1954

Engagement party in Delaware, Ohio, 1954

Wedding January 28, 1955 - flanked by Helen Yun and Hi Sook Chai

Graduation with an MA degree from Ohio State University, 1957

Back in Seoul; two boys - Moon-Ki and Sun-Ki, 1962

PhD degree from Ohio State, along with brother-in-law Hi Dong Chai, 1962

With her students at Ewha University, 1962-1963

Moving to Honolulu with her husband and children in Fall 1963

Outside of house on Kaloaluiki St. in Manoa, Oahu, 1966

Heading for Hi Chang Chai's sabbatical year in Pennsylvania, Fall 1969

Parents' fashion show in Ardmore, PA, 1969 or 1970

Il Sun and Margaret Yun honored at Seoul National University

Demonstrating in front of Japanese embassy in Seoul, 1988

With mother and third brother, Yun Yong Gu, late 1980s

The "Manoa Clan", early 1990s

Meeting with Jeongshindae survivors, UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, 1993

Keynote at International Society for Korean Studies in the Americas in New York, July 1994

Meeting of North and South Korean Women at UN World Conference on Women in Beijing, September 1995

Panel Discussion on Jeongshindae, 1995

Annual United Methodist Church Conference, Redlands, California, late 1990s