The First International Students at Iowa Law

Law Library display case

Spring semester’s Law Library display features Iowa Law's first three international students: 

Moung Edwin ရာဇဝင်ရိုင်းပါဘိန, Burma (Class of 1879),

Kizo Ishikawa 石川器蔵, Japan (Class of 1890), and

Nai Hsin Chien 钱乃信, China (Class of 1933).

The exhibit includes a biographical timeline for each alum, highlights of their Iowa Law experience, and photographs of archival materials, many of which are held in the Law Library’s collection.

About Our Alums:

Moung Edwin was the first international student at both the University of Iowa and the College of Law. A devout Baptist, he studied in the U.S. with plans to work as a missionary in Burma. Prior to attending Iowa Law, he received a degree from Crozer Theological Seminary, the same theology institute Martin Luther King, Jr. attended in 1948. After his return to Burma, he described himself as “a preacher and a pleader,” practicing law and evangelizing for the Baptist church until his passing in 1912.

Kizo Ishikawa was born during the Meiji Restoration (1868-1889) and had a passion for l earning English—one source indicated he was one of just a few students who was fluent in English by his early teens. Kizo wrote articles about his life in Japan for the Iowa City Republican, a local newspaper, while in law school. He planned to continue his studies in the U.S. with a Political Science degree from Cornell (New York). However, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and had to return to Japan. There was no cure at that time and though he received treatment, he passed away a couple years after his law school graduation.

Nai Hsin Chien attended college at Yenching University in China. He started at Harvard Law School in 1930 but transferred to Iowa in 1932. His brother, Nai Wen, was starting law school at Iowa that year and they lived and studied together in Iowa City. Nai Hsin graduated from Iowa Law in 1933, while Nai Wen transferred to University of Chicago Law School. Their father, Shu Fan, graduated from University of Chicago Law School in 1913. Nai Hsin worked as an English educator in China until the late 1960s, when the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act made it possible for he and his family to move to the U.S., where they lived until his passing in 2003.

Iowa Law Library