Guide to the Japanese American Documentary Collection
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0305
Creators:
Tanaka, Peter, Dr.
Tsukamoto, Mary
McGovern, Melvin
Nitta, Eugene T.
Armed Forces History, Division of (NMAH, SI).
Ishimoto, Norman
Dates:
1900s-1993
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1 Cubic foot
3 boxes and 1 oversized folder
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection is an assortment of souvenirs and memorabilia, which have survived the years since World War II. Many of them, Christmas cards, high school graduation programs, notes to friends, snapshots, and photographic prints in the form of dance programs reflect the interests and concerns of all teenagers. There are camp newsletters and Japanese passports, identification cards, ration books, meal passes, posters; a photograph album contains both family photographs and a record of achievements of members of the Kamikawa family. There is a transcript of a taped interview with Mrs. Kamikawa, who was nearly 90 in February 1982, the time of the interview. A book, Lone Heart Mountain by Estelle Ishigo, portrays in text and sketches life in the relocation centers.
The collection has been filed under the name of each donor rather than by subject such as passports, newsletters, photographs. With very few exceptions the material is in good condition. The historical sketch of the Matsumoto family tree in the photograph album is badly damaged.

Arrangement
Arrangement
1 series, arranged alphabetically by donor.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States went to war. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the military to exclude "any and all persons" from designated areas of the United States to protect the national defense. Thus, without the imposition of martial law, the military were given authority over the civilian population.
Under this order, nearly 120,000 men, women and children of Japanese ancestry, nearly two thirds of who were United States citizens, were forced out of their homes and into detention camps in isolated areas of the west. Many of them spent the years of the war living under armed guards, and behind barbed wire. Children spent their school days in the camps, young men left to volunteer or be drafted for military service. The War Relocation Authority administered the camps.
This collection of documentary materials relates to the involuntary relocation of Japanese Americans was collected by the Division of Armed Forces History in connection with the exhibit A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the United States Constitution at the National Museum of American History in 1988. The donors either were members of the Japanese American Citizens League or reached through the League. Interesting and revealing information is available about a few of the donors. They were primarily teenagers or young adults at the time of the relocation and the materials in the collection reflect their interests and concerns. Juichi Kamikawa, who had completed a year of college in Fresno, California, graduated from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. after the war and became a respected artist. His family record is one of distinction in both Japan and the United States for several generations. Masuichi Kamikawa, his father, received the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Japanese Emperor for outstanding contributions to the cultural heritage of Japan. Among achievements cited were his work in merchandizing and banking in Fresno, California. Mary Tsukamoto is one of the contributors to the video conversations in the exhibit. She is a retired teacher who was 27 years old in 1942 and a long time resident of Florin, California. Along with her entire family, she was sent to the center at Jerome, Arkansas. Mabel Rose Vogel taught high school at one of the camps, Rowher Center, Arkansas.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Grace Angle (volunteer), July, 1988, Robert S. Harding, July, 1988, revised by D. Haberstich, February 1989; J. Ravenscraft, (intern), June 1992; Jennifer (intern), September 2008
Author
Grace Angle (volunteer) and Robert S. Harding
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by a number of Japanese Americans, many of whom are members of the Japanese American Citizens League, headquartered in San Francisco. This material was acquired for inclusion in the exhibition, A More Perfect Union, described above, but was not placed on display for one reason or another. In certain instances, items in this collection were omitted from the exhibit if they were considered too fragile or too sensitive to prolonged exposure to light. It is possible that related items, currently on display, ultimately will be transferred to the Archives Center; if this occurs, it would be useful to distinguish between the two groups of exhibited and undisplayed materials. Transferred from the Division of Armed Forces History, June 1988.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow. Collection located at off-site storage area.
Viewing film portion of collection requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to LP recordings only possible by special arrangement. Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Preferred Citation
Japanese American Documentary Collection, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.

Related Materials
The Division of Armed Forces History will have additional documents collected for the exhibit, A More Perfect Union, described above, that may be useful. Another collection on this topic in the Archives Center is collection #450, the Gerald Lampoley Collection of Japanese American Letters, 1942 1943, a collection of six letters written by Japanese Americans to their former teacher. Researchers may also refer to the records of the War Relocation Authority, Record Group 210, or those of the United States Commands, 1947 , Record Group 338, in the National Archives. Further, the National Headquarters of the Japanese American Citizens League in San Francisco, California, and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California, maintain related collections.

Accruals
Accruals
The initial acquisition was a transfer from the Division of Armed Forces History in 1986, which had acquired the archival materials, along with some artifacts, from various donors. Since then there have been several addenda to the collection. Melvin McGovern and Eugene Nitta donated addenda in 2005. Dr. Peter Tanaka donated an addendum in 2006. The Ishimoto family donated an addendum in 2010. Norman Ishimoto donated an addendum in 2013. Ellen S. Levy donated an addendum in 2017.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Minidoka Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manzanar Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Military history, Modern Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Concentration camps -- 1942-1945 -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Idaho Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World War, 1939-1945 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Typescripts -- 1940-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Passports Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Albums -- 1940-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Amache (Calif.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Books Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
California -- 1940-1950 Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cartoons (humorous images) -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Christmas cards Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Comic books Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newsletters -- 1940-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Panoramas Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Personal papers -- 1940-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photograph albums -- 1940-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1940-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Posters -- 1940-1960 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ration books Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks -- 1900-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Telegrams -- 1940-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vogel, Mabel Rose Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wakabayashi, Ron Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Matsumoto Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kawashiri Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kihari, Shigeya Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oliver, Floyd A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ozamoto, T. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Miyake, Takashi Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hashimoto, M. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Emi, Frank Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Armed Forces History, Division of (NMAH, SI). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kamikawa, Kazu, Mrs. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kamikawa, Juichi Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese Americans Citizens League Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives