Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Kamikawa and Omata Family Papers

Collection ID:
Omata, Hiroko
ca. 1900-2006.
Collection is in
. Some materials are in
Physical Description:
1 Cubic foot
1 box
The collection documents family history in Japan and in America and consists of photographs, documents and genealogical charts. There are also original audio recordings of Japanese poetry recitations and a transcript of an oral history interview relating to the internment of Japanese Americans.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
This collection consists of genealogical and historical information about the Kamikawa, Omata, and Matsumoto families and their descendants compiled by Hiroko Kamikawa Omata. The materials include ancestry charts, copies of photographs, letters, interviews, and copies of official documents such as diplomas, naturalization papers, as well as announcements regarding the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II. The collection was arranged by the donor, and the Archives Center has maintained this arrangement. All dates in this collection refer to the original creation date of the collected materials. The family papers were originally amassed in 2004 and were edited in 2006.

The collection is arranged into two series.
Series 1: Kamikawa, Omata and Matsumoto Families Papers, 1850-2006, undated
Series 2: Oral History Interview, 2004

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
: Four Kamikawa brothers, Riichi, Mitsuiji, Masuichi and Koichi, emigrated from Japan to Fresno, California, just before the turn of the twentieth century. They married and started a merchant business, Kamikawa Brothers, which operated in Fresno, Selma, San Francisco and Del Rey, California, and in Japan. The brothers expanded the business to include banking, a hotel, grocery, restaurant, public bath, vineyard and other enterprises. During World War II, family members were interned at a camp in Arkansas. After the war many settled in New Jersey and Maryland.
Members of the Omata family -- a brother, George, and two sisters, also immigrated to California in the 1890s, though the sisters eventually returned to Japan. George established grocery and dry good stores in Hanford, California, and was successful in securing day laborers for community businesses. George's son, Robert, married Hiroko, the daughter of Masuichi Kamikawa, in 1948. Some members of the Omata family also were interned, and they too eventually settled on the East Coast.
The Matsumoto family was a well-to-do family in Japan. They were involved in the production of fertilizer and steel. Katsu (Kazu) Masimoto was the wife of Masuichi Kamikawa, and mother of Hiroko Kamikawa Omata.

Adrienne Cain and Kiley Orchard
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Collection donated by Hiroko Omata, 2006.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Adrienne Cain, intern and Kiley Orchard, intern; supervised by Vanessa Broussard-Simmons, archivist), 2008.
Existence and Location of Originals
The families maintain the originals of some of the materials.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research and access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Preferred Citation
Kamikawa and Omata Family Papers, circa 1900-2006, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center
Bishop Mitsumyo Tottori Memorial Notebooks (NMAH.AC.0926)
Japanese American Documentary Collection (NMAH.AC.0305)
Gerald Lamboley Collection of Japanese-American Letters (NMAH.AC.0450)
Catherine Hann Papers (NMAH.AC.0921)
Juanita Tamayo Lott Filipino American Photographs and Papers (NMAH.AC.0925)

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Merchants -- 20th century Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese Americans -- Forced removal and internment -- 1942-1945 Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Genealogical tables Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese American families -- Photographs Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese American families Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Immigrants Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Genealogies Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012