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Papers, 1919-1921

14 items

The papers of John S. Chambers include the following: letter from John S. Chambers, Controller of the State of California, to Eddie [O'Day] and Elmore Laffingwell, Los Angeles, 13 September 1921, mentioning the Asiatic Exclusion League and outlining the dangers of unchecked Japanese immigration;  letter from V.S. McClatchey to E[dward] F. O'Day, Sacramento, 13 August 1929;  and "Japanese immigration.  When will it insure dominance of the yellow race in this country?", a printed sheet by V.S. McClatchey, Sacramento, 24 August 1919.  Also included are reproductions of newspaper clippings from the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, and other California newspapers, 19191921.


Papers, 1942-1944

2 folders

The Fujita family was sent from their home in Los Angeles, California to the nearby Santa Anita Assembly Center in 1942 when the United States government began relocation of Japanese Americans.  The Fujitas were later transferred to the Amache Relocation Center in Prowers County, Colorado.  Here the family spent the duration of the war.

The collection consists of a variety of papers from the family's placement in Amache.  Included are publications from the War Relocation Authority (WRA), the Colorado Council of Churches and the Japanese American Citizens' League regarding Japanese-American loyalty to the U.S., programs from school ceremonies, grade reports, handouts from the WRA at Amache and from the Wartime Civil Control Administration specifying location of living quarters and concerning water conservation, clothing issue, and confiscation of phonograph records containing Japanese material.  Also of interest are a program from the Amache community theatre and newsletters from the Amache Senior High School which provide information on social events.  One issue of the newsletter contains a lengthy account of his experiences in the armed forces by a Japanese-American sergeant in the Air Force, who spoke at the Amache Senior High School.  The collection also contains a community directory for Amache, which includes names and prewar addresses of the inhabitants.

The papers were loaned in 1985 by Mr. and Mrs. Tsuneo Fujita for use in the Balch Institute exhibit, "The Japanese American Experience."


Family History, ca. 1985

The collection consists of a photocopy of a brief history of her family which was written by Japanese American Edith Aoi Honda.  The history contains information on the emigration of Edith Aoi's parents from Japan in 1920, their careers in the United States, the births and careers of Edith's siblings, and Japanese-American communities in Ithaca, New York and in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where the family finally settled.  Also included is a short list of Japanese in the Atlantic City, N.J., area known by Edith Aoi's parents before World War II.

The material was donated by Ms. Edith Aoi Honda in 1985 in connection with the Balch Institute exhibit "The Japanese American Experience."


INOUYE, SABURO (1888-1968) AND MICHIYU (1899-1973)

Papers, 1888-1985

5 folders

Saburo Inouye was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1888.  Michiyo Ibuka Inouye was born in Yanagi, Tokyo, Japan on 11 November 1899.  The two were married and immigrated to the United States in 1909.  They settled in Sacramento, California, where Saburo opened a furniture shop.  In 1941, the Inouye's were relocated, at first, to Tule Lake Relocation Center, California, then to a relocation center in Jerome, Arkansas.

In 1944, the Citizens Cooperating Committee of the War Relocation Authority asked the Inouye's to move to Philadelphia where they managed the Japanese-American Hostel.  Until 1945, the Inouye's aided over 1,000 Japanese Americans relocating in the Philadelphia area.  The hostel was located at 3228 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and was sponsored by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the Philadelphia Federation of Churches, and the Citizen's Cooperating Committee of the War Relocation Authority.  It served as a halfway house for JapaneseAmerican families arriving in Philadelphia from various relocation centers around the country.  After the war the hostel moved to 4238 Spruce Street, Philadelphia and catered primarily to foreign students attending the University of Pennsylvania.  When Mrs. Inouye retired in 1974 the hostel was closed.

The Inouye's were very active in the community.  They were charter members of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and parishioners of the Woodland Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.  In 1969 Mrs. Inouye was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure by Emperor Hirohito for her role in bettering and maintaining good relations between the United States and Japan.

The Inouye's had three children, two sons and a daughter, all of whom became medical doctors.  Dr. William Inouye, a graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, invented a lightweight kidney dialysis machine and became a prominent surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

Saburo Inouye died on 14 April 1968 at the age of eighty.  Michiyo Ibuka Inouye died on 29 November 1978 at the age of seventynine.

The Saburo and Michiyo Inouye Papers, a total of five folders, span the period 1888 to 1985 with the majority falling between 1942 and 1949.  They contain correspondence, news clippings, speeches, and immigration/naturalization documents relating to the Inouye's personal and public lives.  The correspondence is limited to their son, William Inouye.  It shows his attempts to recover an impounded camera and gain admission to Swarthmore College after having been relocated from an internment camp to Philadelphia (1942-1944).  Similarly, the papers contain published articles relating to the experiences of interned and relocated JapaneseAmerican college students (1942-1945).  There are also a number of speeches given at a tea honoring the Inouyes for their service at the Philadelphia Hostel for Japanese-Americans.  Miscellaneous items include a list of Japanese living in the United States for fifty years or more (1960).

Mr. and Mrs. Inouye's papers were given to the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in 1985 by Miyoko Inouye Bassett and Eleanor Ward Inouye in conjunction with the Institute's exhibition on Japanese Americans.

The box list of the Inouye Papers is two pages long and available upon request.  The charge is $0.25 per page, in addition to $2.50 for shipping and handling.


Clippings, 1944, 1953, and n.d.

1 folder

The collection consists of photocopies of clippings collected by Naomi Tanaka (nee Nakano).  The bulk of the clippings concern Ms. Tanaka's education at the University of Pennsylvania and controversy connected with an unofficial policy adopted by Penn between 1942 and 1944 of excluding all new Japanese students.  Student of Japanese-American descent already at the University were to be allowed to finish their studies; graduate study was considered new registration.  As a result, Tanaka was discouraged by the Dean of the Graduate School from accepting a fellowship which she had been offered for graduate study at the University of Pennsylvania in 1944.  As a result of the furor on campus and in the newspapers over the issue, the policy was dropped.  Tanaka, however, accepted a scholarship from Bryn Mawr instead.

Also included in the collection is a photocopied article summarizing a 1966 report of the JACLUCLA Japanese American Research Project on the Issei in America.  The clippings contain some information on the Nakano family.

For material of related interest see SC 164, the Yosuke W. Nakano papers.

The materials were donated by Marilyn Tanaka, Naomi Nakano's daughter, in 1985 in connection with the 1985 Balch Institute exhibit, "The Japanese American Experience."

NAKANO, YOSUKE E. (1887-1961)

Papers, 1906-1953

6 folders

Yosuke Watanabe Nakano was born in Yamaguchi City, Japan in 1887, the son of a small land owner.  Immigrating to San Francisco, California at the age of nineteen, he enrolled at the University of California, Berkley.  After graduation from Berkley in 1915, Nakano continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a Masters of Science in Architecture.  Upon recommendation by one of his professors, Nakano found a job with Wark and Company Builders in Philadelphia.  In 1918 he was appointed chief engineer and corporate secretary.

As chief engineer Nakano worked on many projects, earning a reputation as one of the foremost concrete engineers in the United States.  His Philadelphia projects included almost every building on the 1600 block of Walnut Street, the Quartermasters Depot at 21st and Johnston Streets, additions to the Jefferson and Lankenau hospitals, the Bell Telephone Company building at 19th and Arch Streets, and an aircraft assembly plant in Northeast Philadelphia for the Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company.

Nakano's wartime experiences were different from most other Japanese-Americans of the 1940s.  He was a registered alien in 1941, hence his background was questionable in the eyes of the authorities following the post Pearl Harbor hysteria.  Nakano's employers and friends assured the government that he was a loyal American of impeccable integrity.  He voluntarily resigned from his position as chief engineer because of government contracts which the Wark Company was awarded, but he remained an employee with the Wark Company for the duration of the war due to his considerable experience and expertise.

Nakano was married in 1920 to Teru Yamamoto, who worked as a secretary at the University of Pennsylvania.  They had two daughters and lived in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.  Nakano died on 4 April 1961, in Kobe, Japan at the age of seventyfour.

The Yosuke W. Nakano Papers, a total of six folders, date from 1906 to 1953, with the majority falling between 1941 and 1953.  They contain correspondence, financial papers, news clippings, and immigration/naturalization documents relating to Nakano's professional life as a civil engineer.  Nakano's personal correspondence (1941-1953) shows his employers' attempts to save his job after war was declared on Japan.  Similarly, his financial papers document attempts to withdraw money from a bank account monitored by the United States Treasury Department.  Newspaper and magazine clippings deal with various aspects of Nakano's life, including the construction of the Quartermaster's Depot in Philadelphia.  Miscellaneous materials include a mailing list of JapaneseAmericans living in the Philadelphia area (1946).

The Yosuke W. Nakano Papers were given to the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in 1985 by Teru Nakano Graves in conjunction with the Institute's exhibition on Japanese Americans.

The box list of the register of the papers of Yosuke W. Nakano is one page long and available upon request.  The charge is $0.25 per page, in addition to $2.50 for shipping and handling.


Papers, 1943-1944

2 folders

Muriel Shapp (nee Matzkin) trained in the New York City School system to be a biology teacher.  In 1943 she took a job teaching at the Topaz relocation center in Utah.  She served as head of the physical education department at Topaz High School as well as teaching biology.

The collection consists of a 1943-44 yearbook from Topaz High School, and a taped interview with Mrs. Shapp concerning her experiences in the camp and explaining the history of several artifacts donated to the museum at the same time.  The audiocassette is accompanied by a partial transcript of the interview.

The materials were donated by Mrs. Shapp in 1991.  Artifacts were separated to the museum.  Photographs have been separated to Photo Group 340.

The box list of the register of the papers of Muriel Shapp is one page long and available upon request.  The charge is $0.25 per page, in addition to $2.50 for shipping and handling.


Document, 1907

1 page

The company dealt in wholesale and retail sales of Japanese provisions and general merchandise.  This receipt is for money for "56 Japanese advance to Alaska work."

In English.


Papers, 1943-1983

1 folder.

Shizuno Inukai Yabuki was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1892.  George Katsutaro Yabuki was born in Okayamaken, Japan in 1885.  George Yabuki came to the United States in 1905; Shizuno came to the mainland with her family in 1903 and settled in Oakland, California.  The couple married in 1912 and remained in Oakland where George worked at a laundry and their son Masao was born in 1913.  In 1942, Executive Order 9066 forced the couple's evacuation to Tanforan Assembly Center and the Topaz Relocation Center.

When allowed to leave Topaz, Masao Yabuki moved to Philadelphia in 1944.  Here Masao lived for a time in the Japanese American Hostel, which was then managed by Saburo and Michiyo Inouye.  After getting settled, he called for his parents to join him.

The collection contains photocopies of applications for leave clearance for George and Shizuno Yabuki, and copies of two pamphlets on relocation to Philadelphia, one of which was published by the Philadelphia District Office of the War Relocation Authority.  The other pamphlet was published under the auspices of the Philadelphia Nisei Council and the International Institute.  Also present in the collection are two copies of the Fall 1983 newsletter of the Oakland Heritage Alliance, which contains an article on the Japanese in Oakland by the Yabuki's grandson, Dean M. Yabuki.

For related materials see the Saburo and Michiyo Inouye P (SC 163).

The collection was donated by Dean M. Yabuki in 1988