Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
64 documents - page 1 of 4

Kamekichi Tokita Papers, circa 1900-circa 2010, bulk 1900-1948

Creator:
Tokita, Kamekichi, 1897-1948  Search this
Tokita, Kamekichi, 1897-1948  Search this
Subject:
Callahan, Kenneth  Search this
Tokita, Shokichi  Search this
Tokita, Elsie  Search this
Baker, Burt Brown  Search this
Boynton, Roy  Search this
Art Institute of Seattle  Search this
Seattle Art Museum  Search this
Hotel Cadillac  Search this
Henry Art Gallery  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Minidoka Relocation Center  Search this
Type:
Photograph albums
Photographs
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japanese Americans  Search this
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945 -- Diaries  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Art, American -- Northwestern States  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Northwestern States  Search this
Theme:
Asian American  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10444
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213849
AAA_collcode_tokikame
Theme:
Asian American
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_213849
Online Media:

Kamekichi Tokita Papers

Creator:
Tokita, Kamekichi  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Seattle  Search this
Henry Art Gallery  Search this
Hotel Cadillac (Seattle, Wash.)  Search this
Minidoka Relocation Center  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Seattle Art Museum  Search this
Baker, Burt Brown  Search this
Boynton, Roy  Search this
Callahan, Kenneth, 1905-1986  Search this
Tokita, Elsie  Search this
Tokita, Shokichi  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photograph albums
Photographs
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Date:
circa 1900-circa 2010
bulk 1900-1948
Summary:
The scattered personal papers of Seattle area painter Kamekichi Tokita (1897-1948) measure 1.5 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to circa 2010 with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1910 to 1948. The papers include biographical materials, including documents about the closing of the War Relocation Authority's Minidoka Camp in Idaho; correspondence; three diaries written in Japanese documenting Tokita's war time experiences and relocation to Minidoka, two earlier notebooks, also written in Japanese, and scattered notes; a few personal business records; printed materials; one scrapbook; sketches; and one family photograph album.
Scope and Contents:
The scattered personal papers of Seattle area painter Kamekichi Tokita (1897-1948) measure 1.5 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to circa 2010 with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1910 to 1948. The papers include biographical materials, including documents about the closing of the War Relocation Authority's Minidoka Camp in Idaho; correspondence; three diaries written in Japanese documenting Tokita's war time experiences and relocation to Minidoka, two earlier notebooks, also written in Japanese, and scattered notes; a few personal business records; printed materials; one scrapbook; sketches; and one family photograph album.

Biographical materials include a file on the Public Works of Art Project, a file on the War Relocation Authority and the closing of the Minidoka internment camp, an immigration document, and an essay on Tokita written by Shokichi and Elsie Tokita.

Correspondence is primarily professional in nature and concerns exhibitions at the Seattle Museum of Art (previously the Art Institute of Seattle) and other topics. Correspondents include Burt Brown Baker, Roy Boynton, Kenneth Callahan, Henry Gallery, the Seattle Art Museum, and others.

Tokita's writings consist of three diaries, two notebooks, and scattered general writings, most of which are in Japanese. The diaries were kept during World War II and document the family's confinement at the Minidoka Relocation Camp in Idaho. Included is a transcript of the diaries which were translated from prewar to modern Japanese by Haruo Takasugi and from modern Japanese to English by Naomi Kusunoki-Martin.

Scattered business records include a patent application, records from the Cadillac Hotel, and a claim filed through the Department of Justice. A few published books in English and Japanese are about art and religion. Also found are exhibition catalogs for shows in which Tokita participated and clippings. There is one mixed media scrapbook about Tokita's exhibitions.

Artwork consists of unsigned pencil and watercolor sketches by Tokita. There is also a family photo album containing snapshots and portraits of the Tokita family and friends.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1934-1985 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1920-1944 (Box 1; 6 folders)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1923-circa 1950 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1928-1950 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1910-1940 (Box 1-3; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbook, 1929-1933 (Box 2-3; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1910-1940s (Box 2-3; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 8: Photograph Album, circa 1900-1930 (Box 2; 0.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Kamekichi Tokita (1897-1948) was a Japanese American painter and businessman who emigrated from Japan in 1919 and settled in Seattle, Washington. Tokita was a member of the Seattle area progressive artists' collective known as the "Group of Twelve" and widely exhibited his artwork throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Kamekichi Tokita was born in Shizouka City, Japan and immigrated to the United States at the age of twenty-two. He settled in the Japantown neighborhood of Seattle, Washington where he opened the Noto Sign Company with business partner Kenjiro Nomura. Nomura was also an artist and encouraged Tokita's interest in oil painting. They both used the sign shop as their studio after-hours. In 1936, the Noto Sign Company closed and Tokita took over management of the Cadillac Hotel, although he continued to paint commercial signs. Tokita married Haruko Suzuki in 1932 and together they had eight children.

As a child in Japan, Tokita studied calligraphy in China. Although he attended a few art school classes in in the U.S. and went on weekend painting trips with Nomura and other Seattle artists, Tokita is considered to be a largely self-trained artist. Support and recognition came from Dorothy V. Morrison of the Henry Gallery at the University of Washington who wrote to Tokita to inquire whether a "group of Japanese artists in the city" would be interested in exhibiting their work. Although the exhibition of Japanese artists did not happen, Tokita later loaned paintings to the gallery for inclusion in an exhibition sponsored by the American Federation of Arts. Throughout the late 1920s and 1930s Tokita exhibited widely in the Seattle area. In 1935, the Seattle Daily Times touted the work of Tokita and other painters in the "Group of Twelve" that also included Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, Walter F. Isaacs, and Ambrose and Viola Patterson, among others. In 1942, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Kamekichi Tokita and his family (five children at the time), along with the 110,000 – 120,000 Japanese and Japanese-American citizens living on the West Coast, were ordered under President Franklin Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 to relocate to one of several confinement camps. For the first six months of their confinement, the family lived at a temporary Civilian Assembly Center in Puyallup, Washington. They were transferred to the Minidoka Relocation Camp in Hunt, Idaho where they remained until their release in 1945. The confinement camps were organized much like communes and independent cities (fenced and guarded) where the residents were self-reliant for most of their basic necessities, including schooling. While interned in Minidoka, Tokita worked as a sign painter and continued to privately paint, using whatever materials he could find, including beaver board. His work was featured in art shows at the camp. Many of his camp scenes are now lost or were given away.

At the end of World War II, Tokita and his family (now seven children) moved back to the Seattle-area. Unable to find housing, the Tokitas lived at a Japanese language school until Tokita was able to re-establish his business. During this period he painted very little. In 1946 Tokita and his wife purchased the New Lucky Hotel in the Chinatown area of Seattle. Shortly thereafter, Tokita fell ill and died in 1948. Many of his works are believed to have been destroyed or lost. Some of his work remains, however, and is among the permanent collections of the Seattle Art Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum.

Note: Much of this biographical note was taken from "A Biographical Resume" written by Shokichi and Elsie Y. Tokita.
Separated Materials:
A watercolor painting on paper by Kamekichi Tokita, Untitled (Still Life), 9 x 12 in. was transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2012.
Provenance:
The Kamekichi Tokita papers were donated by his son, Shokichi Tokita in 1990. He donated a third and final diary in 2017. They were collected as part of the Archives of American Art Northwest Asian American project in Seattle, Washington.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japanese Americans  Search this
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945 -- Diaries  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Art, American -- Northwestern States  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Northwestern States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photograph albums
Photographs
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Citation:
Kamekichi Tokita papers, circa 1900-circa 2010, bulk circa 1910-1948. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tokikame
See more items in:
Kamekichi Tokita Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tokikame

Yasuo Kuniyoshi papers

Creator:
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Extent:
14.3 Linear feet
2.84 Gigabytes
14.3 Linear feet
2.84 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
1906-2016
bulk 1920-1990
1906-2016
bulk 1920-1990
Summary:
The papers of artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi measure 14.3 linear feet and 2.84 gigabytes and date from 1906-2016, bulk 1920-1990. The collection documents his career as a painter, graphic artist, and photographer, as well as his involvement in political, social, and art organizations, especially during World War II. Included are biographical material; correspondence; writings and lectures by Kuniyoshi and others; organization records primarily on his participation in various associations and groups he was a member of; professional and gallery records regarding business dealings with American and Japanese galleries, museums, and dealers; exhibition files; printed material; four scrapbooks; artwork; photographs of Kuniyoshi and others in various locations and at events; and artwork records which mostly consist of photographs and provenance information. The collection also contains materials on Kuniyoshi's career and artwork obtained after his death by his widow Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi measure 14.3 linear feet and 2.84 gigabytes and date from 1906-2013, bulk 1920-1990. The collection documents his career as a painter, graphic artist, and photographer, as well as his involvement in political, social, and art organizations, especially during World War II. Included are biographical material; correspondence; writings and lectures by Kuniyoshi and others; organization records primarily on his participation in various associations and groups he was a member of; professional and gallery records regarding business dealings with American and Japanese galleries, museums, and dealers; exhibition files; printed material; four scrapbooks; artwork; photographs of Kuniyoshi and others in various locations and at events; and artwork records which mostly consist of photographs and provenance information. The collection also contains materials on Kuniyoshi's career and artwork obtained after his death by his widow Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi.

Biographical material consists of a wide range of records such as an address book, resumes, biographical summaries, vital records, citizenship applications, identification documents, travel records, and documentation regarding Kuniyoshi's death. There is some limited biographical material on the artist's widow, Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi, plus interviews with her talking about Kuniyoshi.

Correspondence is divided into correspondence with Yasuo Kuniyoshi and the correspondence with his second wife, Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi. The Yasuo Kuniyoshi correspondence discusses various topics including exhibits and his status as a Japanese American during World War II. The bulk of the series consists of correspondence with Sara after Yasuo's death and usually relates to exhibitions of his work, and reproduction requests for the inclusion of his work in publications. Of note is her correspondence with Alexander Brook, Ritsuko Ozawa, Tom Wolf, and the Yasuo Kuniyoshi Museum in Japan.

Writings and lectures include Kuniyoshi's writings and speeches about other artists, art and the art profession, lithography, and World War II. Also found are statements on his own work and extensive notes for his autobiography. There are two sound recordings of lectures by Kuniyoshi at art schools as well as writings by others, including Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi, about Yasuo Kuniyoshi.

Organization records document Kuniyoshi's involvement in social, political, and art organizations, including the East West Association and the Artists Equity Association. These records include correspondence, speeches, printed material and notes.

Gallery and professional records include material on Kuniyoshi's career and the sales of his work at galleries. Found herein are correspondence, printed material and notes. There are files on projects and commissions, transcripts of the radio broadcast "Japan Against Japan," appraisals of artwork, authentications of artwork, art inventories of his work at various galleries as well as private collections, and records of his participation in the Woodstock Art Conference. Also noteworthy are the records of Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi's dealings with the Downtown Gallery and Zabriskie Galleries.

Exhibition files include a few files on exhibitions while Yasuo Kuniyoshi was alive, but most of the series consists of files created by Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi about exhibitions of Kuniyoshi's works after his death in 1953. Files may include exhibition checklists and planning documents, loan agreements, correspondence, photographs of the exhibition, and press materials.

Printed material consists of books, newspaper, and magazine clippings about Kuniyoshi and about World War II. There are numerous exhibition catalogs and announcements and some magazines, posters, brochures, and bulletins.

There are four scrapbooks of printed material related to Kuniyoshi and his artwork. The scrapbooks contain press clippings, exhibition announcements, checklists, and a few catalogs.

Artwork consists of etchings, numerous sketches and drawings in graphite and ink, sketches painted onto clear acetate which Kuniyoshi used for catalogs, two zinc lithographic plates and their corresponding prints, and a sketchbook. Drawings that Yasuo Kuniyoshi created for the Office of War Information during World War II are in this series. There is one folder of pencil sketches by unidentified artists.

Photographic material are mostly photographs of Kuniyoshi in his studio, at various events and parties, teaching at Mills College and with his wife Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi. Also found are photographs of artists, including Francis Criss, Julian Levi, Doris and Russell Lee, and others, taken by Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Especially noteworthy, are photographs of the Artists Equity Testimonial Dinner held in honor of Kuniyoshi's 1948 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. There are some slides and snapshots of Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi's travels abroad and a the house in Woodstock she shared with Yasuo, along with other locations.

Artwork photograph records were created by Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi to document works of art created by her husband. Files mostly include photographs of artwork with annotations regarding title, date, sale, and provenance. Some files also include correspondence, notes by Sara Kuniyoshi, exhibition history, and published reproductions. There are also miscellaneous photographs and slides of artwork which mostly consist of duplicates of artwork that can be found in the rest of the series.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 11 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1906-1998 (Box 1, ER01; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-2007 (Boxes 1-2; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Lectures, 1939-2003 (Box 2; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Organization Records, 1939-2003 (Box 3; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 5: Gallery and Professional Records, circa 1924-2009 (Boxes 3-5, OV 19; 2.1 linear feet)

Series 6: Exhibition Files, 1948-2004 (Boxes 5-6, OVs 19-20; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1921-2013 (Boxes 6-8, 14, OV 20 ; 2.1 linear feet)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1919-1978 (Boxes 8, 13, 15; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, 1925-1991 (Boxes 8, 14, 16, OV 21-23; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographic Material, circa 1920-2005 (Boxes 8-9, 16-17; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 11: Artwork Photograph Records, circa 1920s-2016 (Boxes 9-12, 17-18, OV 22; 3.8 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Yasuo Kuniyoshi (1889-1953) was a Japanese-American painter, printmaker and photographer based in New York, N.Y.

Kuniyoshi was born in Okayama, Japan. In 1906 he came to the United States and a year later began studying at the Los Angeles School of Art and Design. In 1910 he moved to New York and took courses at the National Academy of Design, the Independent School of Art, and the Art Students League, where he studied with Kenneth Hayes Miller. He was married to fellow artist Katherine Schmidt from 1919 to 1932. After traveling throughout Europe, they moved to the Woodstock, New York, in 1927 and took part in the Woodstock Art Colony. Kuniyoshi studied and later taught at the Art Students League summer school there.

By 1930 Kuniyoshi had established himself as an internationally known painter and graphic artist. In 1935, he received a Guggenheim fellowship and married Sara Mazo. In New York City he taught at the Art Students League, the New School for Social Research, and served as the first president of the Artists Equity Association from 1947 to 1950. Kuniyoshi was active in social organizations, especially Japanese American organizations, such as the Japanese American Committee for Democracy. Although Kuniyoshi was barred from becoming a citizen due to American immgration laws at the time, he viewed himself as American and took an active role in the war effort during World War II, even working with the U.S. Office of War Information department to design posters.

The Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective for Kuniyoshi in 1948, making him the first living artist to be honored in such a fashion at the museum. Yasuo Kuniyoshi died of cancer in 1953 and was survived by his second wife Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi who preserved the legacy of his work.
Related Materials:
Also found at the Archives of American Art are the Yasuo Kuniyoshi photographs of artwork, a 1948 letter from Kuniyoshi to E. P. Richardson, and checklists of Yasuo Kuniyoshi prints.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in installments, from 1969 to 1995, by Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi, Yasuo Kuniyoshi's widow. Additional papers were donated in 2014 and 2018 by Stephen Diamond, Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi's nephew.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Political clubs  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japanese Americans  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Asian American printmakers  Search this
Asian American photographers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Citation:
Yasuo Kuniyoshi papers, 1906-2016, bulk 1920-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kuniyasu
See more items in:
Yasuo Kuniyoshi papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuniyasu
Online Media:

Yasuo Kuniyoshi papers, 1906-2016, bulk 1920-1990

Creator:
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Political clubs  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japanese Americans  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Asian American printmakers  Search this
Asian American photographers  Search this
Theme:
Asian American  Search this
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Photography  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9175
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211370
AAA_collcode_kuniyasu
Theme:
Asian American
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of American Artists
Photography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211370
Online Media:

Chiura Obata papers, 1891-2000, bulk 1942-1945

Creator:
Obata, Chiura, 1885-1975  Search this
Obata, Chiura, 1885-1975  Search this
Subject:
Obata, Gyo, 1923-  Search this
Okubo, Miné  Search this
Central Utah Relocation Center  Search this
Tanforan Assembly Center  Search this
Type:
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Topic:
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japanese Americans  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Asian American educators  Search this
Theme:
Asian American  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)17607
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)397059
AAA_collcode_obatchiu
Theme:
Asian American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_397059
Online Media:

Chiura Obata papers

Creator:
Obata, Chiura  Search this
Names:
Central Utah Relocation Center  Search this
Tanforan Assembly Center (San Bruno, Calif.)  Search this
Obata, Gyo, 1923-  Search this
Okubo, Miné, 1912-2001  Search this
Extent:
3.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Date:
1891-2000
bulk 1942-1945
Summary:
The papers of Japanese-American artist and educator Chiura Obata measure 3.6 linear feet and date from circa 1891 to 2000 with the bulk of the material dating from 1942 to 1945. The collection contains biographical material primarily related to Obata's family's forced relocation from Berkeley to Tanforan detention center and incarceration at the Topaz Relocation center; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings by Chiura Obata and others; material related to the art schools Obata established at Tanforan and Topaz; teaching files and professional activities; exhibition files; printed material, including TREK, and Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata's Art of Internment; photographic material; and sketches and sketchbooks. There is a 1.0 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2020 that includes correspondence, writings, subject files and printed material.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Japanese-American artist and educator Chiura Obata measure 3.6 linear feet and date from circa 1891 to 2000 with the bulk of the material dating from 1942 to 1945. The collection contains biographical material primarily related to Obata's family's forced relocation from Berkeley to Tanforan detention center and incarceration at the Topaz Relocation center; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings by Chiura Obata and others; material related to the art schools Obata established at Tanforan and Topaz; teaching files and professional activities; exhibition files; printed material, including TREK, and Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata's Art of Internment; photographic material; and sketches and sketchbooks.

Biographical material includes Chiura Obata's school diplomas and resumes, as well as material related to his family's forced relocation and incarceration at Tanforan and Topaz, and eventual resettlement. There is a small amount of biographical material on others, such as records of memorial meetings held for Perham Nahl and material related to the forced relocation of Hiro Niwa.

The correspondence series consists of letters between Chiura Obata and family, friends, and colleagues, primarily while he was incarcerated at Tanforan and Topaz. Notable correspondents include John Boylin, Monroe Deutsch, Dorothy Parker, Miné Okubo, and Ruth Kingman. There are also letters of appreciation from students who attended the art schools established by Chiura Obata at Tanforan and Topaz.

Writings include diaries, lecture drafts, notes, and essays. Most of the writings are about art, but some are about Obata's experiences at Tanforan and Topaz. Also included in this series are translations of Obata's paintings and poems and writings by others on various subjects.

The professional activities series contains materials related to Obata's work as an artist and educator from his time teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, to the Tanforan and Topaz Art Schools he founded. Most of the series consists of teaching files, but there are other files on projects, commissions, inventory lists, and art donations.

Exhibition files include a range of materials related to group and solo exhibitions of Chiura Obata's paintings. There are exhibition lists, price lists, catalogs, photographs, correspondence, loan forms, clippings, printed material, and one guest register.

Printed material includes exhibition announcements, catalogs, magazines, newspapers, clippings and calendars. Noteworthy items include copies of TREK, which were published by the Japanese Americans incarcerated at Topaz; printed material related to Miné Okubo; and copies of Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata's Art of Internment.

Photographic material includes an album from the Pan Pacific International Exposition and photographs of the Obata family's forced relocation from Berkeley, the Tanforan Art School, and their home in Webster Groves, Missouri, after they left the incarceration camps. There are also photographs used in the book Topaz Moon and photographs by the War Relocation Authority.

Artwork consists of a few watercolors, sketchbooks, and sketches, some of which were created during Obata's incarceration at Topaz. Other sketches were done for commercial work in St. Louis. There is an autograph book containing sketches and paintings by others.

Researchers should note that the term "evacuation" has been replaced in original folder titles with "forced relocation" for more accurate historical representation.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in 9 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1894-1898, 1935-circa 1975 (Box 1, OV 4; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1925-1992 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1924-circa 1964, circa 1986 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Professional Activities, 1913, 1924-1967 (Boxes 1-2, OV 4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1925-1951 (Box 2, OV4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1901-circa 1906, 1925-2000 (Box 2, OV 5; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographic Material, circa 1891-1969 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 8: Artwork, 1917-circa 1945 (Box 3, OV 5; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Unprocessed Addition (Box 6; 1.0 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Chiura Obata (1885-1975) was a Japanese-American artist and educator. Born Zoroku Sato in Okayama prefecture in Japan, Obata showed artistic talent early in life. He joined the artist group Nihon Bijutsuin (the Japan Art Institute) and apprenticed with Tanryo Murata. Obata also trained in Western and modern Japanese art.

In 1903 Obata immigrated to the United States. He worked as a commercial designer and as an illustrator for newspapers including the New World and the Japanese American, San Francisco's two Japanese newspapers. In 1921 he co-founded the East West Art Society in San Francisco. He had his first exhibition for American audiences in 1928 and began teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1932.

In April of 1942, as a result of Executive Order 9066, Chiura Obata and his family were forcibly relocated from Berkley to Tanforan detention center. By May he and fellow artists had established an art school with over 900 students. The school was successful and they were able to hold an exhibition outside of the camp in July. In September of 1942, the Obatas were moved to the Topaz War Relocation center, where Obata founded the Topaz Art School.

In the spring of 1943 in the wake of the controversy over loyalty oaths, Obata was attacked by another prisoner who considered him to be a spy. After recovering in Topaz's hospital, he was released for his own safety. He and his family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where his son Gyo was attending architecture school.

In 1945 Obata was reinstated as an instructor at the University of California, Berkeley. He continued to exhibit his artwork and went on sketching and painting trips with the Sierra Club. In 1954 he became a naturalized citizen.

After his retirement from the University of California, Berkeley in 1953, Obata and his wife, Haruko, led tours to Japan to see Japanese gardens and art. He also gave lectures and demonstrations on Japanese brush painting and led tours through California. In 1965 Obata received the Order of the Sacred Treasure Emperor's Award for promoting good will and cultural understanding between the United States and Japan. Chiura Obata died in 1975 at the age of 90.
Provenance:
The Chiura Obata papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2018 and 2020 by Kimi Kodani Hill and Mia Kodani Brill, Chiura Obata's grandchildren.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Artists -- California  Search this
Painters -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Educators  Search this
Topic:
Japanese American artists  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japanese Americans  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Citation:
Chiura Obata papers, circa 1891-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.obatchiu
See more items in:
Chiura Obata papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-obatchiu
Online Media:

Gerald Lamboley Collection of Japanese-American Letters

Creator:
Sato, Sanji (student)  Search this
Satow, R. (student)  Search this
Satow, Susama Paul (student)  Search this
Lamboley, E. Gerald  Search this
Sato, Kiyo (student)  Search this
Komata, Tomi (student)  Search this
Names:
Edward Kelley School (Sacramento (Cal.))  Search this
Pinedale Assembly Camp.  Search this
Poston Relocation Camp  Search this
War Relocation Authority  Search this
Cox, Mary Aline, 1890-1972 (teacher)  Search this
Extent:
0.12 Cubic feet (1 folder, 6 letters)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Biographies
Typescripts
Transcripts
Place:
Sacramento (Calif.) -- Correspondence -- 1940-1950
Poston (Ariz.) -- Correspondence -- 1940-1950
Pinedale (Calif.) -- Correspondence -- 1940-1950
Date:
1942-1943
Summary:
Letters from students of Japanese-American ancestry to Miss Cox, their former teacher at the Edward Kelley School in Sacramento, California. This teacher has been identified as Mary Aline Cox by Ms. Colleen Zoller, January 13, 2009.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains six letters dated 1942 1943 from former students of Japanese American ancestry to Miss Cox, a teacher at the Edward Kelley School in Sacramento, California. Three letters were written from inside a camp, while the others were written from outside of camp. The letters are arranged chronologically. Sanji Sato, a young male not yet out of high school, penned both Letters 1 and 3. The first dated June 12, 1942 was written from Pinedale "A.C." [Assembly Center]. This letter contains a brief description of the center, one of many used to keep internees until the ten more permanent camps were prepared to receive them, and its physical surroundings, as well a mention of the medical examination and vaccinations the evacuees underwent.

Letter 3, more lengthy in nature, covers the dates January 1, 1943, to March 6, 1943. Sent from Poston, Arizona (location of the largest relocation camp), Sato indicated the block and barrack numbers of his lodgings. The camp is defined by the arid surroundings, temperature, flora and fauna, and natural landmarks; its

inhabitants are defined by their New Year's Exhibition and Boy Scout Troops. Pertinent to the historian are Sato's opinion of the "loyalty" forms, why Japanese Americans should fight in World War II, and the behavior of other Poston residents. Also of interest are his personal discussions of his former life on the farm, his passion for the American flag, and remembrance of his dog.

Letter 2 was written by a student identified as "Kiyo" on December 26, 1942, in Garrett, Indiana while on vacation from college (later identified as Ms. Kiyo Sato). A former internee at Poston Relocation Center, she wrote of her reaction to school and dorm life, as well as her reaction, as a person of Japanese ancestry, to a Midwestern town. She expressed hope of ending any misconceptions and of the evacuees returning home "in one piece." Letter 4 is signed "R. Satow and family" and dated April 19, 1943. A year after leaving the relocation center, the writer, having reached Keenesburg, Colorado, thanks Miss Cox for her assistance. The writer's surroundings are reported in addition to updates on other former internees' activities.

The Poston Relocation Center was also the home of Susuma Paul Satow, writer of Letter 5. Satow diplayed the belief that his volunteering in the army benefited the government and reflected well on Japanese Americans. Another topic discussed the regret that some "No No Boys" experienced and Satow's personal lack of empathy for them. The writer voiced concern about anti Japanese American discrimination in Sacramento, and, thus, his hesitancy to return.

Letter 6, from Tomi Komata, was undated and meant to inform Miss Cox of his life in college (possibly Downer College). "Released and happy," Komata announced the lack of expected discrimination and the racial tension that did exist, as well as his scorn of those in camp who listened to rumors of prejudice. Mentions of the WRA and how internees should be more willing to embrace its programs are included.
Arrangement:
1 series. Not arranged.
Biographical / Historical:
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 to bar "any and all persons" from certain sections of the United States for purposes of national defense. A reaction to the "yellow peril" "demonstrated" by the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, the Executive Order would mean that all Japanese immigrants and Americans of Japanese ancestry would be required to "evacuate" the West Coast of the United States. By the end of this policy in 1946, over 120,000 men, women, and children had been forcefully relocated to various types of internment camps.

Not only had the possessions and lives of these people been disrupted, their privacy and Constitutional rights were ignored as the government thoroughly investigated their lives, looking for any signs of disloyalty to America. Early in 1943, tests were made of their "loyalty" as they were asked to forswear allegiance to the emperor of Japan, swear allegiance to the United States, and volunteer for military service.

Through programs established by the War Relocation Authority (WRA), internees were permitted to leave the camps permanently, provided they had a job or attended a college or university and passed additional government investigations. By 1943, 17,000 people had left the camps in this manner. Others left by joining the military. By 1946, the last permanent camp was dismantled.
Materials in Other Organizations:
War Relocation Authority, Record Group 210, or those of the United States Commands, 1947 , Record Group 338, National Archives and records Administration

National Headquarters of the Japanese American Citizens League in San Francisco, California

Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History:
Japanese American Documentary Collection, 1905-1945 (AC0305)
Provenance:
Collection donated by E. Gerald Lamboley, June 2, 1992.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Usage or copyright restrictions. Contact repository for further information.
Topic:
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Internees -- Japanese Americans -- 1940-1950  Search this
Concentration camps -- United States  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japanese Americans  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Evacuation of civilians  Search this
Teachers -- 1940-1950  Search this
Students -- 1940-1950  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 1940-1950
Biographies
Typescripts -- 1940-1950
Transcripts
Citation:
Gerald Lamboley Collection of Japanese-American Letters, 1942-1943, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0450
See more items in:
Gerald Lamboley Collection of Japanese-American Letters
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0450
Online Media:

[Letter to Miiss Cox : typescript]

Author:
Sato, Kiyo (student)  Search this
Names:
Cox, Alice, Miss  Search this
Collection Creator:
Sato, Sanji (student)  Search this
Satow, R. (student)  Search this
Satow, Susama Paul (student)  Search this
Lamboley, E. Gerald  Search this
Sato, Kiyo (student)  Search this
Komata, Tomi (student)  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper.)
Culture:
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Correspondence
Typescripts
Place:
Garrett (Ind.)
Indiana -- 20th century
Date:
[Dec. 26, 1942.]
Scope and Contents:
Typescript with hand-written P.S.
Local Numbers:
AC0450-0000001.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Usage or copyright restrictions. Contact repository for further information.
Topic:
Students -- 1940-1950  Search this
Concentration camps -- United States  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japanese Americans  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 1940-1950
Typescripts -- 1940-1950
Collection Citation:
Gerald Lamboley Collection of Japanese-American Letters, 1942-1943, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Gerald Lamboley Collection of Japanese-American Letters
Gerald Lamboley Collection of Japanese-American Letters / Letter 2
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0450-ref532

The unquiet Nisei : an oral history of the life of Sue Kunitomi Embrey Diana Meyers Bahr

Author:
Bahr, Diana Meyers 1930-  Search this
Author:
ProQuest (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
1 online resource (xii, 192 pages) illustrations, map
Type:
Personal narratives, American
Biography
Asian American
Place:
United States of America, USA
Date:
2007
20th century, c 1900 to c 1999
Topic:
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
Japanese Americans  Search this
Oral history  Search this
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY--Historical  Search this
HISTORY--Military--World War II  Search this
Gender studies: women  Search this
History of the Americas  Search this
Gender studies: women & girls  Search this
Biography: general  Search this
Society  Search this
Call number:
D769.8.A6 B28 2007 (Internet)
Restrictions & Rights:
1-user
Use copy Restrictions unspecified
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1144992

Barbed voices : oral history, resistance, and the World War II Japanese American social disaster / Arthur A. Hansen ; with a foreword by Lane Ryo Hirabayashi

Author:
Hansen, Arthur A.  Search this
Writer of foreword:
Hirabayashi, Lane Ryo  Search this
Physical description:
xvi, 310 pages ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
West (U.S.)
United States
Date:
2018
20th century
Topic:
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Japanese Americans--Social conditions--History  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps  Search this
Civil disobedience--History  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
Oral history  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1103914

Citizen internees : a second look at race and citizenship in Japanese American internment camps / Linda L. Ivey and Kevin W. Kaatz

Author:
Ivey, Linda L.  Search this
Kaatz, Kevin W.  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 277 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
2017
Topic:
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1105343

They called us enemy / written by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott ; art by Harmony Becker

Author:
Takei, George 1937-  Search this
Eisinger, Justin  Search this
Scott, Steven (Comics author)  Search this
Artist:
Becker, Harmony  Search this
Letterer:
Lazcano, Gilberto  Search this
Subject:
Takei, George 1937-  Search this
Takei, George 1937- Childhood and youth  Search this
Physical description:
204 pages : chiefly illustrations, portraits ; 23 cm
Type:
Comic books, strips, etc
Biography
Cartoons and comics
Young adult fiction
Graphic novels
Historical comics
Autobiographical comics
Place:
United States
Japan
California
Date:
2019
1850-1950
20th century
1933-1945
Topic:
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Autobiographical comic books, strips, etc  Search this
Concentration camps  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Evacuation of civilians  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
National characteristics, American  Search this
Prisoners of war  Search this
Ethnic relations  Search this
Minorities  Search this
Graphic novels  Search this
Actors  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
Japanese--History  Search this
History  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1110603

Shadows of Minidoka : paintings and collections of Roger Shimomura

Author:
Shimomura, Roger 1939-  Search this
Ahlvers, Ben  Search this
Higa, Karin M  Search this
Daniels, Roger  Search this
Lawrence Arts Center  Search this
Subject:
Shimomura, Roger 1939- Themes, motives  Search this
Shimomura, Roger 1939- Ethnological collections  Search this
Minidoka Relocation Center In art  Search this
Physical description:
121 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 22 x 28 cm
Type:
Art
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Place:
United States
Kansas
Lawrence
Date:
2011
©2011
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
Concentration camps--Miscellanea  Search this
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945--Miscellanea  Search this
Stereotypes (Social psychology) in art  Search this
History materials--Private collections  Search this
Art--Private collections  Search this
Call number:
N40.1 .S57579 M56 2011
N40.1.S57579 M56 2011
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1109155

Nisei cadet nurse of World War II : patriotism in spite of prejudice / Thelma M. Robinson

Author:
Robinson, Thelma M  Search this
Subject:
United States Cadet Nurse Corps  Search this
Physical description:
xv, 158 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 23 cm
Type:
Personal narratives, Japanese American
Anecdotes
History
Place:
United States
Date:
2005
©2005
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945--Women  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Nursing--History  Search this
Japanese American nursing students  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1107648

Experiences of Japanese American women during and after World War II : living in internment camps and rebuilding life afterwards / Precious Yamaguchi

Author:
Yamaguchi, Precious  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 101 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
2014
Topic:
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps  Search this
Japanese Americans--Social conditions  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1105573

Senpai gumi / by Richard S. Oguro

Author:
Oguro, Richard S  Search this
Subject:
Army Language School (U.S.) History  Search this
Physical description:
xlvi, 234, lxxxviii pages : illustrations, portraits ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
History
Date:
1982
[1982?]
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
Call number:
D753.8 .O37 1982
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1098439

Silent warriors : a memoir of America's 442nd Regimental Combat Team / by Jack K. Wakamatsu

Author:
Wakamatsu, Jack K. 1918-  Search this
Subject:
United States Army Regimental Combat Team, 442nd  Search this
Physical description:
212 pages ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1992
©1992
Topic:
Japanese Americans  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Regimental histories  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1098440

American sutra : a story of faith and freedom in the Second World War / Dūncan Ryuken Williams

Author:
Williams, Duncan Ryūken 1969-  Search this
Physical description:
viii, 384 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
United States
Date:
2019
20th century
Topic:
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Buddhists--History  Search this
Buddhism and state--History  Search this
Buddhism and politics--History  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
Race relations  Search this
History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1103722

Surviving Minidoka : the legacy of WWII Japanese American incarceration / Boise State University, College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs in partnership with College of Southern Idaho and generous support from National Park Service, Idaho Humanities Council, Idaho State Historical Society and Friends of Minidoka ; Russell M. Tremayne and Todd Shallat, editors ; Melissa Lavitt, metro series editor

Editor:
Tremayne, Russell Mark 1956-  Search this
Shallat, Todd 1954-  Search this
Lavitt, Melissa R (Melissa Robin)  Search this
Author:
Boise State University College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs  Search this
College of Southern Idaho  Search this
Subject:
Minidoka Relocation Center  Search this
Physical description:
200 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), portraits ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
Idaho
Date:
2013
Topic:
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Concentration camps--History  Search this
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1100031

Most honorable son, Ben Kuroki : WWII gunner, 4 Air Forces, 8th, 12th, 9th, 20th / by Carroll "Cal" Stewart

Author:
Stewart, Carroll  Search this
Subject:
Kuroki, Ben 1918-  Search this
Physical description:
60 p. : ill., ports. ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
2007
[c2007]
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans  Search this
Armed Forces  Search this
Japanese Americans  Search this
Aerial gunners  Search this
Call number:
D769.8.A6 S74 2007
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_921559

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By