Japanese American Citizens League photograph collection, 1935-1990  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Japanese American Citizens League photograph collection
1935-1990 (inclusive)
59 photographic prints ; sizes vary
131 negatives ; 35mm
186 color slides ; 35mm
Collection Number
Group photographs of Japanese American Citizens League members at conventions, photographs of Japanese American Citizens League members and Japanese community members at official events and social events
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Entire collection can be viewed on the Libraries’ Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials Curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Additional Reference Guides


Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) served as the voice of the Nisei (second generation Japanese community) in the Seattle area. The members (primarily professionals) tended to be proud of their American citizenship, and aimed to promote good citizenship and active participation in civic life. Organized in 1921 as Seattle Progressive Citizens' League, it became the Seattle Chapter of JACL in 1930.

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Seattle Chapter met to organize an Emergency Defense Council composed of the presidents of many Nisei organizations. When incarceration in internment camps became inevitable, the Seattle Chapter began to cooperate with the War Relocation Authority in organizing the movement of Japanese citizens to the Puyallup Assembly Center (Camp Harmony). James Sakamoto, Chairman of the Emergency Defense Council, became Chief Supervisor of the Japanese staff at the Puyllup Assembly Center.

The Seattle Chapter was inactive during the period immediately following the war, but was formally reactivated in 1948. During the 1950s and 1960s, the JACL became involved in civil and human rights issues. Seattle Chapter members participated in the statewide effort to eliminate the 1899 Alien Land Law from the Washington state constitution. The Alien Land Law prohibited Asians from owning land. In 1966, SJR 20 passed as an amendment to the constitution.

In 1962, the seventeenth national JACL Biennial Convention was held in Seattle.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Photographs of Japanese American Citizens League members at conventions and other events, Japanese American community events and celebrations, and other Japanese American organizations such as the Young People's Christian Conference.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format.

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


National JACL ConventionsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1934 Convention
mapcase:oversize item
M270 1 August 31, 1934
M270 2 September 2, 1934
1936 Convention
mapcase:oversize item
M270 3 September 5, 1936
1/1 4
 Presentation in Seattle Chamber of Commerce during 1936 JACL National Convention
R.S. Ochi Studio (photographer)
With copy negative.
mapcase:oversize item
M270 5
 Group at the sixth biennial National JACL Convention, Portland, Oregon
Photo-Art Studios-Mentzer, Portland (photographer)
August 28-September 2, 1940
1954 Convention
mapcase:oversize item
M270 6 September 2-6, 1954
XH3 7 September 6, 1954
mapcase:oversize item
M270 8
Group at 22nd Biennial JACL National Convention, Washington, D.C.
June 29, 1972
1988 Convention
Box/Folder item
1/6 9
 Photograph of ticket to the opening banquet of the 1988 JACL National Convention in Seattle, WA
1 : color slide
At the 1988 Convention, the Seattle Chapter of the JACL attempted to pass Resolution 7, which called for the JACL to apologize to those in the community harmed during World War II by those "working independently and in the name of the JACL." This laid the ground work for the Lim Report.
August 7, 1988
1/6 10-16 1988
1/6 17-18 1988

Northwest District JACL ConventionsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
box:oversize item
XH3 19
 Group at the Second Northwest District Japanese American Citizens League Convention, Portland, Oregon
ACME Commercial Studio (photographer)
Includes list and overlay that identifies individuals
September 4, 1933
XH3 20 September 2, 1935
XH3 21 September 3-4, 1936
XH3 22
 Group of Northwest District Council members of the Japanese American Citizens League in front of Yakima Courthouse entrance, Yakima, Washington
Baker, Yakima (photographer)
Note on verso suggests that this Council gathering was circa 1936. This seems unlikely since the Council Convention of 1936 was held in Tacoma.
circa 1930s
XH3 23 August 30-September 1, 1941

JACL banquets and other eventsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
50th Anniversary Banquet
Box/Folder item
1/1 24 October 30, 1971
1/1 25 October 30, 1971
Box/Folder item
1/1 26-28
 1978 JACL Installation Banquet, probably at Bush Garden Restaurant, Seattle
Item 26: Man standing at podium is identifed as Hiro Nishimura.
January 1978
1/1 29-33
1978 JACL Installation Banquet, probably at Bush Garden Restaurant, Seattle
20 : Black and white 35 mm negatives
68 : Color 35mm negatives
Printed contact sheets made from scanning the negatives are with collection.
January 1978
1/2 34-39 circa 1980
1/2 40
Banquet at the Double Tree Plaza Hotel, Seattle
26 : Color 35mm negatives
May be same event as items 34-39.
circa 1980
1/3 41 circa 1982-1986
1/3 42 1983
1/3 43-44 1988
1/3 45-48 January 1993
1995 JACL Installation Banquet
Box/Folder item
1/3 49 1995
1/3 50 1995
Box/Folder item
1/4 51
 JACL Christmas Dinner
14 : Color 35mm negatives
With 10 prints.
1/5 52 undated

JAY EventsReturn to Top

The JAYs are the youth branch of the JACL.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/6 53-56
 JAY Officer Retreat
4 : color slides
September 1987
1/6 57-58
 Matsutake Outing
2 : color slides
Matsutake is an edible mushroom that is gathered in the fall.
1/6 59-68 1987
1/6 69-74
 JAY End of Year Party
6 : color slides
1/6 75-78
JAY Calendar Night
4 : color slides
JAY annual dance
Box/Folder item
1/6 79-81
 Preparations for the dance
3 : color slides
Spring 1988
1/6 82-84
 People playing ping-pong
3 : color slides
Spring 1988
Box/Folder item
1/6 85-87
JAY event
3 : color slides
Spring 1988
1/6 88-91 Spring 1988
1/6 92-100
 JAY Easter Egg Hunt
9 : color slides
April 2, 1988
1/6 101-110
 JAY carwash fundraiser
10 : color slides
May or June 1988
National Youth Convention Leadership Conference
In 1988, in conjunction with the JACL National Convention, the Seattle JAY hosted the National Youth Convention, August 5-10, 1988.
Box/Folder item
1/6 111-133 August 1988
1/6 134-140 August 1988
1/6-1/7 141-170
 Picnic at Gas Works Park
30 : color slides
August 7, 1988
1/7 171-174
 Woodland Park Zoo excursion
4 : color slides
August 8, 1988
Box/Folder item
1/7 175-176
 JAY bike trip
2 : color slides
1/7 177-180
 Evening parade with floats
4 : color slides

Japanese communityReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
mapcase:oversize item
M270 181
 Group of men in baseball uniforms
Boland, Tacoma (photographer)
On banner in photograph: "Tacoma Japanese Baseball League Championship 1929 Presented by Tacoma Japanese Times"
1/5 182
 Group outside R.H. & P. Building
S. Ochi Studios Seattle (photographer)
September 7, 1931
M270 183
 Large group of children and adults at official event, Tacoma, Washington
Boland, Tacoma (photographer)
This is possibly the visit of officers from the Imperial Japanese flagship and a Japanese naval training ship, the Yakumo and Iwate. The ships came to Tacoma on April 1, 1933 and stayed several days. They were open for tours and drew large crowds. Over 1500 men on the ships were allowed leave in Tacoma. The photographer's number on the photograph indicates that it was made during this time period. This is the same image as PH Coll 1020.3.
Young People's Christian Conference (YPCC) Group Photos
The YPCC, organized in 1920, arranged for social gatherings of young Japanese American Christians. The group ceased to exist due to Japanese internment in WWII, but was the precursor to later social organizations for Japanese American young people of Christian faith.
box:oversize item
XH3 184
 Group of YPCC members
Jackson Studio, Seattle (photographer)
December 2, 1933
XH3 185
 Group of YPCC members
Jackson Studio, Seattle
December 1, 1934
XH3 186
 Group at 6th Annual YPCC
Takano Studio, Seattl (sic) (photographer)
November 30, 1935
XH3 187 November 26, 1938
Box/Folder item
1/5 188
 Sixteen men and women at social gathering, some holding balloons
Individuals identified on paper accompanying photo.
circa 1930s
1/5 189
 Family in park, probably related to Cherry Kinoshita
Originally in envelope labeled Cherry Kinoshita.
circa 1950s
XH3 190 February 14-16, 1958
1/5 191-196 circa 1980s
1/7 197-205
 Bowling party, probably organized by JACL or JAYs
9 : color slides
Possibly from two different bowling parties in 1988.
August 1988
1/7 206-244 circa 1990

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Communities--Washington (State)--Photographs
  • Dinners and dining--Washington (State)
  • Japanese Americans--Children--Washington (State)--Photographs
  • Japanese Americans--Washington (State)--Photographs
  • Photographs--Specimens
  • Corporate Names :
  • Japanese American Citizens' League--Congresses--Photographs
  • Japanese American Citizens' League--Photographs
  • Young People's Christian Conference
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographs

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)