Japanese oral histories, 1964-1969  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Japanese American Research Project
Japanese oral histories
1964-1969 (inclusive)
4 linear feet
Collection Number
The Japanese oral histories (1964-1969) consist of transcripts of a number of interviews conducted between 1964 and 1969 by members of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in Los Angeles, California, as part of the Japanese American Research Project. The original reel-to-reel tapes are housed at the University of California at Los Angeles. Topics discussed include immigration, social life and customs, adaptation to life in the United States, and the effects of World War II.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
Telephone: 801-581-8863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Japanese oral histories (1964-1969) consist of transcripts of a number of interviews conducted between 1964 and 1969 by members of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in Los Angeles, California, as part of the Japanese American Research Project. The original reel-to-reel tapes are housed at the University of California at Los Angeles. Floyd A. O'Neil of the American West Center at the University of Utah made copies of tapes associated with the Intermountain West. Transcripts of these tapes become part of the collection as they are processed by the American West Center.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Initial Citation: Japanese oral histories, ACCN 0806, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Following Citations: ACCN 0806.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Interviews, Aramaki to KasaiReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 1
Mrs. Masa Aramaki
Mrs. Aramaki discusses the immigration of her family from Japan in 1920, life in Ogden, Utah, and Japanese family and social customs.
1 2
Ronald Aramaki
Mr. Aramaki (b. 1949) talks about Americanization, the JACL, and Asian Studies at the University of Utah.
1 3
Mrs. Yasu Aramaki
Mrs. Aramaki (b. 1896) discusses the family's immigration from Japan in 1916, picture bride marriages in Seattle, a visit to Japan in 1924, the deaths of her father and husband, her seven children, and other Japanese families in Utah.
1 4
Issei Group: Bingham Canyon
This group consists of Jiro Mochizuki, Mr. and Mrs. Horokichi Kawaguchi, Kanesu Miage Shima, and Ichiro Okumura. Topics include family and heritage, arranged marriages, poverty in Japan, travels to America, reaction to Pearl Harbor, children, prostitutes, camp work, and gambling.
1 5
Issei Group: Buddhist Church
Persons interviewed include Mansanori Ohata, Roy Nakatani, Mr. and Mrs. T. Maeda, Ganai Yamaguchi, Mr. and Mrs. G. Yano, Kenzo Shiki, Tats Koga, Yohimoto Murakami, Saburaji Yosimura, Toshio Kata, Ise Kato, Shig Hamada, Toikoi Yei, and J. G. Miya. The group gives birth dates and places and talks about immigration to America, jobs, loyalty, life in Utah (particularly working for the railroad in Ogden and life during World War II), and problems with picture brides.
1 6
Issei Group: Church of Christ
The group provides the interviewer with names, ages, and places of birth. They reminisce about immigration experiences and discuss both the happiest and most painful periods of their lives. Interviewees include Mr. and Mrs. Kawaguchi, Ogawa, Shintoji, Asaga Kohee, Nemura Juzou, Murakami Sankichi, Tabor Kosuke, Kurumata, Mrs. Honma, Kiyoitchi Kanai, Shiba Matsumi, Tatae Miwamu, Ogawa Chieko, Miyazaki Naochio, Tabari Toki, and Kazue Jio.
1 7
Issei Group: Helper, Utah
Mr. Harry Eda (b. 1882), Mr. Roy R. Takada (b. 1900), Mr. Frank Tamagawa (b. 1907), Mr. Charles S. Kawakami (b. 1903), Mr. Shozo Niwa (b. 1896) and Mr. Yosh Amano (b. 1917) recall their immigrations from Japan, which took place between 1900 and 1920. The men discuss life in labor camps and various occupations, including farming, mining, lumber and railroad work. Other topics included interracial relationships, picture marriages, and the differences between first, second, and third generation Japanese-Americans.
1 8
Koe Hanaya
Mr. Hanaya (b. 1892) speaks of his birth in Japan, the death of his mother, his early boyhood in Hawaii, and immigration to the mainland with his uncle. He recalls living in Nevada, California, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, where he worked on the railroad, on farms, in a laundry, at a hospital, and in various hotels and restaurants. He reminisces about attending an Indian school, Indian and Japanese wrestling, labor agents, and hardships associated with life as an itinerant laborer.
1 9
Hana Hayashi and Mrs. Tsuta Kushihashi
Mrs Hayashi (b. 1899) reminisces about her arranged marriage and subsequent immigration to the United States, farm life in North Platte, and raising children. Mrs. Kushihashi (b. 1897) recalls her marriage and farm life in Nebraska. She also talks about politics and interracial marriage.
1 10
Esther Hatsuye Hirasawa and Hiro Yasukochi
Mrs. Hirasawa (b. 1893) discusses her life in Japan, immigration to the United States, and marriage in Denver. She also recalls life and work in Oregon, Nevada and Utah. Mr. Yasukochi (b. 1909) recalls his early life in Carbon County, labor and mining camps in the 1920s, family businesses, prohibition, discrimination, the formation of the JACL, and sports activities.
1 11
Sue Kaneko
Mrs. Kaneko reminisces about World War II, her husband's job in North China, marriages and divorce, her livelihood, and raising her son.
1 12
Toshiyuki Kano
Mr. Kano (b. 1914) recalls his early life in Hawaii, schooling and the military in Japan. He also discusses his experiences in World War II, military prisoners and trials, and his hospitalization for malaria.
1 13-14
Alice Kasai
Mrs. Kasai (b. 1916) reminisces about her birth in Seattle, and being taken to Japan to live with her grandparents until the age of five. She recalls life in the mining camp of Latuda, Utah, Boishakunin (arranged) marriage, and the circumstances of her marriage to Henry Kasai. She gives biographical information about Henry and discusses the early years of the JACL, as well as her personal experience of discrimination prior to World War II, reaction to the war in Utah, and the formation of the 442nd. Mrs. Kasai also talks about post-war JACL activities, Mike Masaoka, civil rights, the Asian-American movement, the Japanese Peace Garden, and various projects of Henry Kasai.
1 15
Alice Kasai and Others
This is a continuation of an interview conducted on 30 October 1966 with Alice Kasai, Josie and Rupert Hachiya, Elna Miya, and Yukiko Kimura. The earlier interview transcript is not in the collection at this time. The group discusses the Japanese lending practice of tanamoshi, Japanese enterprise, life in the mining camps, picture brides, funeral customs, and various aspects of Japanese language and culture.
1 16
Mary Kasai
Mary Kasai was born in Buhl, Idaho, and moved to Pocatello with her parents in the mid-1930s. She discusses the Mary Kasai School of Dancing in Pocatello, famous pupils, attributes of a dancer, her first dance studio, national dance organization, family, Japanese dance styles, Odori, her relationship with her students, ballet council examinations, and her work with beauty pageant contestants.

Interviews, Kimura to SakataReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
2 1
Yukiko Kimura and Elna Miya
Miss Kimura discusses her father's immigration to and employment in America, her birth in Rexburg, Idaho, and childhood memories. Miss Miya talks about her father's immigration, her schooling in Ogden, and her children. There is also some talk about Nisei and Issei, Commodore Perry, and Japanese immigration to Hawaii.
2 2
Ada Iseko Koseki
Mrs. Koseki (b. 1908) talks about her birth in Hawaii, her childhood in Hawaii and Japan, conversion to Christianity, citizenship, life in Los Angeles, discrimination at school, relocation, World War II, internment camp life, and loyalty to America.
2 3-4
Toraji "Joe" Koseki
Mr. Koseki (b. 1896) recalls his early life in Japan, his emigration to Hawaii in 1912, U. S. citizenship, army service, his move to California, marriage and family life, evacuation to Arizona, Japanese vegetable gardens in Arizona, the Tooele Ordnance Depot camp, work in an ammunition depot, fishing in Utah, the Buddhist Church, and Japanese town in Salt Lake City.
2 5
Sashichi Koyama, E. A. Huntley, Henry Hajimu Fujii, Mrs. Roy Able, Mrs. S. Kawai, Takemaru Shinohara
This interview contains the reminiscences of a group of Issei living in the area of Caldwell, Idaho. Topics discussed include immigration to America, living and working in Alaska and the Northwest, farming, factory, and railroad work, attitudes toward the Japanese during World War II, the Salvation Army, gambling, and prostitution. Those present also talk about their children.
2 6
Takashi Koyama, John Arima, Henry Fujii, and Martha Nishitani
This interview took place in Caldwell, Idaho. Topics discussed include railroad work, Japanese culture and character (especially Enryo, or reserve), marriage, education, Japanese acculturation, the JACL, farming, family traditions, social tact, business dealings, and achieving acceptance.
2 7
Harry Hiyosa Kumagai
Mr. Kumagai recalls his hotel and mining work in Wyoming and Utah, a trip to Japan in 1917, payment of his father's debt, selection of a Japanese bride, family affairs, his children's education, and life in Wyoming.
2 8
Mrs. Tsuru Kurumada
Mrs. Kurumada (b. 1884) speaks of life as a teacher in Japan, her arranged marriage, her move to America, life in Salina, Utah, childbirth, truck farming, the English language school in Ogden, the Japanese Christian church, and family life.
2 9
Mrs. Chiyo Matsumiya
Mrs. Matsumiya (b. 1899) recalls early life in Japan, her picture bride marriage and subsequent move to the United States, work in Jericho, Utah, the influenza epidemic of 1918, farming in Utah, work in Tintic Junction, World War II, U. S. citizenship, Japanese Town in Salt Lake City, and the education of her children.
2 10
Elena Miya and Josie & Rupert Hachiya
This interview with a group of Salt Lake City Nisei focuses on Japanese culture and manners, and the group discusses the difference between Issei and Nisei. Also included are comments on Japanese emperors Meiji and Showa. The Japanese concept of tonomoshi is discussed as well.
2 11
Daisuke Miyatake, Bunzo Jujii, and Others
This group of Salt Lake City Issei talk about personal histories and experiences, coming to America, work, commissions and salaries, camp life, clubs and gambling, education, and marriage.
2 12
William Muratani
This folder contains a speech given by Muratani before the Constitutional Defense Committee Convention on 25 November 1967. He recalls his experiences as a volunteer lawyer and civil rights activist in the South in the 1960s.
2 13
Tadashi Nakada and Others
This interview took place at the Price Buddhist Church. Present were Eijiro Kawamura, Matajiro Watada, Kotsukei Sakaguchi, Tago Nakano, Lee Murata and Rev. Yoshitaka Tamai. Topics discussed include anti-Japanese sentiments, the establishment of the Buddhist church, land expropriation laws, Japanese-American relations, and picture marriages.
2 14
Roy Okamoto
Mr. Okomoto (b. 1900) talks about his family background, experiences in Los Angeles, his marriage, World War II, experiences at Hart Mountain, jobs in Salt Lake, working at the Bingham Mine, his family in Japan and travel experiences.
2 15
"Johnnie" Tsuyoshi Saeki and "Tommy" Tadayoshi Shuto
Mr. Saeki and Mr. Shuto discuss discrimination, racial attitudes, the Japanese cultural group known as "eta," adjusting to American society, and raising children . Also discussed are the concepts of enryo (respect) and shibui (refined taste).
2 16
Mr. and Mrs. Jusaburo Sakata, Mrs. Toki Sakata, Kiyo Kubota, and Gontaro Kubota
Jusaburo Sakata (b. 1879) talks about his immigration from Japan and working on the railroad. Toki Sakata (b. 1898) recalls her marriage to Jusaburo and discusses her children. Gontaro (b. 1887) and Kiyo Kubota discuss their education, railroad camps, and their children. Mrs. Sakata and Mrs. Kubota also discuss raising their children with Japanese values. Both couples discuss living and working in America.

Interviews, Sasaki to YoritomoReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
3 1
Mrs. Mitsuko Sasaki, Mr. Naoki, and Mrs. Sakae Kobayashi
This group of friends discuss childhood homes, Japanese Boy Scout experiences, a split in the Japanese-American community, Japanese customs, Tonomoshi, and the Refugee Act of 1956.
3 2
Mitsuko Sasaki, Alice Kasai, Mr. Naoki and Mrs. Sakae Kobaysashi
The group talks about Japanese Mormons, housing discrimination, Japanese students in schools and athletics, insurance rates, education in American and Japan, the language barrier, interracial marriage, the Boy Scouts, Japanese Island spirit, job discrimination and personal tragedies.
3 3
Toru Shimizu
Mr. Shimizu (b. 1893) recalls his move from Japan in 1915, grammar school and farm life in Idaho, life in Los Angeles, children, his naturalization in 1955, farming in Utah, evacuation, relocation, the military service of his sons, the GI bill, housing discrimination, Japanese food, the JACL, and the Farm Association.
3 4
George Chiyomatsu Shazawa
Mr. Shizawa (b. 1888) discusses his early years in Utah, farming, white flies and sugar beets, the Alien Land Act, marriage and divorce in Japan, World War II, and retirement life.
3 5
Richard Suenaga
Mr. Suenaga (b. 1912) talks about his family background, experiences in Hawaii, study habits in school, discriminatory situations, a trip to Japan, trucking experiences, Ham Station (fishing), the Merchant Marines, Pearl Harbor, a move from California, work in Montana and Idaho, his marriage in Pocatello, and his current situation.
3 6
Todanosuke "Tom" Tadehara
Mr. Tadehara (b. 1888) reminisces about his move from Japan, the cattle business, working for the railroad, the Rio Grande Roundhouse, gambling, Japanese food, the Society of Buddhists, Japanese newspapers, and the Sunrise Fish Market. Mr. Tadehara lived in Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah.
3 7
Roy Takada
Mr. Takada recalls his emigration to America in 1917 and his life in the mining camps. Topics covered include a description of Helper and Price, Utah, between 1900 and 1925, the National Miners Union, Japanese boarding house life, Americanization schools, Japanes businesses in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, wages in Magna, and life in the Bingham mining camp.
3 8
Mrs. Kuniko Terazawa and Terumasa Adachi
Mr. Adachi (b. 1898) talks about his student days at the University of Utah, and mining. Mrs. Terazawa joins the discussion and the two talk about produce, sugar beet farms in Gunnison, the decrease in population of various Utah counties, education, labor contractors, the Utah Nippo, Mormons, discrimination, Buddhism and Christianity, marriage, and growing rice in Utah and Texas.
3 9
Shigao Tokunaga
Mr. Tokunaga discusses business in San Francisco, Japanese labor camps, stores in Salt Lake City, Ogden businesses, Japanese newspapers, picture brides, stowaways, and his seven children.
3 10
Mrs. Kame Toyota
Mrs. Toyota talks about her husband's experiences in Japanese labor camps for mining and railroad companies, the immigration of Mr. Toyota in 1908, and her own journey to America in 1915. She also discusses mining camp disturbances, gambling and other vices, camp cooking, and World War II.
3 11
Mrs. Kame Toyota and Alice Misura
Mrs. Toyota continues her reminiscences about life in a labor camp in McGill, Nevada. Topics include wages, average worker age, camp food, gambling and entertainment, World War II internment, and becoming a U. S. citizen. Mrs. Toyota's daughter, Alice Misura, recalls the Magna mining camp, the school at camp, and college at Berkeley.
3 12
Mrs. Take Yamamoto Uchida
Mrs. Uchida (b. 1890) reminisces about her early life in Japan, immigration to America in 1911, farming in California, fishing and mining, a Japanese Association in Idaho, Japanese language school, internment at Seagoville, Texas, and her feelings about the military experiences of her sons.
3 13
Notaju Ushio, Toru Shimizu, and Gin Namba
Mr. Ushio (b. 1883) discusses his birthplace in Japan, move to the United States in 1906, and his experiences as a farmer in Idaho and Utah. Mr. Namba (b. 1898) recalls the immigration of his family in 1915, family life, and radish farming. Mr. Shimizu reminisces about his family, his hometown in Japan, his trip to America in 1914, life as a farmer, and his children.
3 14
Sujiro Yoritomo
Mr. Yoritomo (b. 1892) reminisces about his immigration in 1907 via Mexico, his experiences in the coal mines, food in the mining camps, and attending Denver University. He also discuss his army service in World War I, attending law school, and Japanese newspapers in Denver.


Container(s) Description
Master Files

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Japanese Americans--Ethnic identity
  • Japanese Americans--Interviews
  • Japanese Americans--Social life and customs