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Clarence T. Arai papers, 1917-2004
- Arai, Clarence Takeya, 1901-1963
- Clarence T. Arai papers
- 1917-2004 (inclusive)19172004
- 0.65 cubic feet (2 boxes)
- Collection Number
- 5542 (Accession No. 5542-001)
- Family history and scrapbook of World War I military service and pre-World War II experience of Clarence Arai and the broader Japanese American community in Seattle
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
- Access Restrictions
Open to all users.
Biographical NoteReturn to Top
Clarence Takeya Arai (1901-1963) was an active member of Seattle's Japanese American community, best known for his instrumental role in the formation of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). Arai also founded the first Japanese American Boy Scout troop in 1920, and in 1924, he became the first Japanese American to graduate from the University of Washington Law School. In 1928, he was elected president of the Seattle Progressive Citizens League. As president, he and League vice president George Ishihara traveled the west coast campaigning for a national organization, which led to the founding convention of the JACL in Seattle in August 1930. Arai was active in local politics and served as vice president of the 37th Legislative District Republican Club and as a state delegate to the Republican convention. In 1934, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the state legislature.
At the onset of World War II, with anti-Japanese sentiment increasing in the U.S., the JACL sought to demonstrate Japanese American loyalty to the U.S. by forming the Emergency Defense Council, with Arai as chairman. In 1942, Arai and his family were sent to Camp Harmony in Puyallup and subsequently interned at Minidoka Relocation Center in Hunt, Idaho. Arai's health suffered during the war years and he had a mild stroke while at Minidoka. After the war, Arai retired from law practice and devoted his time to photography. His photos were exhibited all over the country and internationally, and he was honored by the Photographic Society of America. Arai also served as a judge for the Seattle Times Amateur Snapshot Contest and as a member of the Seattle Public Library board.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
Scrapbook, 1919-1942 (1 vol.), documenting Arai's World War I-era military service and pre-World War II career, and including clippings and other ephemera pertaining to events in the Japanese American community in the months leading up to their incarceration following the attack on Pearl Harbor. A small quantity of post-war ephemera (primarily certificates of recognition and family history material) accompanies the scrapbook.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
Family and Biographical materials
Legal and Financial records
Certificates and Programs
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
- Japanese Americans--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
- Lawyers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
- Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
- Arai, Clarence Takeya, 1901-1963--Archives