Archives West Finding Aid
Table of Contents
- Overview of the Collection
- Content Description
- Use of the Collection
- Administrative Information
- Detailed Description of the Collection
- Names and Subjects
Mike M. Masaoka photograph collection, circa 1945-1986
- Mike M. Masaoka
- Mike M. Masaoka photograph collection
- circa 1945-1986 (inclusive)19401986
- 4 boxes
- Collection Number
- The Mike M. Masaoka photograph collection contains images collected by Mr. Masaoka resulting from his personal and professional life, his involvement with the Japanese American community and Japanese American issues, and his association with politicians and diplomats.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
- 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.
Historical NoteReturn to Top
Mike Masaru Masaoka was born in Fresno, California, in 1915, the fourth of eight children of immigrant parents. A few years after his birth, his father moved the Masaoka family to Salt Lake City. It was there that he earned the nickname "Mike" while attending Salt Lake City schools. Later, he had his name legally changed. After graduating from West High School, he attended the University of Utah while working in his family's produce business and local restaurants. At both West and the University, he excelled in forensics. He was graduated from the University in 1937, after studying economics and political science.
Masaoka's first involvement with the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) occurred in 1938, when he attended an annual gathering of the organization. He became interested in the group's goal of organizing second-generation Japanese Americans, or Nisei, in efforts to counteract increasing discrimination. Masaoka quickly became a leader in the JACL after organizing the Intermountain District Council in Utah and Idaho. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the JACL's role as the leading representative organization for the Nisei took on new significance when coping with the government's decision to evacuate and intern all West Coast resident aliens and Americans of Japanese ancestry. As the JACL National Secretary, Masaoka was sent to Washington, D.C. in an effort to mitigate the effects of the relocation and work towards the elimination of the internment camps. Before leaving for Washington, though, Masaoka wed Etsu Mineta.
In addition to exerting influence on the United States government concerning the situation of Japanese Americans, while in Washington Masaoka also worked towards the reinstatement of military service for Japanese Americans. His efforts resulted in the formation of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Masaoka, along with his four brothers and many other Japanese American men, joined the 442nd, which served with honor in military campaigns in Italy and France.
After returning from military service, the JACL appointed Masaoka as its Washington Representative, a post at which he served full-time until 1952, and part-time until 1972. During his years as a lobbyist, Masaoka worked to reform immigration and naturalization laws, resulting in the repeal of the 1924 Japanese Exclusion Act and the abolishment of the National Origins Quota Immigration System. In addition, he lobbied for reparations for losses suffered by Japanese Americans who had been relocated to the internment camps, which assisted in passage of the Evacuation Claims Act of 1948. In the 1980s, he also played a role in the proceedings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, which investigated the topic of further redress. Throughout his years in Washington, Masaoka also supported passage of civil rights legislation, and was active in development of smooth Japan-U.S. diplomatic and economic relations. In addition to his lobbying efforts on behalf of the JACL, in 1953 Masaoka established his own consulting firm, Mike Masaoka Associates. His clients included both American and Japanese manufacturing firms, as well as a variety of trade associations.
Masaoka was involved in a variety of Nisei veterans associations, including the "Go For Broke" National Veterans Association. He was the first Nisei elected President of the Japan-America Society, a group with which he maintained a long association. In 1970, the Mike Masaoka Distinguished Public Service Award was established by the JACL as a way to recognize individuals who had made significant contributions to the well-being of the Japanese American community. He was the JACL "Nisei of the Biennium" in 1950, and the JACL has established the Mike M. Masaoka Fellowship Fund to develop leaders in public service at the national level. In 1968, Masaoka was awarded the Third Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan. In 1983, he was honored with the Second Class Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Emperor.
Masaoka's autobiography, They Call Me Moses Masaoka (written with Bill Hosokawa), was published by Morrow in 1987. He died in Washington, D.C., in 1991, after being plagued with heart problems during the previous decade. He was preceded in death by his two adopted children, and survived by his wife and one grandchild.
CHRONOLOGY OF MIKE M. MASAOKA:
- 1915: Born in California
- 1932: Graduated from West High School, Salt Lake City
- 1937: Graduated from the University of Utah
- 1941-1943: National Secretary for the Japanese American Citizens League
- 1943: Married Etsu Mineta
- 1943-1945: Military Service in the United States Army
- 1945-1953: Full-time Washington Representative for the Japanese American Citizens League
- 1948: Passage of Evacuation Claims Act
- 1950: Named Japanese American Citizen League "Nisei of the Biennium"
- 1952: Passage of Immigration and Nationality Act First trip to Japan
- 1953-1972: Part-time Washington Representative for the Japanese American Citizens League
- 1968: Awarded the Third Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan
- 1970: Establishment of Mike Masaoka Distinguished Public Service Award
- 1975: Trip around the world
- 1983: Conferred Second Class Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Emperor of Japan
- 1987: Publication of They Call Me Moses Masaoka
- 1991: Died in Washington, D. C.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The photographs in the Mike M. Masaoka papers (MS 0656), from which this collection is derived, were donated to the University of Utah by Etsu Masaoka in 1991. The collection contains images collected by Mr. Masaoka resulting from his personal and professional life, his involvement with the Japanese American community and Japanese American issues, and his association with politicians and diplomats.
NAME AND SUBJECT INDEX (The first number designates the box in which the material is located. The second number refers to a folder within a box. The third number(s) refer to an individual item within a folder.):
- Albert, Carl, 1:17:2
- Ariyoski, George, 1:20:4
- Arlington National Cemetery, 1:6:1-3
- Baldwin, Roger, 1:18:2
- Bank of Tokyo, 2:4
- Carroll, John A., 1:14:3
- Cellar, Emmanuel, 2:1:2
- Dermett, Wallace, 1:11:2
- Devers, Jacob T., 1:6:2
- Doyles, Paul H., 1:13:1
- Eisenhower, Dwight D., 2:9:3
- Engle, Clair, 1:12:1
- Ennes, Edward, 1:19:2
- Enomoto, Jerry, 2:13:5
- Father Flanegan, 1:10:1
- Fong, Hiram L., 2:1:3
- 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 1:6:2; 1:7:1-2
- Gore, Albert, Sr., 1:11:3
- Gray, Bob,Oversize
- Hawkins, Lee, 2:6
- Hayden, Carl, 1:15:4
- Hiug, Cecil R., 1:11:1
- Holifield, Chet, 1:10:4
- Humphrey, Hubert H., 1:14:1
- Inouye, Daniel K., 1:16:3
- Jackson, Henry M., 1:18:1
- Japanese American Citizens League, 1:6:2
- Javits, Jacob, 2:1:1
- Johnson, Lyndon B., 1:5:5; 2:13:3; Oversize
- Judd, Walter, 1:19:1
- Keating, Kent, 1:14:2
- Kennedy, John F., 2:3
- King, David S., 10:3:3
- Kuchel, Thomas H., 1:11:4; 1:18:3
- Kuranari, Tadashi, 2:4:3
- Lane, Thomas V., 1:15:3
- Long, Oren E., 1:13:4
- Magnuson, Warren G., 2:1:2
- Mansfield, Mike, 1:8:1; 2:1:1; 2:10:1
- Masaoka, Ben F., 1:7:3
- Masaoka, Etsu, 1:1-2; 1:8:1
- Masaoka, Ike, 1:7:3
- Masaoka, Mike, 1:1-5; 1:8:1; 2:3; 2:2:1; 2:11:3; 2:13:5
- Awards, 2:11:3
- Distinguished Public Service Award, 2:10:1
- Testimonial dinner, 1:1-2
- Masaoka, Michael, 1:3:1-3
- Masaoka, Midori, 1:3:1-4
- Masaoka, Tad, 1:7:3
- Matsui, Bob, 1:17:4
- Matsunaga, Spark, 1:19:4
- McCarran, Pat, 2:12:1; 2:13:2
- McCloy, John, 1:19:2
- Meyer, Dillon, 1:19:2
- Mike M. Masaoka Distinguished Public Service Award, 2:10:1
- Miller, George D., 1:12:4; 1:15:2
- Mineta, Norman, 1:9:1-2
- Mink, Patsy T., 1:20:5
- Moss, Frank E., 1:20:2
- Moss, John E., 1:18:4
- Munemori, Sadao, 2:3:1-3
- Nakasone, Tsutako, 2:4:2
- Nakasone, Yasuhiro, 2:4:1
- National Nisei Veterans Association, 1:6:3
- Nixon, Richard, 1:16:1; 2:13:5
- Nubi, Taheis, 1:10:2
- Reagan, Ronald, 2:4:5
- Rogers, Byron G., 1:13:2
- Sakamoto, Misoji, 2:5:1
- Sato, Eisaku, 2:11:3
- Saund, D. I., 1:17:1
- Sculi, Pat, 1:9:3
- Shelley, Jack, 1:16:2
- Sisk, Bernie, 1:20:1
- Thomas, Albert, 1:17:3
- Truman, Harry, 1:7:1
- Walter, Francis E., 2:13:1
- Yates, Sidney R., 1:20:3
The files names listed below have four parts: (part 1) The collection number n (part 2) box number_(part 3) folder number_(part 4) item number. These numbers will match exactly with the corresponding scans in the digital library.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
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.
Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Box 1: Folders 1-5: Contains photographs recording the 1970 Mike M. Masaoka Testimonial Dinner, which honored Masaoka's achievements as a representative of the Japanese American Citizen's League. Other photographs include head shots of Masaoka used in personal and professional situations.
Box 1: Folders 6-7: Contain images showing memorial services for Japanese American servicemen. In addition, the photographs show participants and activities of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which fought in Europe during World War Two. Included is a photograph of Masaoka, with three of his brothers, in uniform.
Box 1: Folders 8-20 and Box 2: Folders 1-2: Contain signed portraits of politicians and diplomats, many of which are inscribed to Masaoka. These, apparently, were collected by Masaoka while working in Washington as a representative of the Japanese American Citizens League and as a private consultant.
Box 2: Folders 3-13: Contains a variety of miscellaneous photographs resulting from Masaoka's personal and professional activities.
Gift of Etsu Masaoka in 1992 and 1993.
Processed by Mark Jensen in 1994 and by Kristen Soderberg in 2004.
Audio-visual materials were transferred to the Mike M. Masaoka audio-visual collection (A0351).
This collection forms part of the Mitsugi M. Kasai Memorial Japanese American Archive.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
Masaoka's achievements, Japanese American servicemen in WWII, politicians and diplomatsReturn to Top
Mike M. Masaoka Testimonial dinner
Mike M. Masaoka Testimonial dinner
Japanese American Veteran Memorials
442nd Regimental Combat Team
Politicians, diplomats and miscellaneousReturn to Top
Bank of Tokyo and Japanese Government Officials
Correspondence Photographs; (These items were originally located in Ms 565)
United States Presidents
OversizeReturn to Top
PanoramaReturn to Top
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Japanese Americans--Photographs
- Masaoka, Mike,1915---Photographs
- Regimental Combat Team, 442nd--History--Photographs
- United States--Army
Form or Genre Terms
- Photographic prints
- Portrait photographs