The majority of the collection consists of correspondence sent to the Katano
family while they were interred at the Manzanar War Relocation Center in Inyo County, California, from 1942 to
1945. Many of the letters were sent to Tomeko Dorothy Katano, who was at Manzanar
from ages 19-22.
Takaichi “Frank” Katano (born 1886) and Kazue “Mary” Katano (born 1902) were natives of
Japan who settled in Los Angeles, California. Takaichi was trained in hotel management and Kazue
was an amateur dressmaker. Their daughter Tameko “Dorothy” Katano (born 1923) graduated
from high school and was working as a sales clerk in the early 1940s. In 1942 the
family, along with sons Yasunari Katano (b.1927), possibly called George, and Kanya
Katano (born 1930), was sent to the Manzanar War Relocation Center. The elder Katanos,
Tameko, and probably Kanya were still in the camp as of June 1945, although by July
1945 Tameko was planning a trip to New York. Yasumani lived in Iowa from July 1944
and attended Central College in Pella, Iowa.
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