Finding Aid for the Fuju Sasaki papers, 1944-1986 (bulk 1944-1954)

Processed by Tiffany-Kay Sangwand in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, Winter 2008; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
Manuscripts Division
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
© 2008
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Fuju Sasaki papers
Date (bulk): 1944-1986 (bulk 1944-1954)
Collection number: 1440
Creator: Sasaki, Fuju, b. 1899.
Extent: 1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Abstract: The Fuju Sasaki Papers contain materials related to the Japanese and Japanese American migration to Seabrook Farms in New Jersey at the end of World War Two and their post-war daily life at Seabrook Farms. These materials were collected by Fuju Sasaki, who was known as the "Mayor" of Seabrook for his work and advocacy for the Japanese Seabrook community. The collection also contains materials relating to public recognition of his work as well as audiocassettes of interviews with Sasaki.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Fuju Sasaki, 1986.

Processing Note

Processed by Tiffany-Kay Sangwand in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, Winter 2008.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Fuju Sasaki papers (Collection Number 1440). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

Biography

Fuju Sasaki was known as the "Mayor" and spokesman of the Japanese community at Seabrook Farms from 1944 through 1964. In 1899, he was born in Japan and at the age of fourteen, he went to Hawaii to live with his father for five years. Sasaki later moved to Parkville, Missouri where he completed his Bachelor of Science in Math and Physics at Park College. After graduating, Sasaki did a variety of odd jobs while taking night courses in drafting at Carnegie. He later moved to Florin, California where he worked in a tofu shop.
As a result of the U.S. internment of Japanese during World War II, Sasaki was relocated to Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas in 1942. In 1944, an employment manager from the New Jersey based Seabrook Farms, the largest farm and frozen vegetable plant at the time, came to Jerome in order to recruit workers. Through an invitation by Seabrook Farms owner Charles Seabrook, Fuju Sasaki, along with fellow members of the Jerome Relocation Commission Harold Ouchida and Ellen Nakamura, visited Seabrook Farms to investigate it as a potential site for relocation.
Sasaki returned to Arkansas as the Jerome War Relocation Center was closing and moved his family to the Gila River Relocation Center in Phoenix, Arizona before returning to Seabrook to work. Nine months later, his family joined him in Seabrook. Sasaki and his wife Kikue had six children, all of which have graduated from college.
On June 29, 1953, Sasaki became a U.S. citizen in the first mass naturalization ceremony for Japanese. He was one of the first to petition for naturalization in 1947. On March 28, 1964, the Seabrook chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League held a testimonial dinner in honor of Sasaki and his wife and their service to the Seabrook community. In 1964, the couple returned to California and settled in Torrance.

Scope and Content

The Fuju Sasaki Papers contain materials related to the 2,500 Japanese and Japanese Americans who relocated from the internment camps to Seabrook Farms in New Jersey from 1944 to 1947. The Japanese American weekly reports, which detail the numbers of Japanese employee arrivals, terminations, rates of employment and housing, comprise the bulk of the materials in the collection. These are addressed to the "Mayor" Fuju Sasaki and are mostly prepared by Ellen Nakamura, who acted as the liaison between Seabrook Farms and the Deerfield Packing Corporation in Bridgeton, New Jersey. These reports date from August 1944 to June 1947.
The Events folder and Seabrook Community House folder also contain information related to Japanese post-war daily life at Seabrook from 1947 through 1954. The materials in these folders include planning information for Seabrook community events and the Seabrook Community House newsletter, The Villager. Approximately half of the event planning materials is written in Japanese. The Villager is translated from English into Japanese, German, and other eastern European languages reflecting the diverse population of Seabrook, which included African Americans from the South, Scot-Irish from Appalachia, Germans, Italians, Estonians, Latvians, Ukrainians, Jamaicans, and Puerto Ricans.
The collection also contains two audio cassette tapes of two interviews conducted with Fuju Sasaki by Mitziko Sawada in 1985 and 1986 as well as clippings related to Seabrook and materials related to the organizations Japanese American Citizens League and Japan Society who honored Fuju Sasaki for his role at Seabrook. The clippings range in date from 1947 through 1971. They are all culled from east coast publications such as the New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, and Bridgeton Evening (New Jersey).
Other materials in the collection include an event program from the first Seabrook reunion held in Los Angeles in 1983, Seabrook Farms pamphlets, and miscellaneous documents.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection was organized by the general chronology of events from Japanese migration to Seabrook Farms beginning at the end of World War Two (Folders 1-4) to post-war life at Seabrook Farms (Folders 5-11), and post-Seabrook Farms life of Fuju Sasaki (Folder 12).

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Sasaki, Fuji, 1894- --Archives.
Civic leaders--New Jersey--Seabrook--Archival resources.
Japanese Americans--New Jersey--Seabrook--Archival resources.
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.


Container List

Box 1, Folder 1

Japanese American reports 1944

Physical Description: 72 items

Scope and Content Note

Weekly reports with statistics of Japanese Americans arriving at Seabrook, departing from Seabrook, birth rates, employment rates, living conditions. Reports generated by the liaison between the Japanese Americans and Seabrook management. Includes Seabrook brochures and a Veterans Memorial program
Box 1, Folder 2

Japanese American reports 1945

Physical Description: 107 items

Scope and Content Note

Weekly reports with statistics of Japanese Americans arriving at Seabrook, departing from Seabrook, birth rates, employment rates, living conditions. Reports generated by the liaison between the Japanese Americans and Seabrook management.
Box 1, Folder 3

Japanese American reports 1946

Physical Description: 94 items

Scope and Content Note

Weekly reports with statistics of Japanese Americans arriving at Seabrook, departing from Seabrook, birth rates, employment rates, living conditions. Reports generated by the liaison between the Japanese Americans and Seabrook management.
Box 1, Folder 4

Japanese American reports 1947

Physical Description: 16 items

Scope and Content Note

Weekly reports with statistics of Japanese Americans arriving at Seabrook, departing from Seabrook, birth rates, employment rates, living conditions. Reports generated by the liaison between the Japanese Americans and Seabrook management.
Box 1, Folder 5

Events 1947-1951

Physical Description: 45 items

Scope and Content Note

Budgets, notes, programs related to Seabrook community events. Materials in English and Japanese.
Box 1, Folder 6

Seabrook Community House 1952-1954

Physical Description: 42 items

Scope and Content Note

The Villager newsletter and flyers from the Seabrook Community House. Materials in English, Japanese, German and [other languages].
Box 1, Folder 7

Seabrook Farms pamphlets 1959-1983

Physical Description: 3 items

Scope and Content Note

Two pamphlets on Seabrook Farms, one program from the Seabrook reunion
Box 1, Folder 8

Japanese American Citizens League 1948-1985

Physical Description: 6 items

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, circular letter (in Japanese and English), event programs, museum exhibition pamphlet and newspaper clipping on The Japanese American Experience in America co-sponsored by the Japanese American Citizens League and The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies.
Box 1, Folder 9

Japan Society 1953

Physical Description: 2 items

Scope and Content Note

Program and seating arrangement for Japan Society's dinner in honor of The Crown Prince of Japan
Box 1, Folder 10

Clippings 1947-1971

Physical Description: 54 items

Scope and Content Note

Clippings on Japanese Americans from the New York Herald Tribune, New York Times, and Bridgeton Evening.
Box 1, Folder 11

Miscellaneous undated

Physical Description: 6 items

Scope and Content Note

Handwritten notes (in Japanese and English), one page of a report, Christmas tribute poem to Fuju Sasaki signed by Mrs. Glenning and Mrs. Newton, and list of names and addresses.
Box 1, Folder 12

Interview with Fuju Sasaki 1985-1986

Physical Description: 2 items

Scope and Content Note

Audiocassettes of two interviews conducted by Mitziko Sawada in Torrance, California