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Finding Aid for the Fred T. Korematsu v. United States Coram Nobis Litigation collection, 1942-1988
545  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Abbreviations Used in Container List
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Fred T. Korematsu v. United States Coram Nobis Litigation collection
    Date (inclusive): 1942-1988
    Collection number: 545
    Creator: Fred T. Korematsu Litigation Team members Dale Minami, Lorraine Bannai, Dennis Hayashi, Karen Kai, Robert Rusky, Don Tamaki
    Extent: 49 pamphlet boxes (24.5 linear ft.)
    Abstract: The Korematsu litigation documents are the record of the Korematsu team's litigation work. Not only were they actively engaged in litigation and court affairs on behalf of Mr. Korematsu, but they also saw themselves equally engaged in community outreach, educational efforts, and the redress movement as a whole. Their legal and non-legal research and their involvement in related coram nobis cases, legislative initiatives, media projects testify to the breadth and depth of activities they viewed integral and essential to litigating this case. The 49 document cases of documents are a distillation of the personal attorneys' files of Dale Minami, Lorraine Bannai, Dennis Hayashi, Don Tamaki, the Asian Law Caucus, Robert Rusky, Karen Kai, and Ed Chen. Files were not received from Leigh-Ann Miyasato, Peter Irons, Eric Yamamoto, Akira Togasaki, or other individuals or organizations involved in the case.
    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: Collection is open for research, with the exception of Box 49, which is restricted for access until a duplicate transfer of public-use audio copy of program on micro-cassette is completed. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Copyright of portions of this collection has been assigned to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. The library can grant permission to publish for materials to which it holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or quote must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian, Department of Special Collections. Credit shall be given as follows: The Regents of the University of California on behalf of the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Fred and Kathryn Korematsu, 1999.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Fred T. Korematsu v. United States Coram Nobis Litigation collection (Collection 545). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 5304828 

    Biography

    Fred Korematsu was born in 1919, in Oakland, Calif., and lived there with his Issei (first generation) parents, who operated a nursery. He and his three brothers lived in Oakland until the spring of 1942, when he and approximately 110,000 other American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry were ordered to leave their West Coast homes and report for internment. Mr. Korematsu refused to leave the community in which he grew up and was arrested on May 30, 1942. He was tried and convicted in Federal Court. In a landmark case, the United States Supreme Court upheld his conviction and held that the military orders removing Japanese Americans from the West Coast were lawful under the United States Constitution. Mr. Korematsu's case stood for over forty years as constitutional validation of one of the most egregious deprivations of civil rights in modern United States history. In 1981, a number of documents were found which proved that the United States government suppressed, altered, and destroyed material evidence during its prosecution of Mr. Korematsu's case. Based on these documents, Mr. Korematsu, represented by a team of young lawyers, filed a petition for writ of error coram nobis, an obscure legal proceeding which allows a criminal defendant to challenge his conviction based on manifest injustice. Mr. Korematsu's petition was granted, and his conviction was vacated in a decision that helped remove the scar on the Constitution caused by the original Supreme Court case and helped heal the wounds inflicted on an entire community of people. Mr. Korematsu lived in Northern California until his passing on March 30, 2005. He is survived by his wife, Kathryn, and his two children, Karen and Ken Korematsu.

    Scope and Content

    The collection contains the files of the attorneys who assisted Mr. Korematsu in reopening his case. They chronicle both the events leading up to the 1944 Korematsu decision and the 1981 effort by a group of politically committed lawyers determined to challenge the judicial system and re-write history. The Korematsu litigation documents are the record of the Korematsu team's litigation work. Not only were they actively engaged in litigation and court affairs on behalf of Mr. Korematsu, but they also saw themselves equally engaged in community outreach, educational efforts, and the redress movement as a whole. Their legal and non-legal research and their involvement in related coram nobis cases, legislative initiatives, media projects testify to the breadth and depth of activities they viewed integral and essential to litigating this case.The 49 document cases of documents are a distillation of the personal attorneys' files of Dale Minami, Lorraine Bannai, Dennis Hayashi, Don Tamaki, the Asian Law Caucus, Robert Rusky, Karen Kai, and Ed Chen. Files were not received from Leigh-Ann Miyasato, Peter Irons, Eric Yamamoto, Akira Togasaki, or other individuals or organizations involved in the case. As each attorney maintained his or her personal files, there were numerous duplicates which have been subsequently removed. Selected materials were also duplicated and submitted to the California State Library in Sacramento, Calif., with funding from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Project.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The documents in this collection include both legal and non-legal materials, reflecting both the depth and range of the litigation process as well as the legal team's community participation. Accordingly, the documents are arranged to give intellectual coherence while at the same time providing an adequate depiction of the Team's organizational and legal activities. With a few exceptions, materials were arranged chronologically by date, into the following series:
    • I. Documents filed with the Court and discovery
    • II. Memoranda and correspondence
    • III. Community education
    • IV. Government documents
    • V. Other related coram nobis cases
    • VI. Miscellaneous documents
    • VII. Attorneys' personal files.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    COLLECTION CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. To access digital materials you must notify the reference desk in advance of your visit.

    Abbreviations Used in Container List

    • Korematsu litigation team
      • P. IronsPeter Irons
      • D. MinamiDale Minami
      • L. BannaiLorraine Bannai
      • K. KaiKaren Kai
      • D. TamakiDon Tamaki
      • R. RuskyRobert (Bob) Rusky
      • D. HayashiDennis Hayashi
      • E. ChenEdward Chen
      • E. YamamatoEric Yamamoto
      • L. MiyasatoLeigh-Ann Miyasato
      • A. TogasakiAkira Togasaki
    • Hirabayashi litigation team
      • K. BannaiKathryn Bannai
      • M. LeongMichael Leong
      • S. SakamotoSharon Sakamoto
      • R. KawakamiRodney Kawakami
    • Yasui litigation team
      • P. NagaePeggy Nagae
    • Counsel for the United States
      • V. StoneVictor Stone
    • Petitioners
      • M. YasuiMinoru Yasui
      • Fred Korematsu
      • Gordon Hirabayashi
    • Judges
      • M.H. PatelMarilyn Hall Patel
    • Court clerks
      • P. WinberryPhillip Winberry
      • L. MoriyamaLurline Moriyama
    • Court reporters
      • W. HenderscheidWilliam Henderscheid
    • Deposed individuals
      • B. PashBoris Pash
      • R. HamRichard Ham
    • Archival researchers
      • Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga
      • Jack Herzig
    • Organizations
      • ONIOffice of Naval Intelligence
      • MIDMilitary Intelligence Division
      • WDCWestern Defense Command
      • WRAWar Relocation Authority
      • JACLJapanese American Citizens League
      • BAARBay Area Attorneys for Redress
      • CRJAWCCommittee to Reverse the Japanese American Wartime Cases
      • NCJARNational Council for Japanese American Redress
      • CWRICCommission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians
      • NCRRNational Coalition for Redress/Reparations

    Indexing Terms

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

    Subjects

    Korematsu, Fred, 1919- --Trials, litigation, etc.
    Japanese Americans--Civil rights.
    Japanese Americans--Legal status, laws, etc.
    Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.
    World War, 1939-1945--Reparations.
    Writ of error coram nobis--United States--Archival resources.

    Related Material