Marlon Romero and Lauren Zuchowski
Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 830-5615
Email: collections@janm.org
URL: http://www.janm.org/
© 2014
Japanese American National Museum. All rights reserved.

Finding aid for the George Hoshida Papers

Collection number: 96.117

Japanese American National Museum

Los Angeles, California
Processed by:
Marlon Romero and Lauren Zuchowski
Date Completed:
2014
Encoded by:
Lauren Zuchowski
© 2014 Japanese American National Museum. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: George Hoshida papers
Dates: 1942-1983
Bulk Dates: 1942-1944
Collection number: 96.117
Creator: Hoshida, George, 1907-1985
Collection Size: 0.75 linear feet
Repository: Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles, California 90012
Abstract: George Hoshida (1907-1985) was an incarcerated artist who documented camp life with pencil and brushwork in a series of notebooks he kept between 1942 and 1945. This collection largely consists of correspondence between George and his wife, Tamae, after he was separated from his family and intern at various Justice Department Camps. It also includes legal documents, government documents, notes, and sketches.
Physical location: Japanese American National Museum 100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Access

By appointment only. Please Contact the Collections Management and Access Unit by email (collections@janm.org) or telephone (213-830-5615).

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Hirasaki National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum (collections@janm.org).

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], George Hoshida papers. 96.117, Japanese American National Museum. Los Angeles, CA.

Acquisition Information

In 1996, led by daughters Sandra Hoshida and June Honma, George Hoshida’s family donated his sketchbooks and letters to the permanent collection of the Japanese American National Museum.

Biography / Administrative History

George Hoshida was born in Japan in 1907. In 1912, at the age of four, he immigrated with his family to Hilo, Hawai'i. It is important to note Hoshida's age when he made the journey across the Pacific. Although his entire adolescence and adulthood was spent in Hawai'i, Hoshida was forbidden by law to become a naturalized citizen. Unlike migrants from Europe, immigrants from Asia were restricted from naturalization because of race until 1952. A self-educated man, Hoshida's formal education ended when he graduated from junior high school (he received his GED after the war). Hoshida then went on to work for the Hilo Electric Light Company, married and started a family. He was also involved in his Buddhist temple and had a keen interest in Judo. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hoshida was considered "potentially dangerous" due to his community involvement. Although he professed little interest in international politics, the practice of his Buddhist faith, his leadership in his temple, and his interest in Judo deemed him "suspicious." Hoshida was first incarcerated in Kilauea Military Camp and then Sand Island in Hawai'i, and then subsequently taken to the Justice Department camps at Fort Sam Houston in Texas and Lordsburg and Santa Fe in New Mexico. During the first two years of his incarceration, Hoshida was separated from his wife, Tamae, and four daughters, Taeko, June, Sandra, and Carole. Taeko was severely disabled and remained institutionalized in Hawai'i when the rest of the family was sent to the War Relocation Authority concentration camp in Jerome, Arkansas in the hopes of reuniting. Hoshida was finally able to join his family in Jerome and the family was later transferred together to the camp at Gila River. Sadly, Taeko died in Hawai'i before her family was able to return. While Hoshida was incarcerated, he cultivated a long-time interest in drawing. He filled notebooks with drawings and watercolors of his time behind barbed wire. He drew portraits of fellow inmates, depicted scenes of daily activities, sketched the surrounding camp environment, and used his skills to teach other inmates. His detailed visual diary provides an extensive and personal record of his experiences. Hoshida drew for his own consumption, but his carefully preserved drawings and watercolors help us reconstruct this critical time in American history. In December 1945, Hoshida and his family returned home to Hilo, Hawai'i. In 1959, Hoshida, along with his wife and daughter Carole, resettled in Los Angeles where he worked as a deputy clerk in the municipal court. His daughters June and Sandra would later relocate to Los Angeles. After retiring, Hoshida returned to Hawai'i where he wrote and published an autobiography entitled, Life of a Japanese Immigrant Boy in Hawai’i. George Hoshida died in 1985.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection provides insight into the daily lives of a separated family during World War II. Letters from George to his wife illustrate life at Justice Department Camps while Tamae’s letters highlight their daily struggles of life without her husband as she remained in Hilo, Hawai’i. George’s love of drawing comes out in letters to his daughters in which he makes humorous sketches for June in addition to family portraits and sketches of his living conditions for Tamae. Letters in 1943 begin to emphasize the family’s struggle to be reunited after Tamae and the children relocate to Jerome in the hopes that George would join shortly thereafter. The collection contains letters between husband and wife anticipating their reunion as well as letters between family members and official government employees trying to get George paroled and transferred. Petitions filed by George and other Hawai’ian internees separated from loved ones provide insight into the drawn out legal processes involved in transfers to bring families together. There are also handwritten notes kept by George regarding the Hawai’ian internees separated from their families, creating a larger picture of the lives of men and women separated from their loved while interned.
George’s sketches of camp life and portraits of fellow internees capture a glimpse into everyday life for him while separated from his family. Sketches portray camp landscapes, kitchen scenes, and block meetings. His family portraits following the Hoshida family reunion show family life with small children at camp. They are a valuable visual representation of the daily ups and downs described in George and Tamae’s letters.
The bulk of the George Hoshida Papers are comprised of these letters and sketches that show the daily struggles of this separated family but also includes government documents that portray regulations applicable to internees as well as civilians in the Territory of Hawai’i. In addition to materials from the war years, the collection also provides some insight into the Evacuations Claims Act of July 2, 1948 through George’s claim and settlement paperwork.

Arrangement

Items have been arranged chronologically when applicable with undated materials at the end of each series.
Series 1 : Correspondence
Subseries 1: Personal
Subseries 2: Government
Series 2: Government Documents
Subseries 1: Interment Camps
Subseries 2: Territory of Hawaii
Subseries 3: Regulations and Instructions
Series 3: Legal Documents
Subseries 1: Claims
Subseries 2: Petitions
Series 4: Notes
Series 5: Press Clippings
Series 6: Miscellaneous: Japanese Language Materials
Series 7: Sketches
Subseries 1: Sketches by George Hoshida
Subseries 2: Sketches by Others

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Hoshida, George, 1907-1985
Japanese Americans
water color painting
drawings and graphics
World War II
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.
Kilauea Military Camp (Hawaii)
Sand Island U.S. Army Internment Camp (Hawaii)
Santa Ana Army Air Base (Calif.)
Fort Sam Houston (Tex.)
Lordsburg Internment Camp (N.M.)
Santa Fe Internment Camp (N.M.)
Justice Department Camps, Santa Fe
Jerome Relocation Center (Ark.)
Gila River Relocation Center

Related Material

97.106, George Hoshida Drawings. Digital Surrogates are available on the Japanese American National Museum’s Website.
2002.166.1, George Hoshida Drawing. Color ink drawing of Lordsburg Hospital.
NRC.2005.95.1, Life of a Japanese Immigrant Boy in Hawai'i by George Hoshida.

Collection Contents

 

Correspondence, 1942-1956

Physical Description: 0.50 linear feet
 

Personal, 1958-1993

Physical Description: 25 folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This series primarily contains correspondence between George Hoshida and his wife, Tamae, while they were separated. The letters span his time at Kilauea Detention Camp, Sand Island Detention Camp, Fort Sam Houston Justice Department Camp with most letters from HOshida's time at Lordsburg Internment Camp in New Mexico. He writes to Tamae while the family remains in Hilo, Hawai'i and throughout their move to Jerome Relocation Center in Denson, Arkansas. There are also letters to and from his daughters (June and Sandra), brother (Raymond), and others.
Box 1 Folder 1

February 1942

Physical Description: 6 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letterss numbered 2001.203.1A-.9D.
Box 1 Folder 2

March 1942

Physical Description: 8 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.7-.14.
Box 1 Folder 3

April 1-15, 1942

Physical Description: 8 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.15-.22.
Box 1 Folder 4

April 17-28, 1942

Physical Description: 7 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.23-.29.
Box 1 Folder 5

May 1942

Physical Description: 14 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.30--.43.
Box 1 Folder 6

June 1942

Physical Description: 4 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.44-.47.
Box 1 Folder 7

July 1942

Physical Description: 8 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.48-.54.
Box 1 Folder 8

August 1942

Physical Description: 9 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.55-.63.
Box 1 Folder 9

September 1942

Physical Description: 14 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.64-.77.
Box 1 Folder 10

October 1942

Physical Description: 14 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.78-.91.
Box 1 Folder 11

November 1942

Physical Description: 12 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.92-.103.
Box 1 Folder 12

December 1942

Physical Description: 5 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.104-.108.
Box 1 Folder 13

January 1943

Physical Description: 9 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.109-.117.
Box 1 Folder 14

February 1943

Physical Description: 15 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.118-.132.
Box 1 Folder 15

March 1943

Physical Description: 15 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.133-.147.
Box 1 Folder 16

April 1943

Physical Description: 20 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.148-.167.
Box 1 Folder 17

May 1943

Physical Description: 16 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.168-.183.
Box 1 Folder 18

June 1943

Physical Description: 9 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.184-.192.
Box 1 Folder 19

July 1943

Physical Description: 9 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.193-.201.
Box 1 Folder 20

August 1943

Physical Description: 13 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.202-.214.
Box 1 Folder 21

September 1943

Physical Description: 10 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.215-.224.
Box 1 Folder 22

October 1943

Physical Description: 9 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.225-.233.
Box 1 Folder 23

November 1943

Physical Description: 7 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.234-.240.
Box 1 Folder 24

1944-1950

Physical Description: 2 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.241-.242.
Box 1 Folder 25

Undated

Physical Description: 5 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.243-.247.
 

Government, 1943-1956

Physical Description: 8 folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

These are letters primarily between Tamae Hoshida and government officials while she tried to speed up George’s upcoming parole and have him transferred to Jerome with his family.
Box 1 Folder 26

March 1943

Physical Description: 6 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.248-.253.
Box 1 Folder 27

April-June 1943

Physical Description: 7 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.254-.260.
Box 1 Folder 28

July-September 1943

Physical Description: 12 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.261-.272.
Box 1 Folder 29

October 1943

Physical Description: 11 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.273-.283.
Box 1 Folder 30

November 1943

Physical Description: 10 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.284-.293.
Box 1 Folder 31

December 1943

Physical Description: 9 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.294-.302.
Box 1 Folder 32

October 1952-November 1956

Physical Description: 3 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.303-.305.
Box 1 Folder 33

Undated

Physical Description: 3 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters numbered 96.117.306-.308.
 

Government Documents,

Physical Description: 7 folders
 

Internment Camp,

Physical Description: 2 folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries consists of official documents for George and Tamae Hoshida relating to camp life and life immediately following camp.
Box 2 Folder 1

Physical Description: 6 items

Scope and Content Summary

One permit to purchase gasoline (96.117.309), a sample check from the Lordsburg Custodian Office (96.117.310), two hospital visitor passes for George Hoshida (96.117.311-.312), and travel/residence photo identification cards for both George and Tamae Hoshida (96.117.314A-.314B). Includes items numbered 96.117.310-.312 and 96.117.314A-.314B
Box 2 Folder 2

Physical Description: 1 items

Scope and Content Summary

A list of internees and their families from Hawai'i. Includes items numbered 96.117.315.
 

Territory of Hawaii,

Physical Description: 1 folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Official memorandums and documents from the Territory of Hawai'i.
Box 2 Folder 3

Physical Description: 4 item

Scope and Content Summary

One general license under Executive Order8389, one memorandum to all persons having use of funds of internees, one order that all persons are prohibited from entering the Territory of Hawai'i under provisions of Executive Order 9066 and Executive Order 9489, Tamae Hoshida's photo identification for the Territory of Hawai'i. Includes items numbered 96.117.316-.318 and 96.117.313.
 

Regulations,

Physical Description: 4 folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Formal ordinances, regulations, and memorandums put out by the United States government relating to behavioral expectations of iternees and general procedures.
Box 4 Folder 4

Physical Description: 2 items

Scope and Content Summary

Two copies of a treasury notification to civilian internees about blocking assets and instructions. Includes items numbered 96.117.319-.320.
Box 4 Folder 5

Physical Description: 1 items

Scope and Content Summary

Regulations for internee leaders. Includes items numbered 96.117.321.
Box 4 Folder 6

Physical Description: 1 items

Scope and Content Summary

One ordinance to define and regulate offenses in teh Jerome Relocation Center. Includes item numbered 96.117.322.
Box 4 Folder 7

Physical Description: 1 items

Scope and Content Summary

Alien Address Report Notices. Includes items numbered 96.117.321.
 

Legal Documents,

Physical Description: 5 folders
 

Claims,

Physical Description: 2 folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Legal claims initiated by George Hoshida against the United States Government under the Evacuations Claims Act of July 2, 1942.
Box 2 Folder 8

Physical Description: 1 item

Scope and Content Summary

One claim by George Hoshida related to the Evacuations Claims Act of July 2, 1943. Includes item numbered 96.117.324.
Box 2 Folder 9

Physical Description: 4 items

Scope and Content Summary

Two Evacuations Claims Compromise Settlement Award Sheets (96.117.325 and 96.117.327), a letter from the Claims Division regarding the Award Sheets (96.117.326), and a notice of settlement claim (96.117.328). Includes items numbered 96.117.325-.328.
 

Petitions,

Physical Description: 3 folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Petitions filed by George Hoshida and 10 other Hawaiian internees to be paroled and reunited with their families, who were in different camps.
Box 2 Folder 10

Physical Description: 1 item

Scope and Content Summary

One petition numbered 96.117.329.
Box 2 Folder 11

Physical Description: 1 item

Scope and Content Summary

One petition numbered 96.117.330.
Box 2 Folder 12

Physical Description: 2 items

Scope and Content Summary

Second copy of petition numbered 96.117.330 and one blank petition form for family reunion. Includes items numbered 96.117.331-.332.
 

Miscellaneous,

Physical Description: 4 folders
 

Notes,

Physical Description: 2 folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Handwritten notes by George Hoshida covering a range of subjects but primarily focused on Hawaiian itnernees and family renuions.
Box 2 Folder 13

Physical Description: 1 item

Scope and Content Summary

Three pages of notes containing family reunion records for Lordsburg group. INcludes item numbered 96.117.333.
Box 2 Folder 14

Physical Description: 1 item

Scope and Content Summary

Includes item numbered 96.117.334.
 

Press Clippings,

Physical Description: 1 folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Various press clippings and advertisements collected by George Hoshida.
Box 2 Folder 15

Physical Description: 5 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes World's Greatest Books advertisement, two japanese language articles, one article titled "Disloyal Japanese Will Leave Amache: Nearly Two Hundred Will Be Shipped From Colorado Camp to Coast Center For Probable Repatriation in Nippon", and an article titled "Sketches From Camp" featuring reproductions of George's artwork. Includes item numbered 96.117.335-.339.
 

Japanese Language Materials,

Physical Description: 1 folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Various Japanese language items collected by George Hoshida. Awaiting translation.
Box 2 Folder 16

Physical Description: 2 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes item numbered 96.117.340-.341.
 

Sketches,

Physical Description: 6 folders
 

Sketches by George Hoshida,

Physical Description: 5 folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Sketches made by George Hoshida focusing on camp life and portraits of fellow internees.
Box 2 Folder 17

1942

Physical Description: 1 item

Scope and Content Summary

Includes sketch numbered 96.117.342.
Box 2 Folder 18

1943

Physical Description: 2 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes sketches numbered 96.117.343-.344.
Box 2 Folder 19

1944

Physical Description: 8 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes sketches numbered 96.117.345-.352.
Box 2 Folder 20

1945

Physical Description: 6 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes sketch numbered 96.117.353-.358.
Box 2 Folder 21

Undated

Physical Description: 1 item

Scope and Content Summary

Includes sketch numbered 96.117.359.
 

Sketches by Others,

Physical Description: 1 folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Two hand-drawn calendars with sketches by an unknown artist.
Box 2 Folder 22

Undated

Physical Description: 2 items

Scope and Content Summary

Includes sketches numbered 96.117.360-.361.