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Finding aid for the Chica Sugino Papers
99.99.1  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Chica Sugino Papers
    Dates: 1910s-1980s
    Bulk Dates: (bulk 1940s)
    Collection number: 99.99.1
    Creator: Sugino, Chica,1888-1986
    Collection Size: 4 linear feet
    Repository: Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Los Angeles, California 90012
    Abstract: Chica Sugino was an Issei research analyst for Alexander Leighton, head of the War Relocation Authority's (WRA) Sociological Research Bureau at Poston Relocation Center. Her research contributed to Leighton's book, The Governing of Men, one of the first monographs published on the Japanese American wartime experience. The collection contains photographs, correspondence, research notes, manuscript drafts, newspapers, audio recordings, and WRA publications spanning from the 1910s to the 1980s.
    Physical location: Japanese American National Museum 369 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Access

    Collection is open for research by appointment. Please contact the Japanese American National Museum's Hirasaki National Resource Center by e-mail (hnrc@janm.org) or telephone (213.830.5680)

    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 (hnrc@janm.org).

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Chica Sugino papers. 99.99.1, Japanese American National Museum. Los Angeles, CA.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Chica Sugino was an Issei research analyst for Alexander Leighton, head of the WRA's Sociological Research Bureau at Poston. Her research contributed to Leighton's book, The Governing of Men, one of the first monographs published on the Japanese American wartime experience.
    Born Chica Tadakuma in 1888 in Taiwan, Sugino spent most of her early childhood in Japan. In 1906, she and her family came to the United States where her father worked as a cobbler and her mother as a teacher and seamstress. With the family struggling financially, in 1915, Sugino's father arranged for her and her older sister to take ballet lessons in the hopes that they would be able to earn a living performing on stage. Unsuccessful in vaudeville, Sugino and her sister traveled to Hollywood to find work in movies and to establish themselves as performers. Sugino's career as an entertainer was cut short, however, when her sister eloped in 1917.
    Leaving show business behind her, Sugino attended USC on a scholarship, where she studied sociology and graduated in 1924. That same year she married Kenzo Arthur Sugino, one of the first practicing Issei optometrists in Little Tokyo. Together, the couple had three children: Arthur (aka Techy) in 1925, Paul in 1927, and Elizabeth in 1931. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, their family life was disrupted when Kenzo was arrested by the FBI and incarcerated at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) center in Tujunga as an alien enemy. Sugino and her children were forced to relocate to Poston, Arizona where Kenzo eventually joined them. During her time at Poston, Sugino worked as a research analyst for the Sociological Research Bureau, simultaneously earning course credit from the University of Chicago's graduate program in sociology. After she and her family returned to Los Angeles, Sugino was active in the Women's Welfare Service program, organizing donations of old stockings to provide work for women in Japan. At the age of 88, Sugino passed away in 1986.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Chica Sugino Papers contain photographs, correspondence, research notes, manuscript drafts, newspapers, audio recordings, and WRA publications spanning from the 1910s to the 1980s. The bulk of the collection consists of materials dating from the early 1940s related to Sugino's research for the WRA's Sociological Research Bureau on the forced exclusion of Japanese Americans. The collection also contains a great deal of materials documenting Sugino's wartime experience at the Poston concentration camp. Also in the collection are microfilmed reels of camp and assembly center newspapers. During her later years, Sugino devoted her time to writing a manuscript based on her life. Drafts and a complete copy of her unpublished book can be found in the collection as well as audio reel recordings of Sugino reading aloud her manuscript.

    Arrangement

    In processing the collection, the materials were reorganized by series since there did not appear to be any preexisting organization. Original folder titles were retained with titles assigned by the processor indicated with brackets.
    The collection is organized into eleven series.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Sugino, Chica
    Japanese Americans
    Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
    World War, 1939-1945
    Concentration camps
    Arizona
    United States
    20th century
    United States. War Relocation Authority. Sociological Research Bureau