Scope and Content
Organization and Arrangement
Title: Karl G. Yoneda papers
Date (inclusive): 1892-1998, bulk 1925-1989
Collection number: 1592
Yoneda, Karl G., 1906-1999
23.0 linear ft.
(46 document boxes, 3 oversize boxes, and 1 map folder)
Abstract: Karl G. Yoneda was a Kibei-nisei, born in Glendale, California in 1906 and stayed in Japan between 1913 and 1926. He returned
to the United States in 1927 and joined the American Communist Party. During World War II, Yoneda was incarcerated in the
Manzanar War Relocation Center and volunteered to join the Military Intelligence Service Language School from the camp. He
served for the China-Burma-India Theater as a member of the Psychological Warfare Team, the United States Office of War Information.
Starting in the late 1960s, Yoneda gave lectures and talks at various classes and programs of academic institutions in the
West Coast and Hawaii and authored publications in English and Japanese. The collection consists of materials related to Yoneda's
involvement in the Japanese American left and labor movement, World War II internment, and the United States Military services.
Includes original manuscripts, publications, correspondence, photographs, and photocopied testimonies and investigation case
Language: Finding aid is written in
Language of the Material:
Materials are in English.
University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in advance through our electronic
paging system using the request button located on this page.
Conditions Governing Access
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in
advance through our electronic paging system using the request button located on this page.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. 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.
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
COLLECTION CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Digital materials in this collection will require assessment and possible digitization
for safe access. To review these audiovisual materials, you must notify the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk
in advance of your visit.
Includes: one CD-R, 700 MB storage capacity
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
Gift of Karl G. Yoneda, 1990.
[Identification of item], Karl G. Yoneda Papers (Collection 1592). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research
Library, University of California, Los Angeles.
UCLA Catalog Record ID
Karl G. Yoneda was born in Glendale, California in 1906 to Japanese immigrant parents. Because of his father's illness, the
Yoneda family left the United States for Japan in 1913. During his stay in Japan, Yoneda received his education and was influenced
by left-wing and socialist ideas. Escaping from Japanese conscription, he returned alone to the United States in 1926. In
the United States he joined the American Communist Party, which launched his career as a labor and union organizer. As a longshoreman
by trade, he was affiliated with the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU), and also served as the
vice president and delegate of the Congress of Industrial Organizations Alaskan Cannery Workers Union. He was an editor of
労働新聞 Roōdoō Shinbun [Japanese labor news] in San Francisco, an official newspaper of the Japanese section of the American
Communist Party, and a contributor to 同胞 Doōhoō, a Japanese American leftist newspaper (a broad united front progressive paper)
published in Los Angeles. He was also a poet, publishing poems under several pseudonyms.
During World War II, Yoneda and his wife, Elaine Black Yoneda, were interned in the Manzanar War Relocation Center in Independence,
California. During incarceration, he served as a block manager and also formed the Manzanar Citizens Federation, which consisted
of pro-American and pro-communist internees. Its purpose was to improve camp conditions, initiate leadership education, participate
in war efforts, and prepare evacuees for postwar life. In the camp, he volunteered to join the Military Intelligence Service
Language School and was enlisted in the Psychological Warfare Team, the United States Office of War Information (OWI), and
served for the China-Burma-India Theater.
Starting in the late 1960s, Yoneda gave lectures and talks in various classes and programs of academic institutions on the
West Coast and in Hawaii. He also authored publications in English and Japanese. In 1999, Yoneda passed away at age 92 in
Fort Bragg, California.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of materials related to Karl Yoneda's involvement in the Japanese American left and labor movement,
World War II internment, and the United States Military services. It includes original manuscripts, publications, correspondence,
photographs, and photocopied testimonies and investigation case files. Of note are leaflets and newspapers published and distributed
by the Japanese Bureau of the American Communist Party, leftist groups, and labor union members between 1923 and 1939. The
materials were distributed among Japanese communities in California, Seattle, Alaska, New York, Hawaii, Canada, Japan, and
Shanghai for various purposes, including to call for community participation internationally in the political fight against
Japanese imperialism and in the support of communists and the Soviet Union, and to advocate improvement of working conditions
and higher wages of local labor workers in California.
The collection also contains materials related to the internment of Yoneda and his wife, Elaine Black Yoneda, in the Manzanar
War Relocation Center. Materials Yoneda collected immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 depict
the anti-Japanese sentiment in the United States, while the materials written by Yoneda and/or the Japanese American community
groups express their faithful allegiance to the United States. During incarceration, Yoneda served as a block manager as well
as a member of the Manzanar Citizens Federation; as a result, this collection also contains Yoneda's reports and letters describing
the camp conditions, its organization and administration structure, jobs and wages, activities, and programs.
Propaganda materials included in the collection consist of 伝単 dentan [airborne leaflets], newspapers, pamphlets, and a military
song book produced by the United States Psychological Warfare Team, Office of War Information. The purpose of propaganda materials
was to call on Japanese soldiers to surrender in the China-Burma-India Theater between 1944 and 1945.
Most of the collection is written in English and Japanese; some Japanese texts are attached with an English synopsis and annotations.
A small portion of materials are written in Chinese, Korean, Burmese, and Russian.
Organization and Arrangement
Arranged in the following series:
- Communist/Labor Union Activities
- World War II Internment
- Military Service of Japanese Americans
- Manuscripts, Publications, and Lectures
- Japanese American/Canadian Redress and Reparations
- Investigation Case Files
- Japanese American Citizens League
- Personal Memorabilia
- Political Subject Files
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Alaska Cannery Workers Association.
Communist Party of the United States of America.
International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union.
Manzanar War Relocation Center.
Military Intelligence Service Language School (U.S.).
United States. Office of War Information.
Yoneda, Karl G., 1906- --Archives.
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.