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Toyama (Tetsuo) Papers
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This collection, comprised largely of letters between husband and wife while separated during World War II, provides valuable insight into camp life and family life. Letters between Tetsuo and Sadako, are written primarily in Japanese. Letters from his son describe his service with the Army and letters from his daughter are often about her marriage and new husband as well as taking care of her mother and the family dog. There are also letters from the War Relocation Authority pertaining to Tetsuo’s parole, letters regarding his enrollment at Union College, travel applications, various WRA materials, and Tetsuo’s naturalization application. Many of his letters in Japanese contain bible verses in English as his faith began to factor very heavily into his life while interned. These documents are important in portraying the life of a Hawaiian community leader during the war years, especially given his important role in promoting citizenship following World War II.
Testuo Toyama was born on April 8, 1882 on the island of Ike Jima, one of the islands in the Ryukyu Archipelago. Testuo attended school at the Okinawa Prefecture Normal School and in 1902, while still attending school, he was inducted into the 23rd Regiment of the Sixth Division of the Japanese Army. In 1904, he was sent to Manchuria to fight the Russians and was wounded in battle. In 1905 Tetsuo returned to Manchuria and the armistice was declared while his regiment was pursuing Russian forces.
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).
By appointment only. Please Contact the Collections Management and Access Unit by email (collections@janm.org) or telephone (213-830-5615).