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Masumoto and Saito Family Photos
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The Masumoto and Saito Family Photos documents four generations of the Japanese American family in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. Photographs depict the family's businesses, trips, weddings, funeral, and others. Included are images of Jack Toshio Robert Masumoto's trading company in San Francisco, Toraichi Okamoto's produce store in Glendale, Southern California Sewing School in Little Tokyo, Japanese passenger ships, family outings such as trip to Golden Gate International Exposition and picnics, family gatherings for the wedding of Jack Toshio Robert and Teruko Okamoto in Japan, Toraichi's Western-style house in Japan, the Manzanar incarceration camp during the war, the post-war activities of the Koyasan Boy Scouts of America, and Tokyo during the Allied Occupation of Japan. All materials in this collection are digital reproductions.
Umekichi and Kane Masumoto immigrated from Ageno-sho, Oshima, Japan to the United States and settled in San Bernardino, California. They opened a store, a barbershop, a pool hall with a small bar, and payroll check cashing services for farm workers. Through interaction with customers Kane became fluent in Spanish. Their Nisei children, Jack Toshio Robert and Mary Elizabeth Shizuko Masumoto were born in San Bernardino. In 1920, the family left the U.S. and returned to Oshima when Jack was at age 7 and Mary was at age 5. Jack continued to study English while attending school in Japan. Because of the rise of Japanese militarism, Kane sent Jack back to the U.S. to avoid conscription by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1929 when he was 15 years old. Jack returned to the U.S. alone and stayed in San Francisco as a houseboy to complete schooling. Later, he became partners in an import-export business between Japan and the United States. In 1939, he visited his hometown, following his mother's wishes, and was introduced to a young woman who would be his future wife, Teruko Okamoto. Teruko was a Kibei Sansei who was born in Brawley, California. They married in both countries, Japan and the United States, in 1940 to fulfill marriage requirements. Jack continued operating a Japanese trading company in San Francisco. Soon after Jack left, Mary also left Japan for the U.S. After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the Executive Order 9066 signed by then President Roosevelt, all Japanese Americans were removed from the West Coast and the whole Masumoto family were also forced to move to the Tanforan Assembly Center, where living quarters were smelly horse stalls or some newly built barracks. Later, they were incarcerated in the Topaz incarceration camp and left the camp to reestablish their lives in Chicago, Illinois and Salt Lake City, Utah, and finally returned to California and settled in Los Angeles.
1.74 Gigabytes Digital reproductions of 12 leaves from photo albums. Approximately 100 individual photographs (189 JPEG files; 1.74 GB).
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Gerth Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Gerth Archives and Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.