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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection contains negatives, prints, directories, and correspondence from the Ninomiya Studio located in the Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, California. The negatives and prints document Japanese American communities in the aftermath of World War II. Some of the images in the collection include: images of architecture in Los Angeles and Little Tokyo, Nisei Week parades, community and religious groups, family and individual portraits, and photographs taken at weddings and memorials. Over 10,000 photographs have been digitized and are available online.
Background
In 1922, the Ninomiya Studio was founded by Kinso Ninomiya (1894-1966). The studio was located in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles and had a second satellite location on Terminal Island, a majority Japanese American fisherman community. According to all the studio's ads in a local Japanese community paper, Shin Nichibei – New Japanese American News, Kinso's business was quite popular. With the onset of World-War II and Japanese Americans' mass incarceration, Kinso Ninomiya and his wife, Kiyo Kodani, and their four children were forcibly removed to the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona on May 27, 1942. The studio remained closed until they reopened in their new location in Little Tokyo in 1949. The studio was located on 353 East 1st Street, less than a black away from the Japanese American National Museum. Ninomiya's son, Elwin Ichiro (1929-2009), operated the studio with his father until it closed in 1986.Born on October 19, 1894 in Hiroshima Ken, Japan, Kinso Beach Ninomiya immigrated to the United States on May 27, 1913. His wife, Kiyo Ninomiya (nèe Kodani) was born on February 16, 1907 in Tokyo, Japan and immigrated with her family to the United States on January 5, 1915. The two married in Los Angeles, California on October 7, 1928 and had four children: Elwin Ichiro (born February 23, 1929), Terry Terumi (born September 1, 1931), Clyde Kunio (born November 11, 1937) and Letty Hisako (born February 17, 1940). In the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles, Kinso Ninomiya owned and operated the successful Ninomiya Photo Studio starting in 1922 until its closure in the face of subsequent mass incarceration of Japanese Americans in the United States following the U.S. entrance into World War II. The Ninomiya family was forcibly removed to the Poston incarceration camp in Arizona on May 27, 1942 and remained there until 1945; Kinso Ninomiya was the first of his family to be released from Poston on February 6, 1945. The eldest Ninomiya children, Elwin and Terry were respectively released from Poston on March 14 and September 23 of 1945. Kiyo and the two youngest children, Clyde and Letty, were all released on October 20, 1945.
Extent
approximately 241 boxes
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of 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.
Availability
There are no access restrictions on this collection.