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Collection Overview
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This collection contains 30 linear feet photographs from the Ninomiya Photography Studio that was located in the Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, California. Consisting of both prints and negatives, this collection contains images that document Japanese American communities in the aftermath of World War II. Images include: family and individual portraits, passport photographs, images of the architecture of Los Angeles and Little Tokyo including cityscapes and the surrounding landscapes, images of parades in Little Tokyo, community groups and activities such as conventions and meetings, Nisei Week, images of members of the military, church and Buddhist temple groups, beauty queen contestants, women in traditional Japanese clothing, sporting events such as judo, and images taken at weddings and funerals. Also included are copy negatives of older photographs from the pre-war era in Los Angeles, scenes capturing businesses in Little Tokyo, and businessmen having discussions.
The Ninomiya Photograph Studio was founded by Kinso Ninomiya (1894-1966) during the 1920s in the thriving immigrant community of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Kinso came from Hiroshima prior to World War I, married Kiyo Ninomiya (b. 1907) in the late 1920s and had four children before 1940. With the onset of World War II and the anti-Japanese sentiment in California and the U.S., the Ninomiya Family was sent to the War Relocation Authority Incarceration camp in Poston Arizona. The studio was shuttered and disappeared. During World War II, African Americans with few options for housing moved into Little Tokyo and it became known as Bronzeville. After the war, many Japanese Americans came back to Little Tokyo and built the enclave into a functioning community, but it did not thrive as much as it had in the 1930s. Nonetheless, the presence of an array of businesses and restaurants in the area continued to draw Japanese Americans and others to Little Tokyo, even if they had settled elsewhere in the Greater Los Angeles area after incarceration.
30 linear ft.
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.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.