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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Related Materials
  • Separated Materials
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Existence and Location of Copies
  • Processing Information for Digitized Material

  • Contributing Institution: California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections
    Title: Santa Monica Nikkei Hall Records
    source: Santa Monica Nikkei Hall
    Creator: Fukuhara, Jimmy
    Identifier/Call Number: SPC.2020.031
    Physical Description: 8 boxes
    Physical Description: 4.75 Linear Feet
    Date (inclusive): December 1937-October 2018
    Abstract: This collection includes organizational documents, correspondence, photographs, and realia from the Santa Monica Nikkei Hall, an organization that was located in Santa Monica, California. The Hall was constructed in 1957 and served the local Japanese American (Nikkei) community over a period of 60 years. Some items in this collection have been digitized and are available online.
    Language of Material: English , Japanese .

    Biographical / Historical

    The Santa Monica Nikkei Hall was constructed in 1957 and served the local Japanese American (Nikkei) community over a period of 60 years. During the earlier years, Katsuzo Matsumura began holding Japanese language classes in his living room in 1924. As attendance grew, a school (Gakuen) was constructed, which also served as a community center. With the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, the Gakuen was used as a military training headquarters. Following the war, returning Nikkei informally gathered and socialized in community members' homes, supporting each other in rebuilding their post-war lives and unifying the Nikkei community. In 1951, Issei (first generation Japanese immigrants to North America) community leaders formed the Santa Monica Nikkei Hall, Inc. and began raising funds to either repair the Gakuen or construct a new hall. With the Gakuen in a state of disrepair, it was decided to build a new community center. The one-story Hall was designed by Y. Tom Makino and completed in 1957. Over time, usage of the Hall declined and by 2000, the center was primarily utilized by senior citizens. In 2017, the Hall was sold with sale proceeds donated to local community and religious organizations. The following year in 2018, the Hall was designated a landmark by the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission and is listed as the "Santa Monica Nikkei Kai (Social Hall)". The Hall's historic significance is summarized among the reports to the Landmark Commission, "As the community center for Santa Monica's Japanese community established upon resettlement after World War II, the building is of noteworthy interest to the community, and symbolizes elements of the cultural and social history of the City."

    Preferred Citation

    For information about citing archival material, see the Citations for Archival Material  guide, or consult the appropriate style manual.

    Conditions Governing Access

    There are no access restrictions on this collection.

    Conditions Governing Use

    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.

    Related Materials

    This collection is part of the California State University Japanese American Digitization Project. For more information: CSU Japanese American Digitization Project. 
    To view more records from Jimmy Fukuhara see: Jimmy Fukuhara Manzanar Camp Collection 

    Separated Materials

    The podium is separated from the collection and is stored downstairs.


    This collection is arranged into eight boxes with one oversized item located in a different space. The organization for this collection is documents, photographs, and other material.

    Processing Information

    Processing for this collection was completed in May 2021. The photo albums in the collection were disassembled for preservation purposes.

    Scope and Contents

    The Santa Monica Nikkei Hall Records (December 1937-October 2018) includes organizational documents, photo albums, plaques, and a podium from a Japanese American Hall that was located in Santa Monica, California. Documents in the collection include meeting minutes, agendas, invitations, correspondence, anniversary booklets, donation lists, newspaper clippings, membership lists, treasury reports, and articles related to the Hall and its members. There are also publications and notes related to Japanese Americans and Japanese Americans that resided in Santa Monica. Along with the documents, the collection contains seven photograph albums with pictures of dances, picnics, and other events at Hall, primarily from the 1960s-1970s. Additional photographs include Memorial Day events at the Ireito located in the Woodlawn Cemetary and a memorial photo book for one of the members, Hay Uehara. There are also four plaques and a podium that used to be in Hall.

    Existence and Location of Copies

    Some of the collection has been digitized and is available at the CSU Japanese American Project site: Santa Monica Nikkei Hall Records. 

    Processing Information for Digitized Material

    The Gerth Archives and Special Collections created digital reproductions from the original material for long-term preservation and access. These preservation files were scanned to and stored on the Gerth Archives and Special Collections Deparment Drive. For more information on the best practices and standards for the digitization process, please see: CSU Japanese American Digitization Project technical reference guide. 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Japanese Americans
    Japanese Americans -- California
    Japanese Americans -- Social life and customs
    Japanese Americans -- Monuments
    Santa Monica Nikkei Hall