Finding aid created by Jamie Henricks.
Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Email: collections@janm.org
URL: http://www.janm.org/
© 2017
Japanese American National Museum. All rights reserved.

Finding aid for the Ikemura Family Papers

Collection number: 2014.8, 96.478, 2007.69


Descriptive Summary

Title: Ikemura family papers
Dates: 1915-2003
Collection number: 2014.8, 96.478, 2007.69
Collection Size: 5.2 linear feet (4 boxes, 10 film reels, 1 flag)
Repository: Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles, California 90012
Creator: Ikemura, Maruo
Creator: Ikemura, Kim
Creator: Ikemura, Bonnie
Creator: Ikemura, Tojiro
Abstract: This collection contains the materials related to the Ikemura family dating from 1915 to 2003. The contents are primarily official documents (birth, marriage, and death certificates), army documents, photographs, films, and mementos.
Physical location: Japanese American National Museum. 100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Access

By appointment only. Please contact the Collections Management and Access Unit (collections@janm.org). Advanced notice is required.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Collections Management and Access Unit at the Japanese American National Museum (collections@janm.org).

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ikemura Family Papers. 2014.8 [and/or 96.478 and 2007.69 if appropriate], Japanese American National Museum. Los Angeles, CA.

Acquisition Information

The family documents were acquired in 2014 as a gift of Bonnie Ikemura. The burial flag, photo albums, home movies, and cat vase were acquired in 1996 and 2007 as a gift of Kim Ikemura.

Processing Information

Items were inventoried and a finding aid was created in 2017 by Jamie Henricks. Items in the 2007.69 accession were cataloged by museum staff in 2008.

Biographical Note

Maruo Ikemura (4/5/1915-7/10/1965) was born in Los Angeles, to parents Tojiro and Tsuru Ikemura. He had three siblings (Tsutomo, Toshiko, and Teruko), and picked up carpentry skills from his father. Maruo attended Marshall High School and drove trucks before the war.
Maeye Kimiyo “Kim” Okizaki (2/19/1914-1/8/2003) was born in San Gabriel, the daughter of farmers. She had five siblings (John, Margaret, Susan, Eddie, and Betty), graduated from Alhambra High School in 1932, and worked as a seamstress.
Maruo and Kim married September 21, 1939 at the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist temple in downtown Los Angeles. Maruo, Kim, and Maruo’s sister Teruko were sent to Manzanar Relocation Center, and Maruo’s parents were sent to Poston Relocation Center. Maruo was older than most members of the 442nd regiment, and was drafted into another segment of the army to use his experience with radios. He joined the 192nd Signal Repair Company as the only Japanese American in his unit, and was eventually sent to Germany, France, and Italy. He had his own camera, and wartime photos are included in the family’s collection. Kim left Manzanar to work on a farm in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Maruo eventually joined her there after he was discharged from the army in 1946.
The family moved back to Los Angeles, where they lived in the Boyle Heights neighborhood. Their only child, Bonnie, was born in 1950. The family lived briefly in Delano (1952) and San Diego (1953-1954, where Maruo was a fisherman), before returning to Los Angeles in 1955. Kim’s parents returned to Japan in 1953 to retire, as they hadn’t been home in 60 years. Maruo became a television repairman in 1960 until his death in 1965. Kim worked as a secretary and cleaner until she retired in 1976. The Ikemuras bought one of the first Datsun cars imported into the US, which Kim later sold in 1996 to a buyer in Japan who took photographs for a magazine. Kim passed away in 2003.

Scope and Content

This collection contains the materials related to the Ikemura family (Maruo, Kim, and Bonnie) dating from 1915 to 2003. The contents are primarily official documents (birth, marriage, and death certificates), funeral and death announcements, army and veterans administration documents, family photographs and slides, and mementos. Also included are two large photo albums with photos dating from the 1930s to 1980s, including family and friend photos, pictures of Manzanar (including construction), and photos from Maruo’s service in the signal corps during World War II in Europe. Supposedly, one included portrait is the wedding photo of the famous photographer Toyo Miyatake. The flag that covered Maruo’s coffin at his funeral service is part of the collection, as well as 10 reels of family films (some unidentified, others of fishing and family events). A vase with cat motifs carved by Maruo’s father, Tojiro, at Poston Relocation Center, is also included.

Related Materials

A hand-made mat for rolling sushi made by Maruo’s father, Tojiro, was donated to the museum by Maruo’s sister, Toshiko (item 96.56.1).

Arrangement

Original arrangement was preserved.

Indexing Terms

Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
Manzanar War Relocation Center
World War, 1939-1945
United States. Army. Signal Corps


Collection Contents -- 2014.8

Box 1

Ikemura and Okizaki family information

Box 1

Birth certificate -- Maruo Ikemura 4/5/1915

Box 1

Fort Rosecrans burial plot information -- Maruo Ikemura 8/26/1965

Box 1

Copy of death certificate -- Maruo Ikemura 7/10/1965

Box 1

Burial allowance letter -- Veterans Administration to Fukui Mortuary 8/30/1965

Box 1

Funeral service program -- Munro Maruo Ikemura 7/16/1965

Box 1

Honorable discharge certificate -- Maruo Ikemura 9/25/1946

Box 1

Separation qualification record -- Maruo Ikemura 9/25/1946

Box 1

Photos and magazine cover -- Kim Ikemura with Datsun car 1996

Box 1

Identification cards -- Kim Ikemura 1980,2000

Box 1

Alhambra High School diploma -- Maeye (Kim) Okizaki 6/16/1932

Box 1

Birth and marriage certificates -- Kim Okizaki 9/21/1939

Box 1

Death certificate and announcement -- Kim Ikemura 1/8/2003

Box 1

Ikemura family photo (copy) 1920

Box 1

Okizaki family photo (copy) ca. mid-1920s

Box 1

Army portrait -- Maruo Ikemura ca. mid-1940s

Box 1

Ikemura family photographs (13 folders) ca. 1950-1970s

Box 2

Bonnie Ikemura school class portraits (2 folders) ca. 1956-1960s

Box 2

Ikemura family photo album ca. 1950s

Box 2

Bonnie Ikemura portrait ca. 1950s

Box 2

Alhambra High School class ring -- Maeye (Kim) Okizaki 1932

Box 2

Army dog tag -- Maruo Ikemura ca. mid-1940s

Box 2

Hospital bracelet -- Bonnie Ikemura 1950

Box 2

Box of color slides 1964

Box 2

Lock of hair

Collection Contents -- 96.478

 

Burial flag -- Maruo Ikemura 1965

Collection Contents -- 2007.69

Box 1

Photo album ca. 1945-1980

Box 2

Photo album ca. 1930s-1950

 

Film reels (10 reels) ca. 1950s

 

Cat vase made by Tojiro Ikemura at Poston Relocation Center 1943