A collection of 36 videotaped interviews with Japanese Americans (primarily Nisei) in the San Joaquin Valley. Funded by the
Japanese Americans Citizens League (JACL), the oral histories were initiated by the late Izumi Taniguchi, a retired professor of Economics at California State University, Fresno.
In 1998, Izumi Taniguchi, a retired professor of Economics at California State University, Fresno, wrote a grant to begin
history project with
Americans in the San Joaquin Valley. This grant was funded by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and allowed the group to
purchase a video camera and get some training in how to conduct
histories. The San Joaquin Valley
American History Project, as it was named by Taniguchi, was later sponsored by the Asian American Studies Program in the School of
Social Sciences at California State University, Fresno. The purpose of the project was to document "the history and contributions
of Japanese Americans and their organizations in the San Joaquin Valley, [the] state, and the country" (Box 1, Release agreement,
undated). Volunteer interviewers from the Fresno Chapter and the Central California District Council of the JACL videotaped
interviews with Japanese Americans, primarily the Nisei (second generation) from Merced County to Kern County to make them
available for research and other scholarly purposes. Izumi Taniguchi and Grace Kimoto of the Livingston-Merced Chapter of
the JACL took a lead role in the keeping the project going although the goal was always to have people in every JACL chapter
in the Central Valley take an active role in conducting interviews.