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Inventory of the Collection of the Terminal Island Personal Histories SPC.2020.036
SPC.2020.036  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • History of Terminal Island
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Existence and Location of Originals
  • Existence and Location of Copies
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Processing Information for Digitized Materials
  • Scope and Contents
  • Preferred Citation
  • Related Materials

  • Contributing Institution: California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections
    Title: Terminal Island Personal Histories Collection
    Creator: Hirashima, Mary
    Creator: Izumi, Toshiro
    Creator: Tamura, Bob
    Creator: Tamura, Mary
    Creator: Yamashita, Dorothy
    Identifier/Call Number: SPC.2020.036
    Physical Description: 401.4 Megabytes
    Date (inclusive): 1994-1995
    Abstract: The Terminal Island Personal Histories Collection features one transcribed oral history, one autobiography, and one possible rough draft edition of a book entitled, "Terminal Island: An Island in Time, Collection of Personal Histories of Former Islanders 1994-1995". All of the materials in this are available online.
    Language of Material: English .

    History of Terminal Island

    Terminal Island was the location of a Japanese fishing village in the Port of Los Angeles. Early Japanese immigrants settled and fished for abalone and lobster in the San Pedro Bay area in 1899, but the community eventually shifted to East San Pedro on the western end of Terminal Island by 1910, where fishermen saw more profit in catching sardines and tuna[1]. By the 1930s, the Japanese settlers eventually outnumbered other immigrant communities in the area as their population reached its peak at around three thousand[2]. What was most unique about the Japanese on Terminal Island was that the residents were able to maintain their indigenous and cultural identity due to them being an insulated and mostly homogenous community.
    After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, the FBI made quick work of arresting and searching the homes of Issei (first-generation Japanese American) leaders and fishermen under the suspicion that they had the potential to contact enemy vessels with their long-distance sea-faring boats and shortwave radios, and that the Issei, who were aliens ineligible for citizenship by law, would be more closely aligned to their home country than the United States[3]. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19th, 1942, resulting in the mass removal of all peoples of Japanese ancestry away from the West Coast. Terminal Islanders, though, were not given the luxury of preparing to move, unlike other Japanese American communities, as they were only given 48 hours beginning on February 25th before they would be forcibly evicted and sent to temporary quarters before being incarcerated in concentration camps, such as Manzanar[4].
    Upon the return home soon after World War II ended, Terminal Islanders would come to find unfortunate dramatic changes: the navy soon occupied East San Pedro, razing homes and shops, and confiscating abandoned boats for military purposes, and the California Fish and Game Commission prohibited "Japanese aliens" or "aliens ineligible for citizenship" from getting commercial licenses. The prevention of Japanese Americans in California from getting commercial licenses would eventually be overturned in the U.S. Supreme Court (Takahashi v. Fish and Game Commission) in 1948 after its constitutionality was challenged[5]. Terminal Island would never be restored to the thriving fishing village it once was. What exists today, though, is the Terminal Islanders Club, which is an association comprised of former residents and their descendants.
    [1]Lilian Takahashi Hoffecker. "Terminal Island, California," Densho Encyclopedia https://encyclopedia.densho.org/Terminal%20Island,%20California (accessed Dec 14 2020). [2]Lilian Takahashi Hoffecker. "Terminal Island, California". [3]Lilian Takahashi Hoffecker. "Terminal Island, California". [4]Lilian Takahashi Hoffecker. "Terminal Island, California". [5]Lilian Takahashi Hoffecker. "Terminal Island, California".

    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 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.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    This collection was loaned to the Gerth Archives and Special Collections in 2020. All materials were returned to the donor.

    Existence and Location of Originals

    This collection contains digital reproductions created from loaned materials. The donors retained the original, physical items.

    Existence and Location of Copies

    Most of the items in this collection have been digitized and the digitized materials are available at the CSU Japanese American Digitization Project Site: Terminal Island Personal Histories Collection 

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    All of the digital reproductions are available online at Terminal Island Personal Histories Collection.  They are also available on the Public Use Drive as PDF files at the Gerth Archives And Special Collections. Please request copies at the reference desk.

    Processing Information for Digitized Materials

    The Gerth Archives and Special Collections created digitial reproductions (401.4 MB) from the original material for long-term preservation and access. These preservation files were scanned and stored on the Gerth Archives and Special Collections Department Drive. For more information on the best practices and standards for the digitization process, please see: CSU Japanese American Digitization Project Technical Reference Guide. 

    Scope and Contents

    The Terminal Island Personal Histories Collection (1994-1995) contains 401.4 MB of digitized materials featuring one transcribed oral history, one autobiography, and one possible rough draft edition of a book entitled, "Terminal Island: An Island in Time, Collection of Personal Histories of Former Islanders 1994-1995", which compiles 34 more transcribed oral histories, biographies, and autobiographies of the Japanese American residents who lived on Terminal Island before being forcibly removed in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

    Preferred Citation

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

    Related Materials

    This collection is part of the California State University Japanese American Digitization Project. Other collections about the history of Japanese Americans are found in the digital repository: CSU Japanese American Digitization Project. 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Terminal Island (Calif.)
    United States -- Emigration and immigration -- History
    Japan -- History -- 20th century
    Japanese Americans--Biography
    Japanese Americans -- History -- 20th century
    Japanese American families
    Japanese American soldiers
    Japanese American veterans
    Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Concentration Camps -- United States
    Racism
    Interviews
    Oral history
    Transcription
    Fish canneries
    Fishing stories, American