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Issei Oral History Project collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Related Materials
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: Japanese
    Contributing Institution: Center for Sacramento History
    Title: Issei Oral History Project collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS0173
    Physical Description: 12.33 Linear Feet (12 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1969-2001
    Date (bulk): 1969-1979

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open for research use.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests to publish or quote from private collections held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Issei Oral History Project collection, MS0173, Center for Sacramento History.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Audiotapes gift of the Issei Oral History Project in 1990 (accession 1990/015). Transcripts and administrative records gift of California State University, Sacramento, Library in 2023 (accession 2023/025).

    Related Materials

    The Center for Sacramento holds the Walerga Oral History Collection, MS0174, which was also conducted by the Issei Oral History Project Inc. and the Rev. Heihachiro Takarabe.

    Biographical / Historical

    The Issei Oral History Project was conducted under the authority of the Board of Governors of the Issei Oral History Project Inc. and the Rev. Heihachiro Takarabe between 1969 and 1980. The project recorded 207 personal interviews of Issei (first generation) Japanese immigrants who lived in Sacramento and other areas of Northern California. In their oral histories, interviewees discuss their lives in Japan, coming to the United States, where they worked and lived in California, their experiences during and after the incarceration of Japanese in the U.S. during World War II, and social and religious activities.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection primarily consists of reel-to-reel and cassette tape recordings of oral history interviews that were conducted almost entirely in Japanese, and English-translated transcriptions of interviews. Not all audio recordings have a transcription, and not all transcriptions have an associated recording. Some interviews include more than one person or groups of people, which is noted in each catalog record. Interviews are numbered and all tapes, reels, and transcriptions include the interview number and the interviewee's name.
    Transcriptions include a data sheet and notes about the interviewee and their interview. There are two copies of each transcription: an original and an access copy. The access copies were created to preserve the originals by limiting how much they are handled.
    Also included in the collection are administrative records related to the Issei Oral History Project's board of directors and the oral history project itself, plus a very small number of photographs of interview subjects.
    Digitization of the tapes is an ongoing project, with recordings being added to the Center's Internet Archive page on a regular basis.


    The collection is arranged into 4 series:
    • Series 1. Audio recordings, 1969-1980
    • Series 2. Transcription access copies, 1969-1979
    • Series 3. Transcription originals and photographs, 1911-1979 (bulk 1969-1979)
    • Series 4. Administrative records, 1969-2001