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Table of contents What's This?
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Content Description
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: William H. Hannon Library, Archives & Special Collections, Manuscripts
    Title: Ichikawa Family Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.140
    Physical Description: 22.08 Linear Feet ; (6) full Hollinger boxes; (1) 19x15x1.5" box, (1) 21x17x3" box, (1) 25x21x3" box, (1) 20x16x3.5" box, (10) banker's boxes, (1) map case drawer, (3) loose items
    Date (inclusive): 1903-2006
    Abstract: The Ichikawas were a Japanese American family living in Los Angeles for most of the twentieth century. Parents Hideyuki Frances and Yasu Maria were born and raised near Mount Fuji in Japan and immigrated to California in the early 1920s, settling in Los Angeles. They had four children, Agnes Yayoi, Marion Hideko, Ruth Kikuko, and David Tadatsugo. After Executive Order 9066 was issued in 1942, the Ichikawas were forcibly detained at the Pomona Assembly Center and incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, an American concentration camp, until 1945. They returned to their home in south Los Angeles and lived there until their passing. This collection displays many aspects of their lives, from their incarceration, to their schooling and work, to their many vacations and holidays spent together. The Ichikawa Family Papers features art work that the family kept in their home, scrapbooks and yearbooks documenting their lives, and photo albums which make up the bulk of the collection.


    The collection is arranged into five series by item type: Art/Prints, Artifacts, Photographs, School and Work Material, and Scrapbooks and other ephemera. The photo albums have been arranged chronologically, according to their original date labels. The School and Work Material is arranged by institution.

    Biographical / Historical

    This biographical note and accompanying information was written by Linda Mitsuko Ikeda and edited for clarity. Her maternal grandmother, Mitsuko Ichikawa Kojima, was the younger sister of Ichikawa patriarch Hideyuki Francis. The five Kojima sibling and the four Ichikawa children grew up together in Los Angeles, California. Pictures of the Kojima family were removed when Ikeda thought the pictures would be thrown out.
    Hideyuki Francis Ichikawa and his sister Mitsuko grew up in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, near Mount Fuji. Mitsuko Ichikawa came to the United States on January 11, 1917. Hideyuki and his wife, Yasu Maria Furuya, followed in 1923. They arrived in San Francisco before settling in Los Angeles. 
    Hideyuki and Yasu Ichikawa had four children: Agnes Yayoi, Marion Hideko, Ruth Kikuko and David Tadatsugu. The Ichikawa children went to school at Maryknoll School in the Little Tokyo area of downtown Los Angeles, now known as St. Francis Xavier Chapel - Japanese Catholic Center. When Ruth was a child, she became very ill, losing the ability to hear and speak which resulted in learning disabilities. To meet her special needs, the family sent Ruth to Japan for her education. When she returned to the United States, she was doted upon by her entire family and their lives centered on making her happy.
    The Ichikawas lived in Los Angeles at 6111 W. 9th Street and then at 1616 W. 12th Street until the beginning of World War II. After Executive Order 9066 was issued on February 19, 1942, all people of Japanese ancestry living on the west coast (including American citizens) were forcibly removed from their homes and confined and isolated in fenced and guarded detention centers. On August 20, 1942, the Ichikawa family was forcibly removed to the Pomona Assembly Center, a temporary detention center located at the Pomona Fairgrounds in southern California. They were then incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, an American concentration camp located in Wyoming and remained there until November 10, 1945. The Kojima family was sent to Granada Relocation Center, an American concentration camp located in Granada, Colorado sometimes referred to as Camp Amache. The families had no contact with each other and were unable to know the whereabouts of their relatives and friends until after their release.   Following their release, the Ichikawa family returned to Los Angeles where they later bought a home at 1060 4th Avenue, a home they owned until their passing. Earlier, Ruth had moved into an apartment complex for the deaf located next door to Pilgrim Lutheran Church of the Deaf. Hideyuki became a naturalized citizen in 1975 at the age of 82.
    Every New Years Day, the men of the family would attend the horse races while the three sister would attend the Pasadena Rose Parade. Yasu would cook a traditional Japanese New Year’s feast which was attended by their entire extended family and friends. The sisters and their mother would also take yearly vacations to new places, allowing David to enjoy time with his friends in their absence. They also enjoyed yearly visits to Disneyland and the Los Angeles County Fair, often taking along friends from Ruth’s deaf community.
    Mr. and Mrs. Ichikawa worked at their own dry cleaning business in the Boyle Heights area of East Los Angeles. Agnes worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District as the Financial Manager at Orville Wright Junior High School in the Westchester area of Los Angeles, and later at the East Los Angeles Occupational Center.  Marion worked for the Southern California Gas Company. David attended Los Angeles Trade Technical College and did local construction work, often pointing out buildings which he helped build. Ruth temporarily worked as a seamstress in the garment district in downtown Los Angeles. She was a skilled worker with a high output, which eventually led to bullying by coworkers, causing her to quit her job. Linda Mitsuko Ikeda, a close relative, was a substitute teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District and was sent to Marlton School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. After this experience, she suggested that Ruth work at Marlton. Ruth was happy there and did volunteer work at Marlton until her retirement. There, she was able to learn some American Sign Language which helped her to better communicate.
    Relative Linda Mitsuko Ikeda said of the them, "The Ichikawa Family was always nice to everyone they met. They were kind and generous to everyone they dealt with. Whenever we would go out with them, everyone gave them a warm welcome and treated them like old friends. They enjoyed getting together with family and friends. We were lucky to have been able to celebrate many birthdays and special events with them."
    Hideyuki Francis Ichikawa: Date of birth:  December 18, 1893 in Tamamoro, Yamanashi, Japan; Date of death: November 16, 1980; Arrived in San Francisco on December 3, 1923
    Yasu Maria Furuya Ichikawa: Date of birth:  January 6, 1902 in Yamanashi, Japan; Date of death: April 20, 2000; Arrived in San Francisco on December 3, 1923
    Agnes Yayoi Ichikawa: Date of birth: March 19, 1924; Date of death: February 1, 2021
    Marion Hideko Ichikawa: Date of birth: July 29, 1928; Date of death: June 10, 2009
    Ruth Kikuko Ichikawa: Date of birth: September 8, 1931
    David Tadatsugu Ichikawa: Date of birth: June 4, 1936; Date of death: December 11, 2020
    Donor Biography: Donor Phil Shigekuni was born in San Francisco in 1934. His mother was a cousin of the Ichikawa children. Shigekuni attended 37th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles and at eight years old, was forcibly detained at the Santa Anita Assembly Center and incarcerated at the Granada Relocation Center, a concentration camp located in Granada, Colorado sometimes referred to as Camp Amache. After World War II, his family resettled in the Seinan neighborhood in Los Angeles, close to Normandie and 37th Place where he attended Foshay Junior High School. Shigenkuni is married to his wife Marion and they have two daughters named Laurie and Julie. He served as president of the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Citizens League, was a co-founder of E.O. 9066 Inc. which sought redress among other activities, and also co-sponsored the first Day of Remembrance in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo.
    Biographical information on Shigekuni was sourced from his "Senior Moments" column published in the Rafu Shimpo, a Japanese American newspaper.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Phillip Shigekuni. Accession number: 2021.10.

    Content Description

    This collection consists of documents, ephemera, and art work from the Ichikawa family, a Catholic Japanese American family that lived in Los Angeles for most of the twentieth century.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open to research under the terms of use of the Department of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Materials in the Department of Archives and Special Collections may be subject to copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, Loyola Marymount University does not claim ownership of the copyright of any materials in its collections. The user or publisher must secure permission to publish from the copyright owner. Loyola Marymount University does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by the original author or artists or his/her heirs, assigns, or executors.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Series number, Box and Folder number, Ichikawa Family Papers, MS140, Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.

    Processing Information

    Language regarding the Japanese American incarceration during World War II was written in accordance with work done by members of the Reparative Archival Description Task Force at the Yale University Library, in association with Densho and the Japanese American Citizens League. For more information, visit https://guides.library.yale.edu/c.php?g=1140330&p=8319099.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Japanese American families -- California -- Los Angeles
    Japanese Americans -- Forced removal and internment, 1942-1945
    Photograph albums