Marlon Romero
Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
© 2010
Japanese American National Museum. All rights reserved.

Finding aid for the Rafu Uwamachi Daini Gakuen Records

Collection number: 94.116.23

Processed by:
Marlon Romero
Encoded by:
Yoko Shimojo

Descriptive Summary

Title: Rafu Uwamachi Daini Gakuen records
Dates: 1935-1993
Collection number: 94.116.23
Creator: Rafu Uwamachi Daini Gakuen, 1915-1993
Collection Size: 4.5 linear feet
Repository: Japanese American National Museum
Los Angeles, California 90012
Abstract: The Rafu Uwamachi Daini Gakuen (Los Angeles Uptown Second Education House) was a Japanese language school established in 1915 and attended by local Japanese American students, with a break during the years of World War II, until its closure in 1993. The collection contains a variety of administrative and instructional materials, newsletters, correspondence, memoranda, personal papers, and photographs. While the majority of the collection is in Japanese, certain records are in English.
Physical location: Japanese American National Museum 100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012


By appointment only. Please Contact the Collections Management and Access Unit by email (

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Hirasaki National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum (

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Rafu Uwamachi Daini Gakuen records. 94.116.23, Japanese American National Museum. Los Angeles, CA.

Project Information

This finding aid was created as part of a project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project started in 2007. Project Director was Yoko Shimojo and the Project Archivist was Marlon Romero.

Biography / Administrative History

In 1915, the Rev. Setsu Yamazaki, a priest at the Rafu Nipponjin Seikokai, established the Rafu Uwamachi Daini Gakuen, a Japanese language school, in Los Angeles. Initially, Rev. Yamazaki taught students in his church at 1011 S. Mariposa Street. In 1917, a school board consisting of the students' parents was formed, and in 1922 the school moved to a building at 1035 Fedora Street purchased with funds donated by parents and community members. In 1925, a mothers' association, the "Midori Kai," was established to help school administrative functions and organize special events and cultural programs such as movie nights, Hina Matsuri festivals, Japanese cooking classes and English lessons. The school closed temporarily in 1942 with the removal of Japanese Americans to concentration camps. After the war, the school functioned as a temporary residence for Japanese Americans as they returned to the area. In 1948, the school reopened and resumed classes, reaching its peak activity in the 1970s and 1980s but eventually closing its doors in June of 1993, partly the result of the changing demographics of the neighborhood.

Scope and Content of Collection

The principles of provenance have been closely followed to preserve the natural order of the records. As a result, the arrangement of the school's papers and documents reflect the functional organization of the school. Hence the following series were created: Administrative Records, Educational Records, Mother's Club, Photographs, and Special Activities.
Series 1: Administrative Records (3 linear ft.)

This series consists of annual reports, by-laws, correspondences, financial documents, newsletters, school closure and re-opening documents, PTA (Parent Teacher Association) minutes, and World War II evacuation claims. The bulk in this series consists of the school newsletter, Gakuen Dayori. The entirety of the newsletter collection is in Japanese and spans the years of 1930 to 1988. The newsletters provide an insight into the school's daily activities, and numerous announcements about different school celebrations (e.g. movie night, camping trips, undokai (Sports Day), etc.). The school re-opening sub-series contains resumes of teachers, a prospectus for the opening ceremony, student applications, and the placement tests of students. The Administrative Record series is arranged alphabetically by the title of the sub-series folder and chronologically within each sub-series folder.
Series 2: Educational Records (1 linear ft.)

This series contains documents pertaining to students and teachers including graduation ceremonies, instructional materials, student records, and personal papers of two of the school's teachers, Masako Okamoto and Yasumasa Yoshizumi. The student records sub-series includes attendance records, compositions, report cards, etc. The teachers' personal papers include immigration documents, resumes, and correspondence. The Educational Records series is arranged alphabetically by the title of the sub-series folder, and chronologically within each sub-series folder. The documents that had no date are located towards the end of their designated folder.
Series 3: Mother's Club (.5 linear ft.)

This series contains records and activities of the Mother's Club which supported and sponsored many school activities. It includes records from 1968-1981 and 1988-1989 as well as financial documents such as a ledger from 1952 and1988-1989 financial statements. These records contain a variety of information regarding the daily activities of the Mother's Club such as meeting minutes, budget accounts, food recipes, members' lists, and election facsimiles. These records came in their own binders or notebooks and are arranged by year.
Series 4: Photographs

This series is arranged by different events such as graduations, speech contests, talent shows, etc. Each event is then organized chronologically. There are captions attached to the photographs in the Graduating Class sub-series that explain the year and education level of the class portrayed. For the Miscellaneous sub-series folder, there is no information on the event or the date the photographs were taken.
Inventory of photographs: Graduating Class (thirty-one 8"x10" b/w; four - 8"x10" color); Fiftieth Anniversary (seventy-one - 5"x7" b/w; four - 5"x7" color); Miscellaneous (four 5"x7" color); Speech Contest (one 8"x10" b/w); Storytelling Conference (one 8"x10" b/w); Talent Show (eight 5"x7" color).
Series 5: Special Activities

This series contains programs, flyers, publications, and miscellaneous materials on numerous activities held by the school. Some of the activities include movie nights, graduations, undokais, and summer camps. Ledgers for activities can be found in Series 1: Administrative Records. There are also essays from Campton Gakuen included. In the Summer Camp sub-series there are fliers as well as camp newsletters, The Metakan and Whispering Pines from Camp Metaka and Camp Siwinis in Los Angeles, California.. The Special Activities series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Indexing Terms

Rafu Uwamachi Daini Gakuen
Schools, Japanese
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Japanese language

Container List

Box 1

Series 1 Administrative Records


Annual Reports 1939-1979


By-Laws 1970-1980




Department of Education (pre-war)


Teachers and Parents (post-war, with English text)


Financial-related Documents




Financial Reports, 1970-1979


Ledgers, 1957-67


Payrolls, 1956, 62, 65


Real Estate finances


Student fees, 1952-1969

Box 1-2



Gakuen Dayori (1937-1985)


PTA Minutes, 1931-1942


School Closure, 1942


School Reopening, 1948


World War II Evacuation Claims

Box 3

Series 2 Educational Records


Graduation Ceremonies


Instructional Materials


Hebrew language notebook


Reading materials, songs, tests


Teaching records, 1948-1990


Student Records


Attendance 1935-39

Box 4

Compositions, ca. 1930-40s










Report Cards




Teachers' Personal Papers


Masako Okamoto


Yasumasa Yoshizumi


Journal (author unknown), 1938

Box 5

Series 3 Mother's Club

Box 6

Series 4 Photographs


Graduating Class


Pre-War, 1937-1941


Post-War, 1954-1993


Fiftieth Anniversary, 1965




Speech Contest


Storytelling Conference


Talent Show

Box 7

Series 5 Special Activities




Campton Gakuen Essays, 1937


Fiftieth Anniversary, 1965


Movie Night








Summer Camp


The Metakan, 1938


Whispering Pines, 1940


Undokai (Sports Day)