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Finding Aid for the Fuju Sasaki papers, 1944-1986 (bulk 1944-1954)
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Fuju Sasaki papers
    Date (bulk): 1944-1986 (bulk 1944-1954)
    Collection number: 1440
    Creator: Sasaki, Fuju, b. 1899.
    Extent: 1 box (0.5 linear feet)
    Abstract: The Fuju Sasaki Papers contain materials related to the Japanese and Japanese American migration to Seabrook Farms in New Jersey at the end of World War Two and their post-war daily life at Seabrook Farms. These materials were collected by Fuju Sasaki, who was known as the "Mayor" of Seabrook for his work and advocacy for the Japanese Seabrook community. The collection also contains materials relating to public recognition of his work as well as audiocassettes of interviews with Sasaki.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Mrs. Fuju Sasaki, 1986.

    Processing Note

    Processed by Tiffany-Kay Sangwand in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, Winter 2008.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Fuju Sasaki papers (Collection 1440). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233731 


    Fuju Sasaki was known as the "Mayor" and spokesman of the Japanese community at Seabrook Farms from 1944 through 1964. In 1899, he was born in Japan and at the age of fourteen, he went to Hawaii to live with his father for five years. Sasaki later moved to Parkville, Missouri where he completed his Bachelor of Science in Math and Physics at Park College. After graduating, Sasaki did a variety of odd jobs while taking night courses in drafting at Carnegie. He later moved to Florin, California where he worked in a tofu shop.
    As a result of the U.S. internment of Japanese during World War II, Sasaki was relocated to Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas in 1942. In 1944, an employment manager from the New Jersey based Seabrook Farms, the largest farm and frozen vegetable plant at the time, came to Jerome in order to recruit workers. Through an invitation by Seabrook Farms owner Charles Seabrook, Fuju Sasaki, along with fellow members of the Jerome Relocation Commission Harold Ouchida and Ellen Nakamura, visited Seabrook Farms to investigate it as a potential site for relocation.
    Sasaki returned to Arkansas as the Jerome War Relocation Center was closing and moved his family to the Gila River Relocation Center in Phoenix, Arizona before returning to Seabrook to work. Nine months later, his family joined him in Seabrook. Sasaki and his wife Kikue had six children, all of which have graduated from college.
    On June 29, 1953, Sasaki became a U.S. citizen in the first mass naturalization ceremony for Japanese. He was one of the first to petition for naturalization in 1947. On March 28, 1964, the Seabrook chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League held a testimonial dinner in honor of Sasaki and his wife and their service to the Seabrook community. In 1964, the couple returned to California and settled in Torrance.

    Scope and Content

    The Fuju Sasaki Papers contain materials related to the 2,500 Japanese and Japanese Americans who relocated from the internment camps to Seabrook Farms in New Jersey from 1944 to 1947. The Japanese American weekly reports, which detail the numbers of Japanese employee arrivals, terminations, rates of employment and housing, comprise the bulk of the materials in the collection. These are addressed to the "Mayor" Fuju Sasaki and are mostly prepared by Ellen Nakamura, who acted as the liaison between Seabrook Farms and the Deerfield Packing Corporation in Bridgeton, New Jersey. These reports date from August 1944 to June 1947.
    The Events folder and Seabrook Community House folder also contain information related to Japanese post-war daily life at Seabrook from 1947 through 1954. The materials in these folders include planning information for Seabrook community events and the Seabrook Community House newsletter, The Villager. Approximately half of the event planning materials is written in Japanese. The Villager is translated from English into Japanese, German, and other eastern European languages reflecting the diverse population of Seabrook, which included African Americans from the South, Scot-Irish from Appalachia, Germans, Italians, Estonians, Latvians, Ukrainians, Jamaicans, and Puerto Ricans.
    The collection also contains two audio cassette tapes of two interviews conducted with Fuju Sasaki by Mitziko Sawada in 1985 and 1986 as well as clippings related to Seabrook and materials related to the organizations Japanese American Citizens League and Japan Society who honored Fuju Sasaki for his role at Seabrook. The clippings range in date from 1947 through 1971. They are all culled from east coast publications such as the New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, and Bridgeton Evening (New Jersey).
    Other materials in the collection include an event program from the first Seabrook reunion held in Los Angeles in 1983, Seabrook Farms pamphlets, and miscellaneous documents.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection was organized by the general chronology of events from Japanese migration to Seabrook Farms beginning at the end of World War Two (Folders 1-4) to post-war life at Seabrook Farms (Folders 5-11), and post-Seabrook Farms life of Fuju Sasaki (Folder 12).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Sasaki, Fuji, 1894- --Archives.
    Civic leaders--New Jersey--Seabrook--Archival resources.
    Japanese Americans--New Jersey--Seabrook--Archival resources.
    Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.