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Hoshida (George) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: George Hoshida papers
    Dates: 1942-1983
    Bulk Dates: 1942-1944
    Collection number: 96.117
    Creator: Hoshida, George, 1907-1985
    Collection Size: 0.75 linear feet
    Repository: Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Los Angeles, California 90012
    Abstract: George Hoshida (1907-1985) was incarcerated in Hawaii following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was separated from his family for two years. This collection primarily consists of correspondence written by the Hoshida family while separated during World War II. It also contains artwork created by Hoshida to document camp life, legal documents, government documents, and notes.
    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 (collections@janm.org) or telephone (213-830-5615).

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Collections Management and Access Unit (collections@janm.org).

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George Hoshida papers. 96.117, Japanese American National Museum. Los Angeles, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    In 1996, led by daughters Sandra Hoshida and June Honma, George Hoshida’s family donated his sketchbooks and letters to the permanent collection of the Japanese American National Museum.

    Biography / Administrative History

    George Hoshida (1907-1985) was born in Japan and immigrated to Hilo, Hawaii with his family in 1912. His formal education ended when he graduated from junior high school, later earning his GED after the war. Hoshida began working for Hilo Electric Company, married his wife Tamae, and started a family. He had four daughters: Taeko, June, Sandra, and Carole. Although he professed little interest in international politics, Hoshida’s Buddhist faith coupled with his leadership in the temple and interest in Judo led him to be classified as potentially dangerous by the government following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was arrested and incarcerated in Kilauea Military Camp. Over the next two years Hoshida would be transferred to the following Department of Justice camps: Sand Island detention facility (Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii); Fort Sam Houston (San Antonio, Texas); Lordsburg Internment Camp (Camp Lordsburg, New Mexico); Santa Fe Internment Camp (Santa Fe, New Mexico). Hoshida was separated from his wife and family during the first two years of his incarceration.
    Hoshida’s wife and daughters initially remained in Hawaii but they were sent to the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas with the hopes of reuniting the family. Their daughter, Taeko, was severely disabled and remained institutionalized in Hawaii. Sadly, she died in Hawaii before the family was able to return. Once Hoshida was reunited with his family in Jerome they were transferred to Gila River. The Hoshida family returned to Hilo after the war in 1945. Hoshida moved to Los Angeles with his wife and daughter, Carole, in 1959 where he worked as a deputy clerk in the municipal court. Their other daughters, June and Sandra, would later join the family. Hoshida returned to Hawaii after his retirement, where he wrote and published an autobiography entitled Life of a Japanese Immigrant Boy in Hawaii.
    Hoshida passed away in 1985.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection provides insight into the daily lives of a separated family during World War II. It contains letters between Hoshida and his family, letters to and from government officials, drawings made by Hoshida illustrating camp life, and government documents.
    Letters written by Hoshida to his wife illustrate life at Justice Department Camps while Tamae’s letters highlight their daily struggles of life without her husband as she remained in Hilo and later lived in Jerome. Hoshida’s love of drawing comes out in letters to his family in which he makes humorous portraits for his daughters and sketches of his living conditions for his wife. Letters in 1943 emphasize the family’s struggle to be reunited after Tamae and the children relocate to Jerome. The collection is largely letters between the immediate Hoshida family but also includes letters between a variety of family members,friends, and government officials.
    Hoshida cultivated a life-long interest in drawing during his incarceration. He filled notebooks with drawings and watercolors of his time behind barbed wire. His artwork includes portraits of his family as well as his fellow inmates, depictions of daily activities, and landscapes of the surrounding environment. His sketches continue once reunited with his family, portraying Gila River activities.
    Additionally, the collection includes government documents that portray regulations applicable to Japanese American internees as well as civilians in the Territory of Hawaii. Many of the documents relate to the Evacuations Claims Act of July 2, 1948. Petitions filed by George and other Hawaiian internees separated form loved ones provide insight into the drawn out legal processes involved in transfers to bring families together.


    Items have been arranged chronologically when applicable with undated materials at the end of each series.
    Series 1 : Correspondence
    Subseries 1: Personal
    Subseries 2: Government
    Series 2: Government Documents
    Subseries 1: Interment Camps
    Subseries 2: Territory of Hawaii
    Subseries 3: Regulations and Instructions
    Series 3: Legal Documents
    Subseries 1: Claims
    Subseries 2: Petitions
    Series 4: Miscellaneous
    Subseries 1: Notes
    Subseries 2: Press Clippings
    Subseries 3: Forms
    Series 5: Sketches
    Subseries 1: Sketches by George Hoshida
    Subseries 2: Sketches by Others

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Hoshida, George, 1907-1985
    Japanese Americans
    water color painting
    drawings and graphics
    World War II
    Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.
    Kilauea Military Camp (Hawaii)
    Sand Island U.S. Army Internment Camp (Hawaii)
    Santa Ana Army Air Base (Calif.)
    Fort Sam Houston (Tex.)
    Lordsburg Internment Camp (N.M.)
    Santa Fe Internment Camp (N.M.)
    Justice Department Camps, Santa Fe
    Jerome Relocation Center (Ark.)
    Gila River Relocation Center

    Related Material

    97.106, George Hoshida Drawings. Digital Surrogates are available on the Japanese American National Museum’s Website.
    2002.166.1, George Hoshida Drawing. Color ink drawing of Lordsburg Hospital.
    NRC.2005.95.1, Life of a Japanese Immigrant Boy in Hawai'i by George Hoshida.