Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Ashizawa (Riichi) papers
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material

  • Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Title: Riichi Ashizawa papers
    Creator: Ashizawa, Riichi
    Identifier/Call Number: LSC.2010.03
    Physical Description: 0.25 Linear Feet (1 half document box and 1 oversize box)
    Date (inclusive): 1899-1965
    Date (bulk): 1906-1945
    Abstract: Riichi Ashizawa (also known as George Asher) was a photographer and entrepreneur in San Francisco, California. Ashizawa was a Yamanashi native who came to the United States in 1899. He ran businesses such as Yamato Laundry, Asher's Picture House, Asher's Art Shoppe, and Ho-Bi-Do. The collection includes biographical essays written by Ashizawa and photographs (with selected negatives) that he took for the Japanese American communities in the San Francisco area. Photocopies of documents and photographs of his businesses are also included.
    Physical Location: Stored off-site. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English.

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the objects belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. All other 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.
    • Gift of Ashizawa family
    • Gift of Clifford I. Uyeda, April 3, 1965.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Riichi Ashizawa papers (Collection 2010). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Ryoko Onishi in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, 2010.
    Collections are processed to a variety of levels depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived user interest and research value, availability of staff and resources, and competing priorities. Library Special Collections provides a standard level of preservation and access for all collections and, when time and resources permit, conducts more intensive processing. These materials have been arranged and described according to national and local standards and best practices.
    We are committed to providing ethical, inclusive, and anti-racist description of the materials we steward, and to remediating existing description of our materials that contains language that may be offensive or cause harm. We invite you to submit feedback about how our collections are described, and how they could be described more accurately, by filling out the form located on our website: Report Potentially Offensive Description in Library Special Collections.  

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 9942303363606533  


    Issei immigrant, photographer and entrepreneur Riichi Ashizawa (?????) was born in Yamanashi Prefecture in 1882, the second son in his family. He arrived in San Francisco in 1899. In 1901, he became the owner of Yamato Laundry and later Golden Gate Laundry. In 1906, after experiencing the San Francisco earthquake, Ashizawa moved to Chicago, Denver and then Philadelphia. He studied art, chemistry and dyeing textiles during this period. In 1915, Ashizawa returned to San Francisco and worked as a photographer for a Japanese daily newspapers, the Shinsekai Shimbun (formerly Hokubei Mainichi News) and Nichibei-jiji (formerly Nichibei Times). In 1916, Ashizawa started a roving photography business by installing a darkroom in his car, a 1912 Studebaker, and he photographed people and scenery in the Golden Gate Park area. Ashizawa opened an antique and artistic picture framing shop, Asher's Art Shoppe on Sutter Street in 1920. In the same year, he married Susie Suzuki (????) from Yokohama, Japan and later had a son Roy and a daughter Sumiko. During World War II, Ashizawa and his family were incarcerated in the Topaz Relocation Center, also known as the Central Utah Relocation Center, near Delta, Utah. Ashizawa worked as a police officer in the Relocation Center. After the war, Ashizawa resumed his business at Ho-Bi-Do (???) on Polk Street.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of autobiographical essays, documents and photographs by Riichi Ashizawa (George Asher), related to Yamato Laundry, Golden Gate Laundry, Asher's Picture House, and Asher's Art Shoppe in San Francisco, California. Ashizawa photographed for the Japanese daily newspapers, Shinsekai Shimbun and Nishibei-jiji and documented the local Japanese group activities such as undo-kai or athletic activities, picnics, arrival of picture brides and so forth. The collection also includes acetate negatives, glass plate negatives, photocopies of business records and correspondence. The photographs, which were taken in San Francisco, Placerville and Los Angeles, California date from approximately 1899 to 1920.

    Related Material

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Photographers -- California -- San Francisco -- Archives.
    Japanese Americans -- California -- San Francisco -- Archives.
    Japanese American Research Project (University of California, Los Angeles)
    Ashizawa, Riichi, 1882- --Archives.