Yamada Collection


The Yamada collection, early 1900s-1950s and 1990s, focuses on the Iseri family, who resided in the White River Valley area of Washington State before World War II and in Weiser, Idaho, after the war. The photographs depict agricultural life and community activities such as sports, mochitsuki, and religious ceremonies. This collection also includes mass removal and incarceration documents from Washington, California, Montana, and Idaho, as well as photographs from the redress movement.



40 photographic prints, color and black and white; 59 documents


Courtesy of the Yamada Family Collection

Copyright restricted
Copyright restricted

99 Objects

Packaging berries (ddr-densho-25-2)
img Packaging berries (ddr-densho-25-2)
Matahichi and Kisa Iseri leased a farm in Sumner and grew raspberries for various canneries. The wooden berry "cups" were handmade locally. Left to right: Matahichi Iseri carrying oldest son Tom, Kisa Iseri, and their nephew, Tsukasa Iseri.
Family portrait (ddr-densho-25-3)
img Family portrait (ddr-densho-25-3)
The Iseris were a prominent Japanese American family in the White River Valley. Front (left to right): George, Matahichi, Oscar (in front of Matahichi), Dan, and Kisa holding Carl. Back: Alice, Tom, Mitsuo (Mike), Mun, Masato, and Mae. Matahichi Iseri and his wife, Kisa, started farming in Thomas around 1914. They also ran a small grocery …
Funeral procession (ddr-densho-25-4)
img Funeral procession (ddr-densho-25-4)
Horse-drawn funeral procession for Heiju Iseri of Thomas, Washington.
Baseball team (ddr-densho-25-5)
img Baseball team (ddr-densho-25-5)
Baseball teams from different Buddhist churches competed against one another during the early 1930s. The teams were often created by the Young Buddhist Association (YBA). The team on the left is from Tacoma; the team on the right is from the White River Valley. Left to right (starting with the ninth man from the left): Reverend …
White River Valley sumo club (ddr-densho-25-6)
img White River Valley sumo club (ddr-densho-25-6)
Sumo wrestling was a popular sport among the Issei and Nisei. This team from the White River Valley was in Tacoma for a tournament. Front row (left to right): Sam Katsura, Tom Marutani, Tom Hirai, Tony Tsujikawa, D. Kagitani, Frank Takeshita, George Hirai, Mitsuo (Mike) Iseri, unidentified, Ted Takeshita, and Ted Tsukamaki. Back row: Matahichi Iseri, …
Opening celebration, White River judo dojo (ddr-densho-25-7)
img Opening celebration, White River judo dojo (ddr-densho-25-7)
Matahichi Iseri and his wife, Kisa, were very supportive of youth activities, and in 1927 they converted part of their warehouse into a judo dojo. This dinner was held to celebrate the opening of the dojo.
Issei-owned grocery store (ddr-densho-25-8)
img Issei-owned grocery store (ddr-densho-25-8)
Matahichi and Kisa Iseri immigrated from Kumamoto-ken, Japan, in the early 1900s. They became successful berry farmers in the White River Valley and also ran a small grocery store on their property. The World War II incarceration forced the Iseris to close both businesses. After the war, the Iseris settled in Ontario, Oregon, and worked as …
Issei-owned store (ddr-densho-25-9)
img Issei-owned store (ddr-densho-25-9)
Matahichi and Kisa Iseri sold imported and dry goods from Japan as well as general merchandise to the Japanese American community in the White River Valley. When they started the business, the Iseris used their garage, as seen here. Later, they built a bigger store in front of their property.
The Leonard Store (ddr-densho-25-10)
img The Leonard Store (ddr-densho-25-10)
The Leonard Store was an important business in the White River Valley. Leonard introduced modern conveniences such as post office boxes and phones to the community. He also catered to the local Nikkei and imported various goods from Japan. Matahichi Iseri, a prominent Issei, worked for Leonard who promised to make him a partner in the …

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