JACL Philadelphia Oral History Collection

JACL Philadelphia
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JACL Philadelphia Chapter was established in 1947 by survivors of the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans who resettled in the Greater Philadelphia region during the postwar era. Since then, our chapter has been involved in civil rights advocacy in solidarity with other people of color and historically marginalized communities. JACL Philadelphia played a strong leadership role in JACL's National Redress Movement, which is discussed in many of the interviews. As one of the nation's largest cities, with one of the smallest Japanese American populations, interviewees reflect on the challenges and opportunities presented by community organizing in such an environment. This collection features interviews with nearly two dozen now deceased Nisei members of the chapter conducted in 1994 by Herbert J. Horikawa. An additional ten interviews were conducted with Sansei members during the Summer of 2023 as part of the JACS grant funded JACL Oral History Project. The latter interviews were recorded by videographer Brett Kodama and conducted by staff of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, in collaboration with JACL Philadelphia leadership.



JACL Philadelphia

Courtesy of JACL Philadelphia

5 Objects

Mary Ishimoto Watanabe Interview (ddr-phljacl-1-1)
vh Mary Ishimoto Watanabe Interview (ddr-phljacl-1-1)
Nisei female. Born September 29, 1920, in San Jose, California. Grew up in Cupertino, California. Attending San Jose State College when World War II broke out. Sent to the Santa Anita Assembly Center, California, and the Heart Mountain concentration camp, Wyoming. Left camp with the help of the National Student Relocation Council to attend graduate school. …
Warren H. Watanabe Interview (ddr-phljacl-1-2)
vh Warren H. Watanabe Interview (ddr-phljacl-1-2)
Nisei male. Born August 12, 1921, in San Francisco, California. Grew up in San Francisco, where father worked as the executive secretary of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce. During World War II, removed to the Tanforan Assembly Center, California, and the Topaz concentration camp, Utah. Left camp to attend college and the University of Chicago. Earned …
Grayce Kaneda Uyehara Interview (ddr-phljacl-1-12)
vh Grayce Kaneda Uyehara Interview (ddr-phljacl-1-12)
Nisei female. Born July 4, 1919. Raised in Stockton, California. During World War II, removed during senior year at College of the Pacific, Stockton, California. Incarcerated at the Stockton Assembly Center and Rohwer concentration camp, Arkansas. Resettled with family members in Philadelphia. Graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work. Active volunteer with the …
Hiroshi Uyehara Interview (ddr-phljacl-1-13)
vh Hiroshi Uyehara Interview (ddr-phljacl-1-13)
Nisei male. Born January 1, 1916, in Oakland, California. Grew up in the Los Angeles area where father started a fish cake factory. Attended UCLA and UC Berkeley and then worked as an electrical draftsman for the Department of Water and Power for the City of Los Angeles. After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, …
William Marutani Interview (ddr-phljacl-1-14)
vh William Marutani Interview (ddr-phljacl-1-14)
Nisei male. Born March 31, 1923, in Kent, Washington. During World War II, was incarcerated at the Pinedale Assembly Center, California, and Tule Lake concentration camp, California. After leaving camp to attend college in South Dakota, was drafted into the U.S. Army and served with the Military Intelligence Service during the postwar occupation of Japan. After …