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Japanese American Community in Indiana, 2003-2005

A Guide to the Collection of Oral History Interviews at Indiana University Bloomington

Finding aid prepared by the staff of the Center for the Study of History and Memory with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Preservation and Access, 2000-2002

Overview of the Collection

Repository
Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory
Indiana University
400 North Sunrise Drive
Weatherly Hall North, Room 122
Bloomington, IN 47405
Phone: 812/855-2856
Fax: 812/855-0002
E-mail: ohrc@indiana.edu
http://www.indiana.edu/~cshm

Creator
Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory

Title
Japanese American Community in Indiana, 2003-2005

Project No.
ohrc114

Interviews
10 interview. Audiotapes, transcripts, and collateral materials.

Physical Location
Interviews are housed in Weatherly Hall North, Room 122. Copies are also housed at the Indiana University Archives in Herman B Wells Library E460. For other locations housing the interviews from this project, please contact the Center for the Study of History and Memory office.

Language
Materials are in English.

Abstract
This collection of interviews examines the experiences of Japanese Americans in the Indianapolis area. The interviewees, many of whom were born in Japan prior to World War II, focus on what compelled them to move to Indiana and their impressions of a Japanese American community. In particular, the interviewees detail the work of political and social organizations like the Japan America Society and Japanese American Citizens League. These groups' activities combined the fostering of traditional Japanese cultural forms like art, language, and dancing in the United States with political work like the Redress Movement to confront the experience of internment for many Japanese Americans during World War II.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains ten interviews conducted from 2003 to 2005. The interviews range from 48 to 90 minutes. All interviews consist of audio tapes, typed transcripts, and collateral materials.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Oral history interviews conducted by the Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory from 1968 to the present, with particular focus on the history of twentieth-century America and the Midwest.
Usage Restrictions
The archive of the Center for the Study of History and Memory at Indiana University is open to the use of researchers. Copies of transcript pages are available only when such copies are permitted by the deed of gift signed by the interviewee. Scholars must honor any restrictions the interviewee placed on the use of the interview. Since some of our earlier (pre-computer) transcripts do not exist in final form, any editing marks in a transcript (deletions, additions, corrections) are to be quoted as marked. Tapes may not be copied for patrons unless the deed of gift permits it, and a transcript is unavailable for that interview. The same rules of use that apply to a transcript apply to the taped interview. Interviews may not be reproduced in full for any public use, but excerpted quotes may be used as long as researchers fully cite the data in their research, including accession number, interview date, interviewee's and interviewer's name, and page(s).
Preferred Citation
[interviewee first name last name] interview, by [interviewer first name last name], [interview date(s)], [call number], [project name], Center for the Study of History and Memory, Indiana University, Bloomington, [page number(s) or tape number and side if no transcript].
Interview List

Interviewee
Anonymous October 6, 2005  

Call Number
05-002

Physical Description

18 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 55 minutes; index; interview questionnaire

Interviewer
Conner, Nancy

Access Status

Restricted (tapes closed)

Scope and Content Note

The interviewee, born in 1933, discusses growing up in Japan and her family's background. She tells of meeting her first husband, a member of the U.S. military, and moving to the United States. She mentions the roles she and her second husband had in the the formation and operation of the Indianapolis Japanese American Citizens League. The interviewee also talks about her work as an interpreter for Japanese businessmen in the 1980s and her current work with Japanese dance and painting.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Japan America Society
    • Japanese American Citizens League
    • Occupation Names
    • interpreter
    • Place Names
    • Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Tokyo, Japan
    • Subjects
    • community organizations
    • Japanese culture
    • marriage
    • travel industry

Interviewee
Carter, Tae September 19, 2004  

Call Number
05-009

Physical Description

21 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 75 minutes; not indexed; interview questionnaire

Interviewer
Conner, Nancy

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Tae Carter, born in 1929, recalls growing up in Sendai, Japan, and her educational background. There she met her first husband, who was a member of the American military, and moved to Indiana when he left Japan. She recounts her involvement in the Japanese American Citizens League and that group's role in promoting a sense of community among people of Japanese descent in Indianapolis. Finally, she discusses her trips back to Japan and the importance of traditional Japanese customs in her everyday life.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Japanese American Citizens League
    • RCA
    • Place Names
    • Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Sendai, Japan
    • Subjects
    • community organizations
    • English language
    • Japanese community
    • Japanese war brides
    • military wives
    • naturalization

Interviewee
Hanasono, George December 3, 2003  

Call Number
05-003

Physical Description

15 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 67 minutes; not indexed; interview questionnaire

Interviewer
Conner, Nancy

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

George Hanasono discusses his time working for Eli Lilly and Company, focusing specifically on the increasing presence of minority workers in the organization. He then talks about the state of Japanese culture in the United States, with specific emphasis on differences between his generation and younger Japanese Americans. Hanasono talks about his role in the Japanese American Citizens League, especially regarding the need to understand the impact of interracial marriage on the organization's membership. In reference to the JACL, he also discusses the differences between Japanese community organizations in the Midwest and on the West Coast.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Eli Lilly and Company
    • Japanese American Citizens League
    • Place Names
    • Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • community organizations
    • generational differences
    • interracial marriage
    • Japanese culture
    • Japanese language

Interviewee
Ingraham, Larry January 27, 2005  

Call Number
05-010

Physical Description

17 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 90 minutes; not indexed; interview questionnaire

Interviewer
Conner, Nancy

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Larry Ingraham begins by recalling his experiences as a serviceman during the war in Vietnam, when he was stationed in Taiwan and northern Japan. He describes this period of his life as the source of his interest in Asian culture, which culminated in his education at the University of Michigan. From there, Ingraham describes his role as a liaison between the state of Indiana and Japanese businesses, especially foreign autmotove companies. He specifically discusses his work with groups like the Japan America Society and Indiana Japanese Chamber on fostering international business relationships.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Indiana Japanese Chamber
    • Japan America Society
    • Sony Corporation
    • Subaru-Isuzu Automotive
    • Toyota Motor Company
    • United States Air Force
    • University of Michigan
    • Place Names
    • Akita, Japan
    • Georgetown, Kentucky
    • Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Lafayette, Indiana
    • Princeton, Indiana
    • Taichung, Taiwan
    • Subjects
    • automotive industry
    • English language instruction
    • international business
    • military draft
    • Vietnam War

Interviewee
Ito, Frances March 15, 2004  

Call Number
05-006

Physical Description

18 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 57 minutes; not indexed; interview questionnaire

Interviewer
Conner, Nancy

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Frances Ito, born in 1920, talks about growing up in Oregon and the Japanese community in Portland. After her family was moved to an internment camp during WWII, Ito joined her husband at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana. She recalls the scarcity of other Asian Americans in the city soon after the war, an experience that persisted until her somewhat recent involvement in the local Japanese American Citizens League. Ito discusses community involvement through other avenues, specifically her conversion to Christianity and work within the church.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Ito and Koby Dental Lab
    • Japanese American Citizens League
    • Place Names
    • Castleton, Indiana
    • Fort Benjamin Harrison
    • Portland, Oregon
    • Subjects
    • Christianity
    • community organizations
    • dentistry
    • Japanese American community
    • Japanese internment camps
    • Japanese language
    • religious conversion

Interviewee
Jacobs, Chieko May 3, 2004  

Call Number
05-007

Physical Description

15 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 48 minutes; not indexed; interview questionnaire

Interviewer
Conner, Nancy

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Chieko Jacobs, born in 1929, discusses growing up in Japan before meeting her American husband through the military. In her discussion about coming to America, Jacobs focuses on the difficulties of the language barrier and of being a military wife. She talks about her employment history in Indianapolis, Indiana, at length. Finally she talks about her participation in Minyo dance groups through the local Japanese American Citizens League.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Eli Lilly and Company
    • Japanese American Citizens League
    • Naval Avionics Center
    • RCA
    • Western Electric Company
    • Place Names
    • Chicago, Illinois
    • Fort Benjamin Harrison
    • Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Kobe, Japan
    • Seattle, Washington
    • Subjects
    • Japanese food
    • Japanese language
    • Japanese war brides
    • language barrier
    • military wives
    • Minyo
    • naturalization

Interviewee
Kulczak, Theresa September 3, 2004  

Call Number
05-008

Physical Description

19 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 85 minutes; not indexed; interview questionnaire

Interviewer
Conner, Nancy

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Theresa Kulczak discussed her educational background and her experiences teaching conversational English in Japan. She explained her involvement with the Japan America Society located in Indianapolis, specifically as it related to international business. In particular, Kulzcak explained the role of liaison performed by the JSA between the state of Indiana and Japanese businesses.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Japan America Society
    • Purdue University
    • Sony Corporation
    • Subaru-Isuzu Automotive
    • Toyota Motor Company
    • Place Names
    • Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Niigata City, Japan
    • Subjects
    • automotive industry
    • English language instruction
    • international business
    • United States-Japan relations

Interviewee
Matsumoto, Charles January 14, 2004  

Call Number
05-005

Physical Description

18 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 65 minutes; not indexed; interview questionnaire

Interviewer
Conner, Nancy

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Charles Matsumoto, born in 1932, recalls his childhood on family farms in California and Colorado prior to and during World War II. He explains his family's decision to voluntarily move to Colorado before the forced internment of Japanese in California. Matsumoto discusses his educational background in pharmacology and his job at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis. Matsumoto tells of his involvement in the Japanese American Citizens League and specific initiatives like the Redress Movement. He also explains his involvement in other organizations, both within the Japanese American community and in groups outside of his ethnic affiliation. Matsumoto concludes by discussing variations within the Japanese American community, specifically mentioning geographic factors and generational differences in the culture and social politics of the community.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Asian Alliance
    • Eli Lilly and Company
    • Japan America Society
    • Japanese American Citizens League
    • Place Names
    • Ault, Colorado
    • Cincinnati, Ohio
    • Indianapolis, Indiana
    • San Jose, California
    • Subjects
    • community organizations
    • generational differences
    • interracial marriage
    • Japanese culture
    • racial discrimination
    • Redress Movement

Interviewee
Moore, Anne C. December 12, 2003  

Call Number
05-004

Physical Description

18 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 85 minutes; not indexed; interview questionnaire

Interviewer
Conner, Nancy

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Anne Moore, born in 1935, discusses growing up on her family's farm in California, before being forced into internment camps during World War II. Moore tells about life in the camps, including the importance of her family and the educational system. Moore also reflects on the different internment experiences of her neighbors. She recalls her career in art museums at a number of universities in the Indianapolis area and her involvement in the local Japanese American Citizens League. Moore also reflects upon her own ideas about the existence of a distinct Japanese community in Indianapolis and the role of language in constructing these networks.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Ball State University
    • Japanese American Citizens League
    • Place Names
    • Kendallville, Indiana
    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Salinas Valley, California
    • Subjects
    • community organizations
    • education
    • Japanese internment camps
    • Japanese language
    • segregation

Interviewee
Umemura, Jean; Umemura, George September 25, 2003 

Call Number
05-001

Physical Description

25 pages; 1tape, 1 7/8 ips, 90 minutes; not indexed; interview questionnaire

Interviewer
Conner, Nancy

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Jean and George Umemura, born in 1926 and 1923 respectively, discuss their family backgrounds growing up in Seattle, Washington, prior to World War II, including the extent to which the Japanese language was prevalent in their homes. Both discuss the experience of moving to internment camps during the war, and the ways in which their families managed to maintain contact with Japanese friends from Seattle. Jean and George talk about how they came to be married. George discusses the formation of the Japanese American Citizens League in Indianapolis, Indiana. He emphasizes his experiences facing prejudice as a Japanese American.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Eli Lilly and Company
    • Indiana University
    • Japan America Society
    • Japanese American Citizens League
    • Personal Names
    • Loucks, Chester
    • Soto, Mary
    • Place Names
    • Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Seattle, Washington
    • Subjects
    • community organizations
    • Japanese Americans
    • Japanese internment camps
    • Japanese language
    • racism