Biography / Administrative History
Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Japanese American Citizens League Pacific Southwest District Office records
Collection number: 2000.403.8
Japanese American Citizens League, Pacific Southwest District Office
11 linear feet, 1 flat box
Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles, California 90012
Abstract: The Pacific Southwest Region of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) served as the political voice for the Japanese
American community and sponsored a variety of social and educational activities. Records include: administrative files, meeting
minutes and agendas, reference files, publications, a scrapbook, various Japanese language items and redress claims.
Physical location: Japanese American National Museum
369 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Collection is open for research by appointment. Please contact the Japanese American National Museum's Manabi and Sumi Hirasaki
National Resource Center at (213) 830-5680 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Hirasaki
National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum (email@example.com).
[Identification of item], Japanese American Citizens League Pacific Southwest District Office records. 2000.403.8, Japanese
American National Museum. Los Angeles, CA.
This finding aid was created as part of a project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The project started in 2007. Project Director was Yoko Shimojo and Project Archivist was Marlon Romero.
Biography / Administrative History
Founded in 1929, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is a national organization dedicated to securing and maintaining
the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who have been victimized by prejudice and injustice. The JACL has
four regional offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, and one legislative office in Washington DC. The
organization recognizes 110 chapters in the United States and Japan. The JACL also publishes a newsletter,
The Pacific Citizen.
The Pacific Southwest District (PSWD) regional office is based in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo and represents 32 JACL chapters
throughout the southwest of the U.S. including all counties in California south of Kern and Monterey Counties, the State of
Arizona and Southwestern portion of Nevada.
Scope and Content of Collection
This collection contains items created or collected by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Pacific Southwest District
(PSWD) office. The records are comprised of seven series including: Administrative Files, Meeting Minutes and Agenda, Topical
Files, Publications, Photographs, Japanese Language Items and Redress Claims. Each series has a detailed scope and content
note. For clarity, the sub-series of Administrative Files and Topical Files have detailed scope and content notes as well.
Due to the filing system of the Pacific Southwest office, some duplication within folders does occur. The series have been
arranged alphabetically and chronologically, with efforts to remain intact the original order of the files.
The collection is organized into seven series.
Series 1: Administrative Files, 1942-1998
These files include papers generated by or received by the Pacific Southwest District (PSWD) office. Memoranda, correspondence,
press releases, accounting files, and membership information comprise the bulk of this series. While the collection's inclusive
dates are 1942-1998, the majority of these files were created in two distinct time periods, 1965-1980 and 1990-1998 with minor
overlapping between the two. The two time periods represented are reflected in the sub-subseries designations.
Systems for organizing the administrative files varied greatly with the fluctuation in office staff. In order to maintain
the original order of the collection, these various systems are reflected in the sub-series designations. Due to the nature
of the types of filing systems, item duplication does occur among the sub-series.
At creation, the administrative files were maintained in reverse chronological order, with the oldest items at the end of
the file. The original order of files has been maintained even when "mistakes" in the reverse chronology have been detected.
The sub-series, Named Files include administrative files generated by or received by the Pacific Southwest District (PSWD)
office. Each file contains papers created by or received by the named individual, with the types of papers varying greatly
depending upon the position of the individual. For example, the office manager's file contains information on membership
and accounting, while the national president's file contains memoranda regarding decision making and correspondence with the
community at large. The individuals included in this sub series are staff of the PSWD office, the leadership of various PSWD
chapters, and the leadership of JACL nationally.
Throughout the years, certain individuals held various positions within JACL. Each named file contains information on the
various positions an individual held.
Notable individuals in this series include: PSWD office manager Angela Alcaraz, Pacific Citizen editor Harry Honda, and JACL
national president Masamune Kojima.
The sub-series, Dated Files includes administrative files generated by or received by the PSWD office during a particular
time frame. Various individuals are reflected in these files. Due to the nature of these filing systems, duplication of
items does occur between the dated files and the named files.
The sub-series, Category Files represent the types of papers found within the named or dated files, such as correspondence,
press releases and memoranda. Due to this, there is duplication of items among the sub-series.
Series 2: Meeting Minutes and Agenda, 1942-1988
This series includes meeting minutes and agenda from various levels of JACL and other organizations. In order to clarify
the sub-series in this series, a breakdown of the JACL hierarchy follows: National, District, and Chapter.
The Pacific Southwest District (PSWD) Office created the information in the district sub-series, collected information from
annual national meetings in the national series, and collected information from annual Los Angeles Chapter meetings in the
Series 3: Topical Files, 1964-1998
These files include reference (subject) files, biography files and case files collected by the PSWD office from 1964-1998.
The sub-series, Reference Files reflects collected information such as newspaper clippings, correspondence and literature
regarding issues pertinent to the JACL and the Asian American community at large. Major subject areas include: atomic bomb
survivors, hate crimes, discrimination, internment camps, public perception of Asian Americans, redress and relations between
Asian Americans and other ethnicities.
The sub-series, Case Files includes information regarding the JACL's involvement in the legal or employment discrimination
cases of various individuals. Legal documents, employee memoranda, JACL correspondence and newspaper clippings are represented
in these files.
The sub-series, Biography Files include newspaper clippings, literature and correspondence regarding prominent Asian Americans
or other individuals involved with the Asian American community.
Series 4: Publications, 1915-1982
This series includes various types of publications from government or private sources collected by the PSWD office. The publications
are in Japanese, English or a combination of both.
Series 5: Photographs, 1957
The scrapbook contains photographs from various JACL Los Angeles Chapter events during 1957.
Series 6: Japanese Language Items
These items possibly belonged to Danzo Kiyamara. At present, Kiyamara's affiliation with JACL is unknown. The diaries include
personal writings, business cards and newspaper clippings in Japanese.
Series 7: Redress Claims
These include several handwritten pages of redress claims. It is unknown whether JACL or another organization compiled the
claims, as no identifying information is included.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Japanese American Citizens' League. Pacific Southwest District
Politics and government