Yamashita Family Archives

An Issei Woman
Tomi patented a pregnancy girdle design, and opened a dry cleaning and alterations business in Oakland and supported her children to go to college. Her life story and her loud snoring complicate the normative understandings of Japanese Americans as the "Quiet Americans." [Click here for a desktop version of exhibit]

Mock Trial
Japanese American students at UC Berkeley put themselves on trial to discuss racial discrimination and their position in American society in the 1930s. What did they have to say?[Click here for a desktop version of exhibit]

The Body
This exhibit includes Stories related to bodies-- backs, teeth, face, abdomen. What does the experience of the body tell us about the larger story or containment, resettlement, memory and home? [Click here for a desktop version of exhibit]

The Yamashita family was removed from their neighborhood and confined in incarceration camps. This exhibit explores the days leading up to removal and detention at Tanforan Racetracks through Kiyo's diary entries and fingerprinting alien registration papers.[Click here for a desktop version of exhibit]

Letters sent between family members incarcerated at different detention facilities reveals the every day experiences of incarceration including the stifling, boring, repetitive life in an enclosed barrack city. Photographs and diary entries show glimpse of daily life in a dusty ancient sea bed in Utah at the "Topaz Project."[Click here for a desktop version of exhibit]

Post War Trajectories
The war and incarceration led to the dispersal of the Yamashita siblings across the United States. Some returned to Oakland. Others went to New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Chicago and Hong Kong. How did they reflect on that experience in later years? (Exhibit in progress.)

A Tailor in Oakland
Kishiro Yamashita had a tailoring business in Oakland, California in the early 1900s. His life's trajectory from rural Naegi Japan to a growing U.S. city was influenced by an expanding Japanese empire, laws of primogeniture, and a multiethnic Oakland with a growing community of Japanese immigrant workers and families.[Click here for a desktop version of exhibit]