Lot 45 of 102:
Japanese American interned at Tule Lake  

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Estimate:
$2,000 - $3,000

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Title:
Archive relating to Tomiji Takeda, a Japanese-American resident of Milpitas, California, who was interned at Tule Lake camp, then allowed to move to Utah and eventually Colorado

Author:

Place:
Various places

Publisher:

Date:
c.1930-1950s

Description:

Comprises identification cards, travel authorizations, personal letters, a Tule Lake camp newspaper in Japanese with plan of the camp, treaty of prisoner of war convention in Japanese, and a few other items.

Revealing and always disturbing archive relating to one man’s journey through bureaucracy, detention, internment, and eventual freedom during the Second World War, as racial animus led to the relegation to camps of thousands of lawful residents and citizens of the United States. Tomiji Takeda, born in Japan in 1868, was a chauffeur in Milpitas, California in 1930, but ten years later was compelled to register as an alien, and by 1942 was an unwilling resident of Block 44, Bldg 4414, Apt. C. at the notorious Tule Lake internment camp. By May of 1943, however, he seems to have been granted leave to join family members in Smithfield, Utah, and in 1944 was allowed to move to Grand Junction, Colorado, where his family had purchased a farm. These moves were all under the bureaucratic eye of the War Relocation Authority. The Tule Lake camp, where he was first sent, was known as one of the harshest of the ten camps set up in the western United States, the destination for internees deemed most likely to create trouble, who had answered “no” to confusing questions about their loyalty to the United States and whether they would be willing to serve in the U.S. military. One can wonder why a 74-year-old man would be sent there.

The items comprise:

  • California chauffeur’s license for Shoji Takeda of Milpitas, Calif., 1930, with renewal slip laid in.
  • Alien registration receipt card for Tomiji Takeda of Milpitas, Calif., with Takeda’s signature and fingerprint, issued pursuant to the Alien Registration Act of 1940, with mailing envelope from the Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
  • Alien registration certificate for Tomiji Takeda of Milipitas, Calif., with his photograph, fingerprint and signature, noting he was born in Japan in 1868. Dated February 3, 1942.
  • Identification card for Tomiji Takeda, of Tule Lake Relocation Area, for “Alien’s Indefinite Leave” to Smithfield, Utah, with photograph of Takeda, signed by the project director. The leave was authorized for May 4, 1943.
  • Mimeographed form filled out in ink, authorizing Tomiji Takeda to travel from Smithfield, Utah, to Grand Junction, Colorado, where his family had purchased a farm, signed by Tomiji Takeda, his sponsor Chizu Takeda, and United States Attorney Dan B. Shields, dated 12-1-44.
  • Mimeographed form filled out in ink, authorizing Tomiji Takeda to travel from Grand Junction, Colorado, to Smithfield, Utah, to visit the Kawashima family to assist in funeral arrangements for Mrs. Kawashima, who passed away. Signed by Tomiji Takeda and WRA Relocation Officer Francis J. Donohue, dated September 2, 1944. 
  • About a dozen letters and notes in Japanese, several with envelopes addressed in English from Japan to S. or G.S. Takada in Milpitas.
  • Booklet in Japanese, mimeographed, with ink notation in margin “Block 44, Bldg 4414 Apt. C. Tule Lake, Calif.”
  • New Year Special Edition 1943 (pictorial wrapper title). Tule Lake internal mimeographed newspaper, wholly in Japanese except for the cover title, with a map diagramming the camp layout with key. Inscribed in ink in Japanese and English on cover, “Block 44, Bldg 4414 Apt. C. Tule Lake.” (Cover torn and tape repaired.)
  • “Treaty Series No. 846, Prisoners of War Convention Between the U.S.A. and Other Powers” - mimeographed book on rectos only, stapled. Inscribed in ink in Japanese and English on cover margin, “Block 44, Bldg 4414 Apt. C. Tule Lake.” Signed in ink on cover, Tomiji Takeda, Smithfield, Utah.
  • Photograph of an elderly Japanese man, apparently Takeda in later years, inscribed on the back in Japanese.
  • Book in Japanese, in wrappers, with photographic illustrations throughout of historic nature, some marked with slips, perhaps relating to the Takeda family.

Lot Amendments

Condition:
Overall in very good condition.


 
Item number:
353920
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