Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon, Oral History Collection, 1994-2008

Scope and Content Note

The Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon, Oral History Collection documents oral history interviews, conducted in 2006-2008, of Japanese Americans living in Eugene and Lane County, Oregon as well as Elkton (Douglas County) and Waldport (Lincoln County). The collection includes digital sound recordings, transcripts of two interviews, interview questions, releases, biographical and background information, digital photographs, and related documentation and correspondence. Extensive biographical information for Yoko McClain and Hiroshi Ogawa, including DVDs about Ogawa's pottery making and studio, are part of the collection.

Interviews of the following 11 individuals are included in the collection: Alice Endo Aikens, Kenge Kobayashi, Miya Kobayashi, Mitzi Asai Loftus, Yoko McClain, Edward Miyakawa, Chiyo Mori, Perry Mori, Kenneth Takeo Nagao, Hiroshi Ogawa, and David K. Toyama.

This oral history project focused on the immigrant experiences of the parents and grandparents of the interviewees who were the issei (first generations) who came to the United States from Japan; the World War II experiences of the interviewees; and their lives in Eugene and neighboring communities as they moved there in the decades following the war and built a Japanese-American community.

Many of the interviewees describe their experiences in World War II relocation camps at Tule Lake (California), Crystal City (Texas), and other camps and detention centers during the forced removal of Japanese-Americans from the West Coast. Some of the interviewees describe their experiences living in Hawaii during the war. They also describe the experiences of the immigrant generations (their parents and grandparents) who were the first to settle in the United States. They discuss their lives in Oregon as they relocated in the decades after World War II. The interviews document the growth and development of the Japanese-American community and the establishment of community organizations, events, and projects such as the Japanese-American Association of Lane County, the Asian Celebration, and the Japanese American Memorial Project in Eugene. The digital photographs depict the subjects at the time the interviews were conducted.

The digital sound recordings will be made available to patrons upon request. The sound recordings are in *.wav, *.wma, and *.mp3 formats. Each interview consists of multiple sound files.

Transcripts are available for the interviews of Kenge Kobayashi and Mitzi Asai Loftus. The collection also includes a summary (tape log) and list of questions for the Kenge Kobayashi interview. Questions for the interviews with Miya Kobayashi, Yoko McClain, Ed Miyakawa, Chiyo and Perry Mori, Kenneth Takeo Nagao, Hiroshi Ogawa, and David Toyama are also part of the collection. Transcripts of these interviews are not available.

The interviews were conducted by Elizabeth Uhlig and Susan Hirata. The interview of Mitzi Asai Loftus was transcribed by Elizabeth Kodama.

This collection has been digitized and made available online.


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