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LA as Subject Collection

The LA as Subject collection contains material from a selection of L.A. area community-based archives and organizations that were digitized and shared in partnership with CSUDH.

Selected Images

Collection Description

Chica Sugino was an Issei research analyst for Alexander Leighton, head of the War Relocation Authority's (WRA) Sociological Research Bureau at Poston Relocation Center. Her research contributed to Leighton's book, The Governing of Men, one of the first monographs published on the Japanese American wartime experience. The collection contains photographs, correspondence, research notes, manuscript drafts, newspapers, audio recordings, and WRA publications spanning from the 1910s to the 1980s.

The items in this digital collection comprise a selection of letters and Poston concentration camp materials collected by Chica Sugino between 1942 and 1945, and family photos from the 1910s through the 1940s.  Many of the letters are from early 1942, when Chica's husband Arthur Sugino was separated from the family and held at Tuna Canyon (an Immigration and Naturalization Service [INS] center in Tujunga, California) before the family was reunited at Poston.

About the Japanese American National Museum

The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) is the first museum in the United States dedicated to sharing the experience of Americans of Japanese ancestry as an integral part of US history. Since its inception in 1985, JANM has chronicled more than 130 years of Japanese American history.

The over 150,000 objects that comprise the JANM permanent collection chronicle the Japanese American experience in its entirety from early immigration to the present. Artifacts related to early immigration to the United States at the turn of the 20th century, early life in Japanese American communities, and the World War II incarceration experience and military service are strengths of the collection.

The museum’s permanent collection includes material culture artifacts (the three-dimensional objects that define daily life and culture) as well as photographs, documents, and ephemera.   Cornerstone collections include work clothing that Japanese immigrant women fashioned from the textiles they brought with them from Japan and denim material on Hawaiian plantations; diaries, letters, and other first-person narratives of America’s concentration camps; as well as materials from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion. Although these have been prime collecting areas, they are not the sole focus. Artifacts pertaining to all aspects of the Japanese American experience are welcomed.

Preserving the collection for future generations, with the artifacts’ role as ambassadors and storytellers for the museum, is central to JANM’s ideology.