Takano Family Papers
Scope and Contents
The Takano Family Papers (1906-1991; undated) contains materials from members of the Takano and Meguro family who reside in Los Angeles, California, including Issei immigrants Itsuhei and Tomoye Takano, Kumaji and Tsuruno Meguro, and their Nisei children, Fumio Fred and Yoneko (Meguro) Takano, Ruth Yoshiko Meguro, and Leo Ryoichi Meguro. The papers covers from prewar through post-war, including the period of forced evacuation and incarceration during World War II, the Korean war, and the redress movement in the 1980s. The papers consists of correspondence, photographs, camp newspapers, yearbooks, and other documents. Noted are photographs depicting the Japanese American community in Colorado in the 1930s, including photos of Japanese Young People’s Christian members; and schoolchildren and staff of a Japanese school and public schools. There are also documents regarding a real estate property in Los Angeles, California, which Fumio Fred Takano purchased in 1938, and his legal documents and letters present his efforts to protect the property during the war with the support of his non-Japanese American friend. Also included are letters depicting his struggles to be granted the indefinite leave permit from the Gila River incarceration camp in Arizona, as a consequence of his answers to “loyalty questionnaire” questions 27 and 28. In addition, the Issei parents’ letters detail their experiences during the war from an Issei point of view, describing the trip from the Pomona Assembly Center to the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming, incarceration life, and their return from the camp to California.
- 1906-1991; undated
Language of Materials
English and Japanese texts with one item in Spanish.
Conditions Governing Access
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Conditions Governing Use
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Itsuhei Takano (1887 October 18-1967 January 3) immigrated from Yamanashi, Japan, in 1906 and married Tomoye Kodama (1889 March 3-1979 October 17) in 1913. They resided in Highland Park, Los Angeles, California since 1914 and raised six children. Itsuhei was a retailer and operated a vegetable produce business at 5014 Eagle Rock Boulevard in Los Angeles since 1938. Their Nisei child, Fumio Fred Takano (1914 February 2-1989 July 22), was the oldest child and married Yoneko Meguro (1918 May 30-2007 January 10) in March 1942. He worked for the tuna fishing industry, and the family resided in Los Angeles, California, purchasing a real property prior to the exclusion.
Kumaji Meguro (1878 February 28-1957 December 1) and Tsuruno Meguro (1894 February 1-1985 January 12) were also Issei immigrants and resided in Colorado in the 1920s and 1930s. They were farm laborers and raised their Nisei child, Yoneko, Yoshiko Ruth, and Leo Ryoichi in Colorado, but moved into Los Angeles in 1936.
When the exclusion order was issued, the Takano and Meguro families were transferred to different assembly centers, Pomona Assembly Center and Santa Anita Assembly Center during the war. They were hoping to be transferred to the same incarceration camp together but were imprisoned separately in different camps, the Gila River camp in Arizona and the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming. During his incarceration, Fumio Fred Takano answered questions on a form, known as the “loyalty questionnaire” in February 1943. His initial answers to questions 27 and 28 were “no” to question 27 and “yes” to question 28, however, his answers were not accepted at the Registration Office. The registration officer claimed that questions 27 and 28 should be answered both in the affirmative or negative, and his answer to 27 was altered in the negative by the officer. Because of his answers to the questionnaire, he struggled to be granted the permit he needed to leave. Later, he left the camp for Chicago but joined his family in Los Angeles when his family members were released from the camps. In June 1945, the Takano and Meguro families were able to return to Los Angeles, California.
Leo Ryoichi Meguro, one of the Meguros' children, was incarcerated in the Pomona Assembly Center and transferred to the Heart Mountain incarceration camp with his parents. He enlisted and served in the 100th Infantry Battalion as a Nisei solider and was deployed in Europe during the war. In 1944, he was hospitalized and discharged because of his illness but reenlisted and served in the Korean War.
3 boxes (2 document boxes, 1 flat box, and 1 oversize folder)
2.33 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
This collection contains materials from members of the Takano and Meguro family in Los Angeles, California, including Issei immigrants, Itsuhei and Tomoye Takano and Kumaji and Tsuruno Meguro, and their Nisei children, Fumio Fred and Yoneko (Meguro) Takano, Yoshiko Ruth Meguro, and Leo Ryoichi Meguro. The papers covers from prewar through post-war, including the period of the forced evacuation and incarceration during World War II, U.S. military service in Europe druing the war and in Korea during the Korean War, and the redress movement in the 1980s. Most of the items in this collection have been digitized and are available online.
Arranged in five series:
- Family and friend correspondence, 1937, 1942-1945, 1959-1977
- Incarceration camp experiences, 1942-1995
- U.S. military service, 1943-1951
- Family album and photographs, circa 1928-1959, undated
- Family information, 1906 July 7-1989 August
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Jeanne Takano donated the collection to the Gerth Archives and Special Collections in 2017 and additional materials in 2018 and 2021.
Availability of Digital Reproductions
Most of the items in this collection have been digitized and digital reproduction access files (access derivatives) are available at the CSU Japanese American Digitization Project site: Takano Family Papers Digital Collection
English translation, summaries, and synopsis are available at the CSU Japanese American Digitization Project site: Takano Family Papers Digital Collection.
The collection was processed by Yoko Okunishi in 2019 and 2022.
English translation, summaries, and synopsis, and Japanese transcription for Japanese language materials are provided by a contractor and the finding aid author.
The Gerth Archives and Special Collections created digitized materials (born-analog objects) from original items for long-term preservation and electronic access, adhering to best practice and standards to ensure the authenticity, integrity, and security of material. Most of the collection has been digitized and are available online. Some of the access files (access derivatives) have been redacted to protect personal identifiable information and others have been compressed for greater efficiency online. For more information on digitization production, please see CSU Japanese American Digitization Project technical reference guide.
The set of digital reproduction preservation files is stored on the Gerth Archives and Special Collections' department drive for preservation purpose and duplicate image requests in TIFF.
The set of access files (access derivatives) was created for the digital management system and is stored on the Gerth Archives and Special Collections' department external drive for staff use.
- Takano, Fumio F. (Fumio Fred), 1914-1989 (Person)
- Takano, Yoneko, 1918-2007 (Person)
- Meguro, Kumaji, 1878-1957 (Person)
- Meguro, Tsuruno, 1894-1985 (Person)
- Meguro, Ruth Yoshiko (Person)
- Meguro, Leo Ryoichi (Person)
- Takano, Itsuhei, 1887-1967 (Person)
- Takano, Tomeyo, 1889-1979 (Person)
- Takano, Jeanne (Donor, Person)
- Inventory of the Papers of the Takano Family
- Yoko Okunishi
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- English; Japanese
- 2022 January: Additional items were donated in November 2021. The finding aid was updated by Yoko Okunishi in August 2022.
Part of the California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections Repository
University Library South -5039 (Fifth Floor)
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson CA 90747