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Irene Yamamoto Family Papers

Identifier: SPC-2022-022

Scope and Contents

The Irene Yamamoto Family Papers (June 1921 - circa 2018) include correspondence, photographs, documents, and other material related to the Yamamoto family. Series one includes correspondence, postcards, thank you cards, holiday cards, and artwork sent mostly from members of the Yamamoto family to each other. Other correspondence in the series includes letters from the United States Department of Justice and printed email correspondence with printed photographs of the Mizota family. Series Two includes school-related material, such as yearbooks, report cards, and school correspondence for Grace Sakiyo Kaguni (Yamamoto), Lawrence Mineo Yamamoto, Don Yamamoto, Irene Yamamoto, and Bryan Yamamoto. The schools include McKinley High School, Honolulu Vocational SchooL, Theodore Roosevelt High School, and the Southern Campus University of Los Angeles.

Series Three contains documents related to the Yamamoto family. The first subseries include identification documents, marriage certificates, birth announcements and certifications, and wedding announcements. The second subseries contains funeral documentation, memorial cards, memorial programs, and sympathy cards for Lawrence Mineo and Grace Sakiyo Yamamoto. The last subseries includes material related to World War II and World War II incarceration, travel receipts and information, children's artwork, a trip diary, address books, personalized photograph calendars, and other material related to members of the Yamamoto family.

Series Four includes photographs, photographs albums, negatives, portraits, and mounted photographs. Most of the photographs are of members of the Yamamoto family, including Irene Yamamoto and her parents, Grace Sakiyo and Mineo Lawrence Yamamoto. Other photographs include Irene Yamamoto's travel photographs from Italy, Turkey, Japan, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Greece, along with additional travel photographs. Other photographs include birthday parties, anniversary parties, weddings, reunions, and other family events.

Series Five contains other material related to the Yamamoto family. This includes songbooks from Hawaii, a sushi cookbook, and other publications. It also contains 3 reel to reel tapes and one Kakuni family reunion CD.


  • June 1921 - circa 2018

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

For information about citing archival material, see the

Yamamoto Family

Lawrence Mineo Yamamoto (October 21, 1906-September 5, 1991) was born in Oahu, Hawaii, to Hakusuko and Ume Yamamoto. Lawrence had two siblings, Grace and Russel. After living in Hawaii, the Yamamoto family moved to Alaska. Lawrence returned to Hawaii in the 1930s and married Grace Sakiyo Kakuni (April 2, 1912-September 1991) on June 30, 1934. After 1934, Grace and Lawrence moved to Los Angeles.

Grace and Lawrence had four children, Don Nobue Yamamoto (December 1935- ), Irene Michiko Yamamoto (February 19, 1937-November 11, 2020), Ellen Keiko Yamamoto (April 2, 1941 -), and Ray Masato Yamamoto (September 23, 1944-May 27, 1945). During World War II, the family was forcibly removed to the Santa Anita Racetrack and then to the Gila River incarceration camp on October 18, 1942. After leaving the incarceration camp on September 6, 1945, the family moved to Denver, Colorado, and shortly after, the family returned to Los Angeles.

Irene attended Theodore Roosevelt High School. Following graduation, she attended the University of California, Los Angeles. Irene went on to work as a commercial artist. She also traveled to many places, including England, Hawaii, New Zealand, Japan, Peru, Iceland, France, Greece, Turkey, and Italy.


15 boxes

Language of Materials




This collection contains correspondence, postcards, yearbooks, report cards, identification documents and certifications, World War II-related material, photographs, photograph albums, travel receipts and information, and other material related to the Yamamoto family. Subjects in this collection include World War II incarceration, Japanese American families, and travel.


This collection is arranged into five series. Series Two also has three subseries.


Series One:
Yamamoto Family Correspondence
Series Two:
School correspondence, report cards, and yearbooks related to the Yamamoto Family
Series Three:
Yamamoto Family Documents
Series Four:
Photograph albums, and loose and oversized photographs
Series Five:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated in 2021 by Sharon Mizota.

Related Materials

This collection is part of the California State University Japanese American Digitization Project. For related materials please consult: CSU Japanese American Digitization Project.


Mizota, Sharon. “Artchivist's Notebook: Seeing Ourselves in Archives.” ARTchivist's Notebook, 2021,

“Irene Michiko Yamamoto.” Rafu Shimpo, Rafu Shimpo, 27 Nov. 2020,

Processing Information

This collection was processed in May-June 2022 by Jennifer Hill with assitance from Anthony Rojo.

Irene Yamamoto Family Papers
Jennifer Hill
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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