Japanese American Citizens' League

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Founded in 1930, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is a membership organization whose mission is to secure and maintain the human and civil rights of Americans of Japanese ancestry and others victimized by injustice. The JACL has 112 chapters nationwide and eight regional districts with over 24,000 members found in 23 states. In addition to its national headquarters in San Francisco, the JACL has five regional offices (Los Angeles, Fresno, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago), as well as an office in Washington D.C. and an organizational newspaper, the Pacific Citizen, distributed nationally from its office in Los Angeles. According to its official website, www.jacl.org, the JACL derives its effectiveness through its regional offices located in key cities and areas to serve the needs of the organization's members and to maintain the well-being of all Asian Americans.

From the guide to the Japanese American Citizens League audio-visual collection, 1926-1975, bulk 1927-1939, (J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah)

Biography / Administrative History

The 1913 Alien Land Law enacted in California limited aliens ineligible for citizenship to only any property rights guaranteed in treaties with their respective countries. Effectively, this targeted aliens from Japan, since they were unable to apply for citizenship under the immigration laws at that time, and the 1911 U.S.-Japan treaty made no mention of property rights. Violations of the law would result with the property in question being escheated to (confiscated by) the state. Despite this barrier, Japanese immigrants continued to increase their land holdings in California. Several methods for circumventing the law grew common in the years following. These included purchasing land in the name of a child and holding it under guardianship, or forming an agricultural corporation to hold the land. Anti-Japanese lobbyists grew increasingly discontented, and in 1920 a new, more restrictive Alien Land Law was placed on the ballot and passed. This new version was intended to prevent the circumventions of the 1913 law that had become common. It stated that when a person purchased land in another's name, it was assumed that this was intended to bypass the law. The burden of proof was also shifted to the defendant. The defendant would now have to prove that the land had not been purchased as it was in order to circumvent the Alien Land Law. The Law was challenged in 1948, in Oyama v. California . Fred Oyama sued the State of California, arguing that his rights as a citizen had been violated when the state confiscated the land in Los Angeles that his non-citizen father had held in his name. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor, and overturned a portion of the 1920 law. The entire law was overturned in 1952, in Fujii v. California . During the period that the Alien Land Laws were in effect, the state filed 76 escheat proceedings.

The Alien Land Laws appear to have had a significant effect on Japanese living in San Joaquin County. Many in the county were under investigation by the state, with the aim of finding their land holdings in violation of the Land Laws.

From the guide to the japanese alien land law investigation records, 1912-1948, (University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Dept. of Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Minnesota War History Committee. Collected research materials, [1940s]. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Donald Estes papers, 1887-2005, 1935-1995 Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego.
creatorOf Japanese American Citizens' League. Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony centennial materials, 1969. The California Digital Library
referencedIn Masuda, Minoru, 1915-1980. Minoru Masuda papers, 1935-1984. University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn James Y. Sakamoto Papers, 1928-1955 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Fukuyama, Yoshio, 1921-. Papers. 1942-1985. Tulane University, Amistad Research Center
referencedIn Inouye, Yukus, 1916-. Yukus Inouye oral history interview : Tape and transcript, 1979 October 17 [sound recording] / conducted by Geoffrey Crisp. American Primers
referencedIn Japanese American Alumni during WWII Records, 1884-2003, 1941-1945 Whitworth University Archives
referencedIn Sakamoto, James Y., 1903-1955. James Y. Sakamoto papers, 1928-1955. University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn Alice Kasai papers, 1911-2007 J. Willard Marriott Library, University of UtahManuscripts Division
creatorOf Japanese American Citizens' League. Collection, 1929- Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies Library
referencedIn Isenberg, Gerda, 1901-1997. Gerda Isenberg papers, 1931-1990. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Henry Y. Kasai papers, 1907-1966 J. Willard Marriott Library, University of UtahManuscripts Division
referencedIn Ueno, Harry Y. (Harry Yoshio), 1907- . Papers, 1912-1997 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
creatorOf japanese alien land law investigation records, 1912-1948 University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Dept. of Special Collections
referencedIn Yasui Bros. Co. (Hood River, Or.). Yasui Bros. Co. records [manuscript], 1909-1987 1909-1941. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Mike M. Masaoka papers, 1931-1991 J. Willard Marriott Library, University of UtahManuscripts Division
creatorOf Japanese American Citizens League audio-visual collection, 1926-1975, bulk 1927-1939 J. Willard Marriott Library, University of UtahAudio Visual Archives
referencedIn Frank F. Chuman Papers, ca. 1900-ca. 1993 University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
creatorOf American Friends Service Committee. [Relief and support groups for Japanese-Americans during World War II]. California State University, Northridge
referencedIn Takemura, Thomas Shoji. Oral history interview with Thomas Shoji Takemura, 1991. University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn Chuman, Frank F., 1917-. Papers, ca. 1948- University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn S. Floyd Mori papers, 1962-2005 J. Willard Marriott Library, University of UtahManuscripts Division
referencedIn Gunnar Olsborg papers, 1936-1997 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Edison Uno Papers, 1964-1976 University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
referencedIn Takahashi, Rita. Rita Takahashi Collection, 1994-[ongoing]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Mori, S. Floyd. S. Floyd Mori papers. 1962-2005. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library
referencedIn Velina Hasu Houston Papers, 1986-1998 The Huntington Library
referencedIn Kasai, Henry Y., 1890-1966. Papers, 1907-1966. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library
creatorOf Miller, Loren. Papers of Loren Miller, 1876-2003 (bulk dates 1932-1966) Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988. Oral history interview with Isamu Noguchi, 1973 Nov. 7-1973 Dec. 26. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Japanese American Alumni during WWII Records 1884-2003. Whitworth University Library, Harriet Cheney Cowles Memorial Library
referencedIn Yasui, Minoru, 1916-1986. Minoru Yasui papers : collection : 1927-1986 : (bulk 1960-1986). Auraria Library, University of Colorado Denver
referencedIn McCool, Evelyn Whitehead. Evelyn Whitehead McCool papers, 1942. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Minoru Masuda papers, 1935-1984 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Loren Miller papers, 1876-2003, 1932-1966 Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery
referencedIn Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988. Oral history interview with Isamu Noguchi, 1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Tanaka, Henry Thomas, 1922-. Papers, Series II, 1962-1977, bulk 1972-1977. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
referencedIn Joseph Koide Papers, 1941-1943 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Woodbridge Bingham Papers, 1876-1986 Bancroft Library
creatorOf Dodge, Alice Sinclair, 1876-1965,. Alice Sinclair Dodge collection, 1942-1946. Stanford University, Hoover Institution Library
referencedIn Ueno, Harry Y. (Harry Yoshio), 1907-. Harry Y. Ueno papers, 1912-1997. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn George Yuzawa Papers, circa 1900-2009 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Karl Ichiro Akiya Papers, Bulk, 1949-1998, 1921-2002, (Bulk 1949-1998) Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Uno, Edison. Papers, 1964-1976. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Olsborg, Gunnar, 1909-2000. Gunnar Olsborg papers, 1936-1997. ND Univ of Washington Libraries (OCLC Worldshare ILL Beta)
referencedIn Ushio, Shigeki, 1914-. Oral history, 1992. American Primers
referencedIn Japanese American Community in Indiana, 2003-2005 Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memoryhttp://www.indiana.edu/~cshm
referencedIn Kosai, Joseph, 1934-1938. Oral history interview with Joseph Kosai, 1991. University of Washington Libraries
creatorOf Taniguchi, Izumi. JACL-CCDC Japanese American Oral History Collection, 1992-2000, 2002-2003. California State University, Fresno, Henry Madden Library
referencedIn Alice Sinclair Dodge collection, 1942-1946 Hoover Institution Archives.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Akiya, Karl Ichiro, 1909-2001 person
associatedWith Bingham, Woodbridge. person
associatedWith Chuman, Frank F., 1917- person
associatedWith Dodge, Alice Sinclair, 1876-1965, person
associatedWith Estes, Donald, 1936-2005 person
associatedWith Fukuyama, Yoshio, 1921- person
associatedWith George Yuzawa person
correspondedWith Houston, Velina Hasu person
associatedWith Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory corporateBody
associatedWith Inouye, Yukus, 1916- person
associatedWith Isenberg, Gerda, 1901-1997. person
correspondedWith Kasai, Alice person
associatedWith Kasai, Henry Y., 1890-1966. person
associatedWith Koide, Joseph person
associatedWith Kosai, Joseph, 1934-1938. person
associatedWith Masaoka, Mike, 1915- person
associatedWith Masuda, Minoru, 1915-1980. person
associatedWith McCool, Evelyn Whitehead. person
associatedWith Miller, Loren person
associatedWith Miller, Loren. person
associatedWith Minnesota War History Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Mori, S. Floyd person
associatedWith Mori, S. Floyd. person
associatedWith Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988 person
associatedWith Olsborg, Gunnar, 1909-2000. person
associatedWith Sakamoto, James Y., 1903-1955. person
associatedWith Takahashi, Rita. person
associatedWith Takemura, Thomas Shoji. person
associatedWith Tanaka, Henry Thomas, 1922- person
associatedWith Ueno, Harry Y. (Harry Yoshio), 1907- person
associatedWith Uno, Edison. person
associatedWith Ushio, Shigeki, 1914- person
associatedWith Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony. corporateBody
associatedWith Yasui Bros. Co. (Hood River, Or.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
San Joaquin County (Calif)
California
Gold Hill (Calif.)
Subject
Japanese Americans--Utah--History--Sources
Social Life and Customs
Alien property--California
Japanese--California--Legal status, laws, etc
Material Types
Moving Images
Japanese
Social classes
Japanese Americans--Societies, etc
Sound Recordings
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1962

Active 1977

Information

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