Ishigaki, Ayako, 1903-1996

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Ayako Ishigaki, born Tanaka Ayako (1903 – 1996) in Tokyo, Japan. She first came to the United States in 1926. In 1931 she married the painter Eitaro Ishigaki. Following the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, Ishigaki became outspoken in protesting the Japanese military aggression in China, and reported on Japan for the left-wing magazine The New Masses. Her articles emphasized the negative impact of imperialism and industrialism on Japanese workers, particularly women. She used the pseudonym Haru Matsui and pen name May Tanaka. Ishigaki's memoir Restless Wave: A Life in Two Worlds, published as Haru Matsui in January 1940. In 1941, Ayako and her husband were forced to register as enemy aliens; they were not incarcerated due to their residence on the East Coast. In 1942, she began working for the Office of War Information. In the late 1940s, as the Cold War took hold and anti-communism became dominant in the U.S., Ayako and Eitaro were placed under government surveillance due to their left-wing activism. In 1951, Eitaro was arrested and deported by the American government, and Ayako returned to Japan with him. Following her return to Japan, Ayako continued to work extensively as a journalist, lecturer, and translator.
Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Guide to the Karl Ichiro Akiya Papers, 1921-2002 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Ishigaki, Ayako National Archives at College Park
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn San Francisco [California] -100-27556 [Classification-Domestic Security] [Eitero and Ayako Ishigaki] National Archives at College Park
Relation Name
associatedWith Akiya, Karl Ichiro, 1909-2001 person
spouseOf Ishigaki, Eitarō, 1893-1958 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Tokyo 40 JP
United States 00 US


Birth 1903

Death 1996



Ark ID: w66c3281

SNAC ID: 6487376