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Kamekichi Tokita papers, circa 1900-circa 2010, bulk circa 1910-1948

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged as 8 series:

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  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.

Series 1: Biographical Material , 1934-1985
4 Folders
Box 1

Biographical materials include an immigration document for Kamekichi and Karuko Tokita; a file relating to the closure of the War Relocation Authority's Minidoka Camp; a file on the Public Works of Art Project which contains a report, bulletins, and two letters, including one from Edward Bruce dated 1934. There is also a biographical sketch on Tokita written by Shokichi and Elsie Tokita.
Description Container Select
Biographical Sketch, by Shokichi and Elsie Tokita, 1985
1
1
Immigration Records, circa 1940
1
2
Public Works of Art Project, United States Treasury Department, 1934-1941
1
3
War Relocation Authority, 1945
1
4

Series 2: Correspondence , circa 1920-1944
6 Folders
Box 1

The bulk of Tokita's scattered correspondence concerns his exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum (Art Institute of Seattle), but there are also includes letters from friends, other galleries, and institutions. Correspondents include Burt Brown Baker, Roy Boynton, Kenneth Callahan, Henry Gallery, and the Seattle Art Museum. Some letters are in Japanese.
Description Container Select
General, 1925
  • David Schultz (Henry Gallery)
  • K.M. Ishin (?)
1
5
General, 1931-1937
  • Roy Boynton
  • Mrs. Reginald Parsons
  • Lloyd La Page Rollins
  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor
  • Walter Iteil
  • Burt Brown Barker
  • William J. Klam, Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters
  • John Davis Hatch, Jr.
  • Penthouse Gallery
  • Kenneth Callahan
  • Mallet's Library of Reproductions
  • Ambrose Patterson, University of Washington
  • Carolyn A. Schneider
  • San Francisco Art Association
  • City of New York Municipal Art Committee
  • American Federation of Artists
  • Seattle Art Museum, Art Institute of Seattle
1
6-7
General, 1944
  • American Airlines
1
8
General, Undated, circa 1920-circa 1940
  • Roy Suzuki
1
9
Empty Envelopes, 1932
1
10

Series 3: Writings and Notes , 1923-circa 2010
0.2 Linear feet
Box 1

There are three diaries written by Tokita (in Japanese) between December 7, 1941 and 1944 while the family was confined in the Minidoka Relocation Camp in Idaho. It is unclear which diary is the first of the three, but there is a transcript translated from prewar to modern Japanese by Haruo Takasugi and subsequently translated from modern Japanese to English by Naomi Kusunoki-Martin. Two additional notebooks written by Tokita much earlier are also found. There is a fragment of a letter written in English from Minidoka, school notes, and a poem about an orange in Japanese. An unsigned note contains a sketch of a pig and concerns receipts discarded after Tokita's death. There are also some annotated scattered notes in Japanese, perhaps written by his children.
Description Container Select
Diary, 1941-1944
1
11
Diary, 1941-1944
1
12
Diary, 1941-1944
1
13
Diary, Transcript, circa 2010
1
14
Notebooks, 1923
1
15
General, circa 1920s-1940s
1
16
by Others, circa 1950
1
17

Series 4: Personal Business Records , 1928-1950
3 Folders
Box 1

There are a few scattered personal business records documenting unemployment, sale of the furniture of the Cadillac Hotel, a patent application filed in 1928 by Tokita for a device designed to lift manually-operated vehicles, and a claim made by the Tokita family to the Department of Justice, Office of Alien Property.
Description Container Select
Cadillac Hotel, 1939-1943
1
18
Department of Justice, 1950
1
19
Patent, 1928
1
20

Series 5: Printed Material , circa 1910-1940
0.5 Linear feet
Box 1-3

Published books include an annotated copy of Modern French Painters by Jan Gordon and Japanese books on art and religion. There are exhibition catalogs for group shows in which Tokita participated including various annual exhibitions held at the the Seattle Art Museum and the Group of Twelve exhibition of 1937. Also found are clippings in English and Japanese, annual reports from the Seattle Art Museum, blank stationery from Tokita's Noto Sign Company, and reproductions of works of art by others.
Description Container Select
Books, circa 1910-1929
1
21-26
Clippings, 1929-1935
1
27
Exhibition Catalogs, 1924-1937
1
28-29
Menu, circa 1940
1
30
Seattle Museum of Art/Art Institute of Seattle, 1930-1940
1
31
Seattle Museum of Art/Art Institute of Seattle, 1930-1940
2
1-2
Stationery, Noto Sign Company, circa 1930s
2
3
Oversized Reproductions of Works of Art and Posters, circa 1930s
3
3

Series 6: Scrapbook , 1929-1933
0.1 Linear feet
Box 2-3

A scrapbook focuses on Tokita's exhibitions and contains letters from museums, including a letter from Dorothy Morrison of the Seattle Art Museum inviting Tokita to exhibit; clippings in English and Japanese; catalogs; and photographs of works of art.
Description Container Select
Mixed Media Scrapbook, 1929-1933
Oversized material housed in Box 3, F1
2
4
Oversized Mixed Media Scrapbook, From Box 2, F4, 1929-1933
3
1

Series 7: Artwork , circa 1910-1940s
0.1 Linear feet
Box 2-3

Pencil sketches are unsigned but likely by Tokita. They depict landscapes, people, boats, Japanese architecture and traditional costume. Watercolor drawings are of street scenes and buildings. Also found is a sketch of a sign banning Japanese or those of Japanese-descent.
Description Container Select
Sketches, circa 1920s-1940s
2
5
Oversized Sketches, from Box 1, F34, circa 1910-circa 1940
3
2

Series 8: Photograph Album , circa 1900-1930
0.2 Linear feet
Box 2

A family photograph album includes snapshots and portraits of the Tokita family and friends, in traditional Japanese and Western dress. Snapshots show the family on vacations, car trips, and practicing kyudo (Japanese archery). Also found are photographs of the Cadillac Hotel. Likely written by one of Tokita's children, notes identifying some of the individuals are included.
Description Container Select
Family Photo Album, circa 1900-1930
2
6-7

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.