[Vernacular Photograph Album Documenting a Japanese-American Family Living in Hawaii Following World War II]

[Various locations in Hawaii: ca. 1945-1951]. [43] leaves, illustrated with approximately 235 photographs either mounted or placed in mounting corners, generally between 3 x 4.25 inches or slightly smaller and 6 x 9 inches. Some of the larger images are produced by photographic studios. Oblong quarto. Contemporary brown textured cloth with pictorial vignette titled "Aloha Hawaii" on front cover, string tied. Minor wear and dust-soiling. A few detached leaves but contents generally in excellent condition. Very good. Item #4892

An attractive vernacular photograph album recording the life and activities of the family and friends of Walter Shigeru Tanabe (1906-1958) and his wife Ethel Misao Tanabe (1913-?) in Hawaii following the Second World War. Both Walter and Ethel were born in Hawaii from first-generation Japanese families; Walter's father, Shotaro, was born in Japan but emigrated to the Hawaiian Territory in 1898 where he worked as a field clerk on a sugar plantation. Many of the photographs emanate from the 1940s when Walter and Ethel lived in the Waialua area of Hawaii with their four children: Roy Kenichi, Allen Etsuji, Jerry Matsuo, and Jill Takemi. Walter was at that time a partner in a retail store called Tanabe Furniture Store & Farm, a general hardware retailer. Some of the photographs picture subjects and scenes in Japan, either from visits made there by the Tanabe family or were perhaps sent to them by their Japanese family and friends. The latter includes a few images sent by Walter's sister, Kiyoshi Fukai, who still lived in Japan.

Generally, the images show family and leisure activities around Hawaii, children at play, various family group portraits, and more. Other images feature the unveiling of the Kahuku-aialua War Memorial at Halewai Park on the north shore of Oahu (likely 1947); the Japanese actor Daijiro Natsukawa as a young man with young Japanese girls; activities of a group of junior police officers; election campaign activities in 1948 on Oahu with good views of the campaign signs; the aftermath of storms, including flooding and a collapsed building; celebrations at Christmas; wedding and other family group scenes; parades, including a military parade; and several small images of a man in a suit which are captioned on the back "Kiyoshi San -- to brother" (the brother being Walter). One photograph captures a plaque dedicated to the famed 442nd Infantry Regiment of Japanese soldiers who fought with distinction in Europe during the war. The album also includes a small mounted membership card for Walter Tanabe, documenting his sustaining membership in the Honolulu Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

A few of the larger photographs have captions in Japanese. One of these images shows a large group of Japanese men, women, and children and translates roughly to, "Parents and their children in Waialua will grow. Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth. The Lord of the Universe is with you." Another group photograph is captioned in Japanese: "Our dear friends who ventured overseas and built their own bases in Honolulu." A third large image is a photocollage featuring six separate photographs and featuring three separate printed captions. These read: "Our predecessors who went across the Pacific Ocean to Southern California" (for a group photograph of four members of a family); "Thank you for everything. Please stop crying. The firm friendship will be built across the Pacific Ocean between you and people in Nada Village" (next to a photograph of a farewell scene); and "Consolatory messengers paid a visit to the banana forest of He'eia Village and they looked up at the sky of their homeland together" (next to a group photograph of well-dressed Japanese men and women taken at He'eia Village on Oahu).

One of the 4 x 6-inch photographs features two Japanese baseball players, with a handwritten caption reading, "Baseball players, Iwamoto and Yano." One of the players is wearing a jersey reading, "Meiji," a Japanese university and likely indicating the young man plays for the school team which visited Hawaii in 1931 and 1934. Yoshiyuki Iwamoto, likely the subject not wearing the jersey, was a famous Japanese baseball player and was on the Meiji team in 1934; he was later inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. Another larger image shows a group of four men and women, with one woman in traditional Japanese clothing. Each person has signed the photo on their own image, indicating this image features four notable Japanese musicians: Koga Masao (famed composer and guitarist); Noboru Kirishima (singer); Ichimaru (aka, Matsue Goto, famed singer and geisha); and Akiki Futaba (singer). The group was apparently the first musicians invited to perform in Hawaii after the war in 1951. A second signed photograph features Ichimaru posing by herself in her geisha costume. A third signed photo shows another Japanese performer in geisha costume posed in Hawaii. A fourth unsigned photo features three Japanese guitarists. All four of these images have a photo credit attributed to Y. Ikuma, Honolulu.

Price: $1,750.00