Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives logo

Guide to the Isaku and Emi Kida Papers TAM 165

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Tamiment staff

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 25, 2018
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Biographical Note

Isaku Kida was born Nobuyuki Kawase in Fukuoka, Japan in 1905. He graduated from Aoyama Academy in 1928 with a degree in education and taught English in a junior high school for two years before immigrating to the United States in 1930 in order to study theology at Oberlin College. He left Oberlin and moved to New York, New York in 1932. He became interested in Communism and changed his name to Isaku Kida in order to protect his family in Japan from any negative association with him.

Kida joined the Hokubei Shimpo in December 1945. Despite having no previous newspaper experience, he moved up through the ranks, becoming the chief editor in 1949, chief executive in 1952, and finally president, director, general manager, and managing editor in 1977. Kida contributed to, edited, and published the paper until failing health forced him to retire and cease publication in 1993. He died in 1996.

Emi Kida was born on October 13, 1919 in Ogaki City in the Gifu Prefecture of Japan. She studied the traditional women's arts of embroidery, ikebana (flower arranging), and cooking at the Doshisha Women's College. In 1955, she was introduced to Isaku Kida by their mutual friend, Asae Konokawa. They married in Tokyo in the spring of 1958, and Emi immigrated to the United States later that year.

In New York, Emi managed the newspaper's finances and distribution, and set the type for each issue by hand. The Kidas purchased a Japanese word processor in 1980, which freed up a substantial amount of Emi's time and allowed her to report on cultural events for the newspaper. The Kidas lived on a strict budget and relied heavily on donations and advertisements to keep the newspaper in circulation. Emi worked at the newspaper until it ceased publication in 1993. She remained very involved in Japanese American community activities, in particular with the Japanese American Association of New York, the Japanese American United Church, and the Japanese American Social Services. She died in 2002.