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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.wagner@nyu.edu


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

Descriptive Summary

Title: Isaku and Emi Kida Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1929-2002, undated
Dates [bulk]: 1980-1990
Abstract: Isaku and Emi Kida were the publishers of the Hokubei Shimpo, later the  New York Nichibei, a Japanese and English newspaper published in New York, New York from 1945 to 1993. The collection contains partial business records for the  Hokubei Shimpo and the  New York Nichibei with Emi Kida's personal papers making up the bulk of the collection. The collection dates are 1929-2002, with the bulk of the materials dating between 1983 and 1993. The majority of the collection is in English, although most personal and business correspondence is in Japanese.
Quantity: 6 Linear Feet in 5 record cartons, 2 manuscript boxes, and 1 oversized folder in a shared box
Location: Materials stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu at least two business days prior to research visit.
Language: Materials are in Japanese and English.
Call Phrase: TAM 165

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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.

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Scope and Contents

The Isaku and Emi Kida Papers span from 1929 through 2002 and contain some business records of the Hokubei Shimpo and the  New York Nichibei and Emi Kida's personal papers. The business records of the newspapers and their publisher, the Japanese American News Corporation, include financial documents and correspondence with other news organizations, including the Japan/New York Publishing Corporation, the Kyodo News Service, the OCS News, and the North American Post Publishing, Inc. The bulk of the correspondence is in Japanese.

Emi Kida's personal papers consititute the bulk of the collection and include correspondence, Christmas cards, ledgers, appointment books, photographs, exhibition catalogues, stage bills, and directories and newsletters from Japanese American churches and her alma mater, Doshisha Women's College. The bulk of Emi's correspondence, all of her ledgers and appointment books, and some of the printed material are in Japanese.

Arrangement

The papers are arranged in six series. Series I is arranged alphabetically by type of document and Series II is arranged chronologically. Series III is arranged alphabetically, with Japanese language materials preceding materials arranged according to whom they belonged, with an alphabetical arrangement according to type of document within that arrangement. Series IV is arranged alphabetically by type of document and then chronologically within that arrangement. Series V is arranged chronologically and Series VI is arranged alphabetically.

The series arrangement is as follows:

Series I. The Hokubei Shimpo and The New York Nichibei Publisher's Files, 1972, 1980-1998 Series II. Cards and Correspondence, 1957-2000 Series III. Biographical Materials, 1929, 1979-2002 Series IV. Financial records, 1945, 1959-2000 Series V. Photographs, 1934, 1956-1957, 1968-1978, 1985-2000, undated Series VI. Publications, 1964-2002

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Onuma, Susan

Document Type

  • Correspondence.
  • Photographs.
  • Newspapers.
  • Ledgers (account books).
  • Appointment books.

Subject Organizations

  • Japanese American News Corporation
  • Japanese American United Church

Subject Topics

  • Japanese -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Japanese business enterprises -- United States.
  • Japanese Americans -- Social conditions.
  • Japanese American newspapers.
  • Japanese -- New York (State) -- New York -x Social life and customs.
  • Japanese American business enterprises -- New York (State) -- New York.

Subject Uniform Title(s)

  • New York Nichibei.
  • Hokubei Shimpo.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by the estate of Emi Kida were transferred to New York University in 2004. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive. Please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu.

Preferred Citation

Isaku Kida and Emi Kida Papers; TAM 165; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Separated Materials

In May 2016, issues of the Hokubei Shimpo and the  New York Nichibei, dating from 1946 to 1993, were transferred to the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives Collection of Japanese American Newspapers (TAM 688).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Susan J. Onuma, executor of the estate of Emi Kida in 2004. The accession number associated with this gift is 2007.028.

Processing Information

The collection was arranged into series based on types of materials. Materials were rehoused in new acid-free folders. Photographs were removed from frames, where necessary, and rehoused in polypropylene sleeves. Issues of the Hokubei Shimpo and the  New York Nichibei, dating from 1946 to 1993, were transferred to TAM 688.

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Container List

Series I. The Hokubei Shimpo and the  New York Nichibei Publisher's Files, 1972, 1980-1998, undated. 0.1 Linear Feet in 4 folders

Scope and Content Note

This series contains materials from 1972 through 2001 that document the business activities of the Japanese American News Corporation, the publisher of the Hokubei Shimpo and the  New York Nichibei. The series contains correspondence with other news organizations, including the Japan/New York Publishing Corporation, the Kyodo News Service, OCS News, and North American Post Publishing, Inc. Business cards, the  New York Nichibei Directory for 1972, and the  Newsman's Hand-Book document contacts within the Japanese American publishing community. The entirety of material in this series is in Japanese.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Business cards
1981-2001
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Business correspondence
1980-1998
Box: 1 Folder : 3 New York Nichibei Directory
1972
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Newsman's Hand-Book
undated

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Series II. Cards and Correspondence, 1957-2000, undated. 1 Linear Feet in 1 record carton

Scope and Content Note

This series contains letters and Christmas cards sent to Isaku and Emi Kida. The cards and letters are from the late 1950s through 2000, with the bulk of the material from the 1990s. The majority of the correspondence is in Japanese.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 4-19 (Mixed Materials [31142051726993]) Cards and correspondence
1957-2002, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 1-4 (Mixed Materials [31142051727009])

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Series III. Biographical Materials, 1929, 1979-2002, undated. 0.2 Linear Feet in 8 folders

Scope and Content Note

This series contains items from Isaku's memorial service in 1996; his time as a theology student at Oberlin College in the late 1920s; his curriculum vita from 1995; and an oral history conducted with him in the 1980s. Also in this series are Isaku and Emi Kida's wills and multiple awards granted to the Kidas by the Japanese American Association of New York, Inc. and the government of Japan.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Japanese Language Biographical Materials
1985, 1993, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Kida, Emi--Will
1999-2002
Box: 2 Folder : 7 (Mixed Materials [31142051727009]) Kida, Isaku and Emi Kida--Awards
1979, 1986, 1994-1998
Box: MSXOS003 Folder : 1 (Mixed Materials)
Box: 7 Folder : 6 (Mixed Materials [31142051727058])
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Kida, Isaku--Curriculum Vita
1995
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Kida, Isaku--Oberlin College
1929, 1997
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Kida, Isaku--Obituary and Funeral Materials
1996
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Kida, Isaku--Oral History
1983, 1989
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Kida, Isaku--Will
1979

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Series IV. Financial records, 1945, 1959-2000, undated. 3 Linear Feet in 3 record cartons

Scope and Content Note

The series contains Japanese American News Corporation stock certificates and Isaku and Emi Kida's personal bank statements, tax returns, calendars, and ledgers. The ledgers document nearly 45 years of Emi's life. The majority of the entries are in Japanese.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Bank statements
1998-2001
Box: 5 Folder : 1-2 Calendars
2000-2002
Box: 5 Folder : 5
Box: 2 Folder : 17-26 (Mixed Materials [31142051727009]) Ledgers
1959-2002
Box: 5 Folder : 3-4 (Mixed Materials [31142051727033])
Box: 4 Folder : 1-17 (Mixed Materials [31142051727025])
Box: 3 Folder : 1-16 (Mixed Materials [31142051727017])
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Stock Certificates for the Japanese American News Corporation
1945, 1969, 1982, 1988, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 15-16 Tax returns
1960-1976, 1993-1994, 1999-2000

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Series V. Photographs, 1934, 1956-1957, 1968-1978, 1985-2000, undated. 0.2 Linear Feet in 15 folders

Scope and Content Note

The material in this series dates from 1934 through 2000 with the bulk of the material from 2000. Included are portraits of Isaku and Emi Kida as well as snapshots of award ceremonies, New York City, and Emi's personal vacations to Disney World and Italy.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 6-20 Photographs
1934, 1956-1957, 1968-1978, 1985-2000, undated

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Series VI. Publications, 1964-2002. 1.5 Linear Feet in 2 manuscript boxes

Scope and Content Note

This series contains printed materials documenting Emi Kida's personal interests and activities as well as some of the cultural events she may have attended as a reporter for the New York Nichibei. The printed materials date between 1964 and 2002, with the majority from the 1990s. Included are newsletters and other publications of the Japanese American United Church and the Doshisha Women's College. Exhibition catalogues and Stagebills document some of the cultural events Emi may have covered for the  New York Nichibei, including concerts at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Other organizations and institutions represented in this series include the Japan Society, the Japanese American Association of New York, the Japanese American Social Services, Inc., and Oberlin College. The Doshisha Women's College files contain two small volumes written by Emi's lifelong friend, Asae Konokawa. Konokawa's writings record the role of her husband, Seiichi Konokawa, in the establishment of the  Hokubei Shimpo; her work as a reporter for the newspaper; and the beginning of the Kidas' relationship.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 7 Folder : 7 Carnegie Hall 100th Anniversary and Japanese theater programs
1966-1967, 1990
Box: 5 Folder : 21-26 Doshisha Women's College
1965-1973, 1984, 1992-2002
Box: 5 Folder : 27-28 Exhibition catalogs
1974-1998
Box: 5 Folder : 29 Flowers and Gardening
1964, 1977, 1993-1994, 2001
Box: 6 Folder : 1 Japan Society
1994-1999
Box: 6 Folder : 2 Japanese American Association of New York
1990-2002, undated
Box: 6 Folder : 3 Japanese American Social Services, Inc.
1993-1998
Box: 6 Folder : 4-6 Japanese American United Church
1974, 1982, 1988-2002
Box: 6 Folder : 7 Look Culture Club Magazine
2001
Box: 6 Folder : 8 Oberlin College
1999-2000
Box: 6 Folder : 9-10 Stagebills
1993-1998
Box: 7 Folder : 1-2 Stagebills
1998-2002
Box: 7 Folder : 3 Union Japanese Church of Westchester
1994-1998
Box: 7 Folder : 4-5 Zipangu
1995-1997

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