Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
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Resource Center (Library)

Tokioka Heritage Resource Center

The Tokioka Heritage Resource Center provides public access to a repository of resources that help fulfill JCCH’s mission to educate present and future generations in the evolving Japanese American experience in Hawai‘i. While the primary focus is on Hawai‘i-related materials, the Resource Center’s collection also includes resources about the experiences of mainland Japanese Americans and also the culture and history of Japan. Besides providing access to research materials, the Resource Center also provides several services to the public (see below for more information).

The book collection includes over 5,000 books in English and Japanese. Primary source materials include archival collections (manuscripts, diaries, letters, etc.), oral history transcripts, and a historic photo collection. Other materials include periodicals (including print and digital versions—plus a searchable index—of back issues of the Hawai‘i Herald newspaper), vertical file materials (newspaper clippings, pamphlets, etc.), and audiovisual materials (including a large collection of old phonograph records of Japanese music that was popular among Japanese Americans in Hawaii before, during, and just after World War II).  Visitors may use materials only in-house. It is recommended that researchers phone in advance to make an appointment before visiting; the Resource Center staff may be able to pull relevant materials for you in preparation for your visit.

The Resource Center’s Online Library Catalog (http://tinyurl.com/JCCHdestiny) includes catalog records for books, archival collections, oral histories (note: most oral history records include a link to the full text of the interview transcript), audiovisual materials, and vertical file materials. The photograph collection and the Hawai‘i Herald newspaper index are not included in the online catalog and must be searched separately in in-house databases.

Fragile or rare books, as well as archival documents and other primary source materials, are stored in closed stacks, and usage will be supervised. Researchers wanting to use these materials must complete this Researcher Registration Form once every year.

The Resource Center is staffed by a manager and volunteers who can assist users in locating information. Additional services provided to customers include non-commercial translation services, genealogical research assistance, and a Japanese name consultation service.

Non-Commercial Translation Service: Translation services are provided by bilingual volunteers for items such as personal correspondence, family registries (koseki tōhon), and immigrant cards. Note that we do not translate any documents related to commercial or legal matters. 
Click here to download a Translation Service Agreement.
Click here to download Translation Fee Chart.

Genealogical Research Assistance: Our translators can also provide genealogical research assistance to those seeking to acquire their family registries (koseki tōhon) from Japan.
Click here to download a JCCH Genealogy Assistance Form.

Japanese Name Consultation Service: An advisory service is available for those who would like to learn about the meaning of Japanese names.  A “reading” of Japanese names can be provided for those who would like a better understanding of their own first or middle names—or else a selection of names can be offered for those who wanting to choose a name for a new child/grandchild that reflects the family’s ties to their Japanese heritage. In both instances, kanji and background/explanatory information about the name/s will provided in written form.
Japanese Name Interpretation workshops are also offered periodically during the year; the workshop includes a historical overview of names in Japanese culture as well as a discussion of trends in name selections, and names submitted by the participants will be discussed and written out in kanji. Contact the Resource Center if interested in these services.
Click here for Name Consultation Service form.
Sample Name Interpretation

Donating Items to the Resource Center
The Resource Center’s collections are made possible by generous donations of books, documents, photos, AV items, and other materials that document and/or relate to the Japanese American experience in Hawai‘i. If you have items to donate to the JCCH collection, please call Marcia Kemble, the Resource Center manager (945-7633 ext. 34) to discuss the donation. We welcome donations that support the mission of the Resource Center, but not all resources may be relevant or appropriate for our collection.

Volunteer Opportunities
Would you like to learn more about the Japanese American experience in Hawai‘i and support a valued organization in our community with your time? Join us, as a volunteer, in operating the Resource Center. We welcome anyone who is willing to utilize their knowledge and skills to perform various tasks to support the day-to-day activities of the Resource Center. Activities may include: data entry, cataloging or inventorying materials, helping to maintain the book collection, transcribing oral history interviews, scanning photos or documents, or translating.