Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
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Resource Center (Library)

Resource Center/Library

The Resource Center seeks to serve the community by providing public access to a repository of resources that help fulfill the mission of the Cultural Center “to be a vibrant resource, strengthening our diverse community by educating 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.

The book collection includes about 5,000 books in English and Japanese. Primary source materials include archival collections (manuscripts, diaries, letters, etc.), oral history transcripts, and a photo collection. Other materials include periodical collections (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. Visitors may use materials only in-house.

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. 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.

Online Library Catalog
The Resource Center’s Online Library Catalog http://tinyurl.com/JCCHdestiny includes records for books, archival collections, oral histories, audiovisual materials, and vertical file materials. (Note: Most oral history records include a link to the full text of the interview transcript, and the archival collection records include a link to the full text of the Finding Aids, which are detailed descriptions of the archival collections.)

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. Experienced JCCH Resource Center Japanese linguists can offer a selection of girls’ and boys’ name for those who would like to select a name for a new child/grandchild that reflects the family’s roots and ties to their Japanese heritage, or else they can provide a “reading” of Japanese names for those who would like a better understanding of their own names (first, middle, or last). In both instances, kanji and background/explanatory information about the name/s will provided.
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.