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 select resources about the experiences of mainland Japanese Americans and the culture and history of Japan. Besides providing access to research materials, the Resource Center also provides several services to the public.


Search our collections using the online catalog.

Materials available include:

  • Books: over 5,000 books in English and Japanese.
  • Primary source materials: archival collections (manuscripts, diaries, letters, etc.), oral history transcripts, and historic photos.
  • Periodicals: print and digital versions of back issues of the Hawai‘i Herald newspaper.
  • Vertical file materials: newspaper clippings, pamphlets, etc.
  • Audiovisual materials: 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. 
  • Fragile or rare books, as well as archival documents and other primary source materials, are stored in closed stacks, with usage supervised. Researchers wanting to use these materials must complete this Researcher Registration Form once every year.

It is recommended that researchers contact us 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 Tokioka Heritage Resource Center is staffed by a librarian and volunteers who assist users in locating information. Additional services provided to customers include non-commercial translation services, genealogical research assistance, and a Japanese name consultation service. Please contact the Resource Center by phone or e-mail if you are interested in these services. 

Non-Commercial Translation Service: Translation services are provided by bilingual volunteers for items such as personal correspondence, immigrant cards, and family registries (koseki tōhon). Our translators can also provide genealogical research assistance to those seeking to acquire their family registries (koseki tōhon) from Japan. This service is available to JCCH members and/or those able to meet with us in person. Note that the Resource Center staff and volunteers do not translate any documents related to commercial or legal matters.  

Japanese Name Consultation Service: A “reading” of Japanese names can be provided for those who would like a better understanding of their own first or middle names. A selection of names can also be offered for those who want to choose a name for a new child/grandchild that reflects the family’s ties to their Japanese heritage. In both instances, a document explaining the meaning and background of the name and its kanji characters will be provided.

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. 

Donating Items to the Tokioka Heritage Resource Center

The Tokioka Heritage 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 or e-mail the Resource Center 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? Would you like to support a valued organization in our community? 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 Tokioka Heritage Resource Center. Activities may include: data entry, cataloging or inventorying materials, maintaining the book collection, transcribing oral history interviews, scanning photos and documents, or translating.


Tokioka Heritage Resource Center Hours of Operation

(808) 945-7633 Ext. 42