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Merry and John Omori Papers and Photograph Collection

Identifier: 2006.015

Scope and Contents

Majority of material related to the National Council for Japanese American Redress (NCJAR) which was founded in May of 1979 with the stated purpose of seeking redress for Japanese Americans interned in relocation camps during WWII. Material includes legal documents and correspondence, historical research, presentation notes, marketing materials, clippings and publications related to internment and redress efforts. Collection includes historical and legal documents (1942-1990) related to the Error of Coram Nobis Trial for Korematsu, Hirabayashi and Yasui and documents (1940-1989) that delve into the homicide of James Wakasa, an internee at Topaz. Record group also contains information about the Chicago Ad Hoc Committee, photographs of the Topaz Relocation Center site (ca. 1980s), miscellaneous clippings and correspondence and oversized material such as several issues of “Life” magazines (1942, 1944) and posters for NCJAR (ca. 1980s).


  • 1939-1998

Biographical / Historical

Merry Omori (formerly known as Mary Fujihara and born on April 4, 1929) and her eight siblings were removed from their home and sent to the Sacramento Assembly Center shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The assembly center, also known as Walerga, was located in Sacramento, California. From there, the family was sent to Tule Lake Relocation Center located in Newell, California. She was released on August 15, 1945 after a three year and three month internment. Her family moved to Centerville, Pennsylvania and then to Cleveland, Ohio. Merry eventually became a nurse and settled in Glenview, Illinois and was an involved member of the National Council for Japanese American Redress (NCJAR).
Her husband, John Omori (d. September 13, 1999), was a high school student when he was sent to an internment camp in Poston, Arizona. While incarcerated in Poston, he received his induction notice from the selective service in December of 1944. He volunteered to serve in the Marines, Navy or Coast Guard but refused to serve in the U.S. Army because it was this branch of the military that was holding his family under armed guard at the Poston Relocation Center. Consequently, Omori was branded a draft resister and was arrested, booked and jailed. In 1945, Omori reported for military service in the U.S. Army where he ended up serving for three years. After his service, John Omori became an optometrist.

Source: Omori, Merry


18 boxes

Language of Materials




Stacks 02 Column 08 Shelf A, Stacks 02 Column 09 Shelf E, Stacks 02 Column 09 Shelf F

Merry and John Omori Papers and Photograph Collection
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Repository Details

Part of the JASC Legacy Center Repository

4427 N Clark St.
Chicago IL 60640 United States
1 (773) 275-0097