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Rose and Jennifer Tani Papers

Identifier: 2007.001

Scope and Contents

Collection contains War Department and War Relocation Authority (WRA) documents as well as war-related publications.


  • 1942-1946

Biographical / Historical

Rose Sawako Tani (née Shigeno) was born on February 20, 1917 in Florin, California. She married Henry Nobuo Tani (d. 1965) of San Francisco in 1940. Rose and Henry had five children - Richard, Steven, John (d. 1992), Christine and Daniel, a former NASA astronaut.
Shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed United States Executive Order 9066. This order led to the forced evacuations of people of Japanese descent from designated “military zones” located mostly along the West Coast. Shortly after the birth of their first son in 1942, the Tani family was sent to the Tanforan Assembly Center in California. They were later permanently interned at the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah for two years.
Upon their release, the family relocated to Maplewood, Missouri for a seven year period before moving to Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. The family eventually settled in Lombard, Illinois in 1964 and Henry passed away just one year later. After her husband’s untimely death, Rose supported her family by working in school cafeterias for over 30 years. She was also an avid gardener, a volunteer at PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) for 15 years, and an active member of her church. Rose passed away on December 19, 2007.
Jennifer Rebecca Tani, granddaughter of Rose and Henry Tani, was born on August 31, 1976 in Park Ridge, Illinois. She is the Director of Community Engagement at Roosevelt University and manages governmental, civic and community relations for the University. Prior to joining Roosevelt, Jennifer held positions in corporate and community philanthropy, and in immigrant and refugee youth work. She lived and worked in Okayama, Japan for two years, teaching English through the JET Programme and remains active in Chicago’s Asian American community.
Jennifer has held volunteer leadership positions with the Asian Giving Circle, Japanese American Service Committee, Leadership Center for Asian Pacific Americans and the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health and the Chicago Sister Cities International Osaka Social Services Committee. She has also served as a long-time mentor for Chinese Mutual Aid Association’s Young Women Warriors program.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Carleton College and Master’s Degree in Public Service Management from DePaul University. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Freedom Nguyen, and daughter, Eloise.

Source: Tani, Rose Sawako


1 boxes

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Stacks 02 Column 07 Shelf C

Rose and Jennifer Tani Papers
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Script of description
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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