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Keiko Yamagata Takemoto artifact collection

Identifier: 2012.005Ar

Scope and Contents

Collection contains an autograph book that was crafted in Tule Lake Relocation Center during World War II. The hand-crafted book has a hinged, plywood cover with an ink illustration of barracks in the foreground and the Tule Lake Mountains in the background. The book is bound with a string and is filled with personalized messages to Keiko.


  • circa 1942-1949

Biographical / Historical

Keiko Takemoto (née Yamagata) was born in Southern California in 1930. Her family consisted of her Japanese-born mother and father, as well as her fourteen siblings. Her father worked as a fisherman until Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. Shortly after the events at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed United States Executive Order 9066. This order led to the forced evacuations of Japanese Americans and ethnic Japanese people from designated “military zones” located mostly along the West Coast. The Yamagata family was swept up in the evacuation and ordered to report to the Santa Anita Assembly Center, where the large family was housed in two horse stalls. Shortly thereafter, the family was sent to Jerome Relocation Center in Arkansas, where they resided for a two year period. In 1944, the family was transferred to the Tule Lake Relocation Center and they remained there until the war ended in 1945.

After the war concluded, Keiko moved with her parents and half of her siblings to Northern California. Her father obtained a job with the railroad and Keiko finished her high school education. The other half of her siblings had moved to Chicago after the war and Keiko decided to join them upon graduating. In the 1950s, tragedy struck the Yamagata family when Keiko’s father and younger brother died in a house fire. Her mother remained in California until she was diagnosed with a serious illness. At the time, she lived in a small town and her children decided that she should move to Chicago to obtain better medical care. She passed away in the 1960s.

Keiko attended beauty school and became a hairdresser. She married George Takemoto and the couple went on to have three children.

Source: Takemoto, Keiko


1 folders

Language of Materials




Stacks 2, 8D (housed with Box 2, Tanakatsubo material)

Keiko Yamagata Takemoto artifact collection
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the JASC Legacy Center Repository

4427 N Clark St.
Chicago IL 60640 United States
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