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Front cover image from Nothing Left in my Hands by Kazuko Nakane

Issei Oral History Project in Watsonville Collection

The Issei Oral History Project in Watsonville was created by historian Kazuko Nakane in preparation for the book Nothing Left in my Hands : The Issei of a Rural California Town, 1900-1942. Interviews were conducted in Japanese by Nakane from 1978 to 1983 with fifteen Japanese-American residents in Watsonville, California. Located in the Central Valley, Watsonville and the surrounding area is overwhelmingly agricultural, and farming is a major topic discussed in the interviews. Other subjects include the impact of anti-immigration legislation, relocation camps during World War II, and the difficulty in maintaining relations with family still in Japan. The collection contains the original audiocassettes of these interviews, as well as transcripts in English.

This collection has been processed with generous financial support from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.


Jerry McBride
Head Librarian, Music Library
Head Librarian, Archive of Recorded Sound
(650) 725-1146