KINMON GAKUEN NO AYUMI 1911-1991 / History of Kinmon Gakuen, 80th Anniversary Rare San Francisco Japanese & Japantown History w/ Photos
Published by Kinmon Gakuen / Pacific Mediart Productions, San Francisco, 1991. First Printing. Text in English and Japanese. Illustrated softcover, 11" x 8.5", side staple bound, 56 pages, richly illustrated with historic b&w photographs throughout. A fascinating work about San Francisco's Japanese community and how the legacy school has shaped and defined the past as it searches for relevance into the future. VERY GOOD Condition: a touch of toning mostly to the margins and some light wear, otherwise tight, bright, clean and unmarked. Scarce, just one copy in OCLC collections worldwide.
Kinmon Gakuen (Golden Gate Institute) was founded as a Japanese language school in 1910 in San Francisco's Japantown. A group from the Japanese American Association established the organization to support educational opportunities for their children who were denied access to the public school system due to their race.
Acts of violence and discrimination against Japanese Americans continued to escalate into the 1940s. Tensions between the US and Japan were increasing, and Japanese language schools, including Kinmon Gakuen, were under intense scrutiny for their suspected involvement in "anti American" activities and promotion of Japanese nationalist ideology. Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the US began to profile Japanese "enemy aliens" based on race. Under the authority of Executive Order 9066 signed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1942, "all enemy aliens and all persons of Japanese ancestry" were subject to military regulation. Kinmon Gakuen was forced to cease operations, and its building was taken over by the US military for use as a "processing" center where persons of Japanese descent were required to report before being detained and deported to War Relocation Camps.
African Americans began to occupy the housing in Japantown that had previously been occupied by the Japanese American community. The Booker T. Washington Community Service Center was formed in 1919 in response to the lack of access for African Americans to recreational and social services that white San Franciscans enjoyed. In 1942 it moved into the Kinmon Gakuen Building at 2031 Bush Street after the Japanese language and culture school was forced to close. In 1952, the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center transitioned into a new space allowing for the full return of the building to Kinmon Gakuen.