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13 August 2013

Finding Your Japanese Roots in the U.S. and in the Land of the Rising Sun

The Moshida Family: Identification tags were used to aid in keeping a family unit intact during all phases of evacuation. Executive Order 9066 ordered the removal of 110,000 civilians of Japanese descent, including 71,000 American citizens, from the western United States in 1942. They were placed in ten internment camps.

Saturday, September 28, 2013
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

California Genealogical Society
2201 Broadway, Suite LL2
Oakland, California 94612

The California Genealogical Society proudly announces the next class in our ongoing ethnic family history series: researching Japanese ancestry with Linda Harms Okazaki.

Part I of the half-day seminar will be a brief overview of Japanese culture, history and language as it pertains to genealogy, immigration and passenger records. Records available through the National Archives, USCIS,, Family Search, and Japanese American National Museum will be covered. 

Topics will include: 
  • the early political climate in the US and laws of the time, 
  • internment camps, 
  • post WWII experiences, repatriation and redress
The second half of the seminar will focus on documenting your ancestors in Japan, from using the information in the American records to finding your koseki, understanding ohaka and kakocho, plus visiting relatives, cemeteries and temples.

This seminar is suitable for all levels of research experience.

Register online.

Download the information flier.

This class is limited to thirty participants and is a free benefit of membership. Non-members fee is $20.00 (non-refundable) and can be applied towards membership on the day of the class.

Preregistration is required. Walk-ins will not be admitted. Registration confirmations will be sent to the first thirty registrants. Additional names will be collected and placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

Participants are invited to come early and meet each others who share an interest in Japanese research. Please bring a bagged lunch and meet at noon in the Sherman room at the library.

Linda Harms Okazaki is a fourth-generation San Franciscan whose interest in genealogy began as a hobby in 1998. For the past two years she been researching her husband’s Japanese ancestry and has become passionate about documenting and sharing the stories of Japanese-Americans before, during, and after World War II. Linda has taken two research trips to Japan and has toured some of the assembly centers and camps that held members of the Okazaki family. This summer she completed the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) program at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and College Park, Maryland. Linda serves as Volunteer Coordinator for the California Genealogical Society and Library.

Photo credit: No. 210-GC-153, “Members of the Mochida family awaiting evacuation bus. Mochida operated a nursery and five greenhouses on a two-acre site in Eden Township." Dorothea Lange, Hayward, California, May 8, 1942; National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the War Relocation Authority.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.