Jerry Jiro Katayama correspondence collection

Dublin Core


Jerry Jiro Katayama correspondence collection


Katayama, Jerry Jirro: collector


Jerry spent his formative years in Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah. After he completed high school, he applied to the University of Utah and where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1939. After Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, Jerry became heavily involved in the Salt Lake City chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and, by 1943, he had enlisted in the United States military. He was inducted at Fort Douglas, completed his basic training in Camp Blanding, Florida and then was sent to Camp Savage in Minnesota to brush up on his Japanese language skills. After many months of rigorous language training at Camp Savage and at Fort Snelling, Jerry became an interrogator for the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). Before embarking on his first mission though, he was sent to Fort Lawton in Washington and then shipped out to the Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii for “jungle training” and additional practice in interrogation methods. Jerry served in his capacity as an interrogator in Leyte, Philippines and then in Okinawa and, finally, in Korea. The war ended while Jerry was stationed in Okinawa and he was sent to Korea where he earned enough “points” to earn a discharge from the military. However, when he reached his quota, he chose to reenlist and was eventually sent to Japan for approximately a ten month period. His new role - which was associated with agricultural research arm of General MacArthur’s headquarters - was to investigate farms, hydroponics and animal husbandry and submit his reports to the U.S. government. He was honorably discharged from service in 1947.

Biographic information from the Japanese American Service Committee Legacy Center Archives


Japanese American Service Committee

Is Part Of

Shigenobu Ozima Papers at the Japanese American Service Committee Legacy Center.

Items in the Jerry Jiro Katayama correspondence collection Collection

Letter from Mich Katayama to Jerry Katayama, November 16, 1943
Letter includes envelope from Salt Lake City to Camp Savage.

Letter from Mich Katayama, sister of Jerry Katayama. Mich is to discuss family insurance, to make sure he is well, give him news about their brother Yaro who had the flu, and to make…

Letter from Joseph C. Bothwell to Technical Sargent Jerry J. Katayama, May 25, 1946
Bothwell speaks of his time in New York and the New England area and his life as a civilian. He speaks about finding employment and his near hire at California-Texas Oil Company. He also speaks about his desire to go to Harvard Business School.


Letter from Arden T. Yamanaka to Mr. Jerry Katayama, February 15, 1948
Short letter expressing well-wishes, thanks, a missed meeting with a Mr. Hashimoto and a lost package.

Envelope is addressed from Tokyo to Salt Lake City.

Letter from Sybil to Jerry J. Katayama, January 22, 1946
Card with an image of a woman on a ladder shelving books with her dress caught on a rung and her stockings shown, text on the bottom reads, "One for the books." Letter from Sybil. She identifies as a librarian in Long Beach; possibly a romantic…

Letter from Bob Sugimoto to Mr. Jerry Katayama, September 12, 1949
Sugimoto writes to Katayama about work in an electronics plant and his ambitions in foreign trade.

Letter from Makoto Masada to Jerry J. Katayama
Masada writes that he did not pass an examination, presumably to continue work with the United States military in Japan. He writes he is leaving to Tattori for employment.

Transcription of this letter is attached to the item.

Letter from Saburo Kaida, Fukuoka-ken, Japan to Jerry Jiro Katayama, June 29, 1949
Kaida met Katayama in Korea where he was employed as a translator by an intelligence attachment. Kaida updates Katayama on his personal life, his family, and lesser, the state of the country, Japan.

Transcription is attached to this item.

Letter from (Motoruki?) Suzuki to  Mr. J Katayama, December 6, 1946
Letter identifies Japanese families in Utah and Idaho. Motoruki writes that he misses Katayama and is happy to have his friendship. He asks about a photograph taken of him and Dr. Kajiwara at the Okitsu Station (a train station). He asks Katayama to…

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