Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Yuri and Bill Kochiyama Papers, 1940s-2000s

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1930
Bib ID 13204194 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Kochiyama, Yuri
Title Yuri and Bill Kochiyama Papers, 1940s-2000s
Physical Description 186.25 linear feet (120 linear feet (91 record cartons and 4 oversize items, Oakland accession) and 66.25 linear feet (51 record cartons and one 1/2 document box, New York accession) )
Language(s) In English and Japanese.
Additional Description

Finding aid

Access

Collection is closed for processing, summer 2019. Please contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information. Scrapbook evaluated October 2018, can be made available as long as handling instructions are provided.

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Arrangement

Description

Summary

Letters, diaries, albums, photographs, and printed material.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Additional Online Description

Finding aid

Restrictions on Access

Collection is closed for processing, summer 2019. Please contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information. Scrapbook evaluated October 2018, can be made available as long as handling instructions are provided.

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Yuri Kochiyama Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library..

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Collection-level record describing unprocessed material made public in summer 2018 as part of the Hidden Collections initiative.

Postcards and photos in scrapbook placed in Mylar sleeves. kws 10/25/2018

Revision Description

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Personal correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Personal papers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photograph albums Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Asian Americans -- Civil rights Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Japanese Americans -- California -- Biography Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Japanese Americans -- Civil rights Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Japanese Americans -- New York (State) -- Biography Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kochiyama, Yuri Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Social justice -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Yuri Kochiyama was born in 1921 as Mary Yuriko Nakahara. Months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, her family was forced to relocate to an internment camp.

In 1946, Yuri married Bill Kochiyama, a veteran of the 442nd Regiment. The couple moved to New York City where her political activism would flourish. In 1960 the family moved to a low-income housing project in Harlem. Yuri and her family invited many civil rights activists, such as the Freedom Riders, to their home gatherings. They also became members of the Harlem Parents Committee, a grassroots organization fighting for safer streets and integrated education.

In 1963 Yuri met Malcolm X, and he helped radicalize her. She was with Malcom X when he was assasinated. After gunmen fired at Malcolm X in 1965 during his last speech in New York City, she rushed toward him and cradled his head on her lap. A black-and-white photograph of the scene later appeared in Life magazine.

In the 1980s, Yuri and Bill Kochiyama pushed for reparations and a formal government apology for Japanese-American internees through the Civil Liberties Act, which President Ronald Reagan signed into law in 1988. Their continued dedication to social causes inspired younger generations of activists, especially within the Asian-American community. Bill Kochiyama died in 1993.

In her later years, Yuri's keen interest in equality and justice led her to work for the sake of political prisoners in the U.S. and internationally. Yuri was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for her struggles against imperialism and racism. Yuri Kochiyama died on June 1, 2014 in Berkeley, California.