The Yasui Brothers records primarily document the business, personal, and community-related activities of the Yasui family in Hood River, Oregon, from the start of the 20th century until World War II, when they were among the more than 120,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated by the U.S. government.
The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence and records relating to the business activities of Masuo Yasui (1886-1957). These include the general store, Yasui Bros., that he ran with his brother Renichi Fujimoto; and orchards in the Hood River Valley and surrounding areas that the firm operated. Store records include a variety of advertising materials, while farming records include packing lists, crop reports, and records of local farming associations Masuo Yasui was involved with. The collection also reflects Yasui’s involvement in the local community, including his work assisting other Japanese immigrants to the United States. A small quantity of materials relates to the Yasui Bros. store’s forced closure and the management of the family’s property and assets while they were incarcerated during World War II.
The collection also includes personal papers of Masuo Yasui; his wife, Shidzuyo Yasui; his brother Renichi Fujimoto; and his children. These consist of correspondence, ephemera, and a personal history that Masuo Yasui wrote at the request of the Japanese consulate. Other materials in the collection include records from the 1970s and 1980s of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), in which Masuo Yasui’s son Homer Yasui and his wife, Miyuki Yasui, were active, and magazines and newspapers the family received in both Japanese and English.
A substantial amount of this collection is in a pre-World War II Japanese script that is distinct from modern Japanese. Some of these materials, particularly those in Series 1 (Business correspondence and related materials) and Series 6 (Personal papers) have been reviewed and summarized by translators. Selected documents have been translated into English and modern Japanese.