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Isaku and Emi Kida Papers

Call Number



1929-2002, undated, inclusive
; 1980-1990, bulk


Kida, Emi, 1908-2001
Kida, Isaku, 1905-1996
Onuma, Susan (Role: Donor)


6 Linear Feet in 5 record cartons, 2 manuscript boxes, and 1 oversized folder in a shared box

Language of Materials

Materials are in Japanese and English.


Isaku and Emi Kida were the publishers of the Hokubei Shimpo, later the New York Nichibei, a Japanese and English newspaper published in New York, New York from 1945 to 1993. The collection contains partial business records for the Hokubei Shimpo and the New York Nichibei with Emi Kida's personal papers making up the bulk of the collection. The collection dates are 1929-2002, with the bulk of the materials dating between 1983 and 1993. The majority of the collection is in English, although most personal and business correspondence is in Japanese.

Biographical Note

Isaku Kida was born Nobuyuki Kawase in Fukuoka, Japan in 1905. He graduated from Aoyama Academy in 1928 with a degree in education and taught English in a junior high school for two years before immigrating to the United States in 1930 in order to study theology at Oberlin College. He left Oberlin and moved to New York, New York in 1932. He became interested in Communism and changed his name to Isaku Kida in order to protect his family in Japan from any negative association with him.

Kida joined the Hokubei Shimpo in December 1945. Despite having no previous newspaper experience, he moved up through the ranks, becoming the chief editor in 1949, chief executive in 1952, and finally president, director, general manager, and managing editor in 1977. Kida contributed to, edited, and published the paper until failing health forced him to retire and cease publication in 1993. He died in 1996.

Emi Kida was born on October 13, 1919 in Ogaki City in the Gifu Prefecture of Japan. She studied the traditional women's arts of embroidery, ikebana (flower arranging), and cooking at the Doshisha Women's College. In 1955, she was introduced to Isaku Kida by their mutual friend, Asae Konokawa. They married in Tokyo in the spring of 1958, and Emi immigrated to the United States later that year.

In New York, Emi managed the newspaper's finances and distribution, and set the type for each issue by hand. The Kidas purchased a Japanese word processor in 1980, which freed up a substantial amount of Emi's time and allowed her to report on cultural events for the newspaper. The Kidas lived on a strict budget and relied heavily on donations and advertisements to keep the newspaper in circulation. Emi worked at the newspaper until it ceased publication in 1993. She remained very involved in Japanese American community activities, in particular with the Japanese American Association of New York, the Japanese American United Church, and the Japanese American Social Services. She died in 2002.


The papers are arranged in six series. Series I is arranged alphabetically by type of document and Series II is arranged chronologically. Series III is arranged alphabetically, with Japanese language materials preceding materials arranged according to whom they belonged, with an alphabetical arrangement according to type of document within that arrangement. Series IV is arranged alphabetically by type of document and then chronologically within that arrangement. Series V is arranged chronologically and Series VI is arranged alphabetically.

The series arrangement is as follows:

Series I. The Hokubei Shimpo and The New York Nichibei Publisher's Files, 1972, 1980-1998 Series II. Cards and Correspondence, 1957-2000 Series III. Biographical Materials, 1929, 1979-2002 Series IV. Financial records, 1945, 1959-2000 Series V. Photographs, 1934, 1956-1957, 1968-1978, 1985-2000, undated Series VI. Publications, 1964-2002

Scope and Contents

The Isaku and Emi Kida Papers span from 1929 through 2002 and contain some business records of the Hokubei Shimpo and the New York Nichibei and Emi Kida's personal papers. The business records of the newspapers and their publisher, the Japanese American News Corporation, include financial documents and correspondence with other news organizations, including the Japan/New York Publishing Corporation, the Kyodo News Service, the OCS News, and the North American Post Publishing, Inc. The bulk of the correspondence is in Japanese.

Emi Kida's personal papers consititute the bulk of the collection and include correspondence, Christmas cards, ledgers, appointment books, photographs, exhibition catalogues, stage bills, and directories and newsletters from Japanese American churches and her alma mater, Doshisha Women's College. The bulk of Emi's correspondence, all of her ledgers and appointment books, and some of the printed material are in Japanese.


Onuma, Susan

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by the estate of Emi Kida were transferred to New York University in 2004. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive. Please contact

Preferred Citation

Isaku Kida and Emi Kida Papers; TAM 165; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Location of Materials

Materials stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please contact at least two business days prior to research visit.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Susan J. Onuma, executor of the estate of Emi Kida in 2004. The accession number associated with this gift is 2007.028.

Separated Materials

In May 2016, issues of the Hokubei Shimpo and the New York Nichibei, dating from 1946 to 1993, were transferred to the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives Collection of Japanese American Newspapers (TAM 688).

Collection processed by

Tamiment staff

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:55:02 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Description is in English

Processing Information

The collection was arranged into series based on types of materials. Materials were rehoused in new acid-free folders. Photographs were removed from frames, where necessary, and rehoused in polypropylene sleeves. Issues of the Hokubei Shimpo and the New York Nichibei, dating from 1946 to 1993, were transferred to TAM 688.


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012