Dear Miss Breed: Letters from Camp

JAPANESE AMERICAN
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Oral History

Biographical Summary

Archie Miyatake was born on November 6, 1924. He was the eldest son of four children, and was raised in the Boyle Heights area of East Los Angeles. Archie spent his childhood weekends in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, at his father's photography studio on First Street. With the outbreak of WWII, the family closed their photography studio and rented their home to Dr. Karl Lancing. Archie and his family were relocated to the Manzanar Internment Camp. Archie graduated from Manzanar High School and became an apprentice to his father who was given special permission to open a camp photography studio. After the war, the Miyatake family returned to their original home in East Los Angeles, and generously housed other Japanese American families in need of a temporary place to stay. Toyo Miyatake reopened his studio in Little Tokyo, a business his son, Archie, later inherited. Today, Archie's son, Alan, runs the third-generation family business in San Gabriel, California. Toyo Miyatake Studio remains one of our nation's oldest family-run Japanese American photography studios.

Archie is the son of the reknowned photographer, Toyo Miyatake, who is best known for having smuggled a camera lens and film into the Manzanar concentation camp during WWII and having secretly taken pictures of the unconstitutional imprisonment of Japanese Americans. Archie is happily married to Take, and is the father of two sons, Gary and Alan. Gary is the owner of Toyo Photography in Gardena.

Oral History Interview



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