Lot 23: Japanese-Americans in Pasadena and Menlo Park, 1906-23
29th June 2017
Heading: (Asian-American - Japanese, 1906-23) Title: Early ephemera of Japanese-Americans in Pasadena and Menlo Park. Publisher: Date Published: 1906-1923. Description: Two items: • Kurananga's Dragon Café and Tea Room, Pasadena, Calif., Pictorial postcard for the "largest and handsomest Japanese Art Store in the world." Postally used, postmarked May 26, 1906. With handwritten message, signed M.A.S. "We are all right - the quake did not come here. Wasn't it terrible. We had lunch here at the Dragon Tea Room every day. Tis fine." • Harry K. Sumiye. 2 Autograph Letters Signed ("Kiyashi"). Mountain View, California. Dec. 2 and 24, 1923. 2pp. each. To Nellie M. Hill, Groton, Mass. With original mailing envelope. From a young farmer about the new Japanese-American Methodist Episcopal Church in Mountain View, built with support from wealthy local lumber man Earl Minton in what was then a rural town of "orchards and ranches, horses and buggies on dirt roads" Frank Kurananga opened a successful Japanese art and curio business in Pasadena in 1903, soon expanding into a lavish restaurant and tea room. After overcoming racist roadblocks, he was bankrupted by the earthquake in San Francisco, where he had heavy investments. Back on his feet financially as a tea merchant, he later married a Caucasian woman - this "race blending" causing a "great sensation" in conservative Pasadena, especially after the wife sued for divorce and was granted custody of their daughter. Condition:
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