Western History & Genealogy Blog

Bill Hosokawa Papers

Last week I had the privilege of meeting Susan Boatright, daughter of famed Japanese author and journalist Bill Hosokawa (1915-2008).

Hosokawa first donated his personal papers to the library in 1985, but, in the last year and a half since he passed away, Susan has gone through his belongings and discovered many more papers to add to his collection. It was with evident pride that she turned over an additional seven boxes of material to the library, and it was a great honor for us to accept it.

Hosokawa was perhaps best known for his 38-year career with The Denver Post, during which he worked as a copy editor, reporter, editor, and columnist. What many may not know is that for 40 years he also wrote a regular column for the Pacific Citizen newspaper called "From the Frying Pan" and authored three books: Nisei: The Quiet Americans  (1969), Thunder in the Rockies (1976), and Colorado's Japanese-Americans (2005).

Hosokawa's work was deeply influenced by his life experiences. In 1942 he, his wife (Alice), and their son (Michael) were relocated to an internment camp at Heart Mountain, Wyo., following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Throughout his career, he lashed out against bigotry and fostered support for Japanese culture.

The Hosokawa Papers include correspondence, clippings, photographs, manuscript drafts, research notes, speeches, and transcripts of testimonies relating to Japanese American relocation during WWII. The collection provides a unique view of Bill Hosokawa's life, accomplishments, and contributions to society.