David and Yachiyo Nakatani Memorial Collection Endowment for Japanese Studies
UCLA's first endowment for Japanese studies at the Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library serves to help grow the Library's collection in the field.
Alumna June Kim, who received a degree in Chemistry in 1965, endowed this fund — the first in Japanese studies at the East Asian Library — in memory of her parents. David and Yachiyo Nakatani were native Californians who met, married, and raised five children in their home state. During World War II, the family was incarcerated at the Tule Lake War Relocation Center, where June and her sister were born.
Though neither David nor Yachiyo were able to attend college, they believed strongly in education and emphasized its importance to their children, making many sacrifices to send all their children to college. David operated a laundry business in Old Sacramento, while Yachiyo worked as a house cleaner. Later, they moved south to a farm in Costa Mesa. In retirement, they were able to pursue their interests and hobbies — traveling together and with friends and playing gateball, including attending international tournaments. David was an avid deep-sea fisher and loved trips to Las Vegas. Yachiyo enjoyed flower arranging and bunka (Japanese needlework). After David's death in 1997, Yachiyo traveled with her daughters.
Throughout their lives, Japanese language and culture remained important to them both. Yachiyo had spent much of her childhood living with her grandmother in Japan, and the family spoke Japanese at home. David and Yachiyo were both very active members of their Buddhist church. The David and Yachiyo Nakatani Memorial Collection Endowment for Japanese Studies supports the acquisition, processing, and preservation of resources for the East Asian Library, as well as reference and instruction services, outreach activities and Library exhibits and programming related to Japanese Studies.