Kumaichi Hiraoka Postcard Collection
The Kumaichi Hiraoka Postcard Collection was donated by his granddaughter, Nancy R. Hiraoka, in 2017 to the Japan Collection of the UHM Asia Collection Department. It consists of over 1,000 postcards that were created before 1945. This project digitized over 800 postcards and envelopes, which were all produced in Japan.
Kumaichi Hiraoka, known as “Oka'' by his close friends, was born in Yamaguchi-prefecture in Japan. He came to Hawaii at the age of 16, and worked for two years on Waialua plantation. He worked as a taxi driver, then as a private chauffeur for the George Beckley family, Walter McFarland (Hawaii Tuna Packers); Robert W. Shingle (Walter House Travel Co., Territorial Senator) then became the chauffeur for Mrs. Charles M. Cooke. He eventually got a position at the Honolulu Academy of Art (presently called the Honolulu Museum of Art) as the first male employee. In 1932, he became a Christian. Kumaichi retired from the Museum in 1956, after 30 years of dedicated services. He traveled throughout Japan in 1934, and then in 1961 and 1968 after his retirement.
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