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Taro Yashima Papers

Identifier: CLRC-83

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material for five titles published between 1943 and 1961. It includes dummies with typescript, a galley proof, illustrations, including ink and crayon sketches, charcoal, pencil and watercolor sketches, crayon, ink and watercolor sketches, crayon and pencil sketches, and caryon, pencil and watercolor sketches. The bulk of the production material is for two titles, Umbrellaand Momo's Kitten.


  • 1943-1961


Language of Materials


Access and Use:

Collection is open for researchers with no restrictions. Registration with the collection is required.


This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.

Biographical Sketch

Taro Yahima (the pseudonym for Jun Atsushi Iwamatsu) was born in September 21, 1908 in Kagoshima, Japan, and immigrated to the United States in 1939. He studied art in Tokyo at the Imperial Art Academy from 1927 to 1930 and later at the Art Students League in New York City, from 1939 to 1941. He first used the pseudonym Yashima during his service with the Office of Strategic Services in World War II. Yashima began writing and illustrating books in the 1940s. His first work, autobiographical in content, The New Sun, was published in 1943. Yashima's first book specifically for children, The Village Tree,came out in 1953. Like several of his later works, it would focus on his and his collaborator's (and wife), Mitsu Yashima, experiences growing up in Japan. Yashima also wrote several books based on his daughter, Momo, including Umbrella(1958) and Momo's Kitten(1961). Yashima's works have been widely praised by critics for their simplicity and vivid colors that convey movement and feeling, and for his sensitivity to children's concerns, a first umbrella and kitten, the torments of being different and teased for it. Three of Yashima's works have been Caldecott Medal runners-up, Umbrella, Crow Boy, and Seashore Story.


2.1 Cubic Feet (3 boxes)


Taro Yashima's papers focus on his work as an illustrator of children's books. The collection contains production material for five titles published between 1943 and 1961 and includes illustrations, dummies, and one galley proof.


Crow Boy, 1955

Momo's Kitten, 1961

New Sun, The, 1943

Plenty to Watch, 1954

Umbrella, 1958

Physical Location

See Detailed Descriptions for Each Title Item for Box Locations

Accession Information:

The exact provenance of this collection is unknown. Part of this collection was originally given to Dr. Irvin Kerlan, who in turn donated his collection to the University of Minnesota.

Gift of: Yashima, Taro, 1908-
Taro Yashima Papers
Christina Cowan and Jim Eyer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library