Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

With all of the information available on the Internet, it's often difficult to know exactly where to find clear answers to our every day questions. Here are some frequently asked questions about our organization and our work. If you don't find the answer to your question here, please feel free to e-mail us at

Questions Answers
How much does JA Living Legacy charge for conducting oral histories or workshops? Nothing. Participants will never be solicited for donations or fees of any kind to participate in an oral history.
How can I volunteer in JA Living Legacy? Just send us an e-mail and tell us what you enjoy doing. There are many areas of our organization in which you can participate as a volunteer.
How long does it take to do an oral history? While every story is unqiue in its telling, most oral histories take about 2 hours.
How do I sign-up for an oral history? You can call, e-mail or send us a letter with your contact information, stating your interest in participating in an oral history. Scheduling an appointment often depends on your geographical location and the availability of an oral historian.
What languages do your oral historians speak? Our oral historians have interviewed in English, Japanese, and Spanish. Remember, South America is the largest geographic concentration of Japanese outside of Japan.
What subjects are you looking to document? We are looking for any story that applies to the Japanese American community; however, we specialize in Japanese South Americans, Japanese Canadians, native Japanese, Japanese in Hawaii, "Hapas," internment, military service, women's perspectives, agriculture, pioneers, and community leaders. YOUR STORY IS IMPORTANT TO US!  No story is turned away.
What do I talk about during my oral history? We guide you through the process by asking questions. However, you have the freedom to discuss what you feel is important to you. We have certain general topics we try to cover in every person's story, for example your childhood or experiences surrounding historical events. But, this is YOUR oral history and we will let you choose the direction and depth in how you share your story.
How do I get copies of the audio tapes or transcripts? Just contact us letting us know how many copies you would like. The first set of transcripts and tapes or CDs is complimentary; additional copies may incur a nominal fee to cover the cost of the materials.
Are your oral histories on the website so that anyone can access them? No. Although we feel strongly about educating the public, your privacy is our primary concern. In the future, the only information open to the public will be your name and the general subject matter that was discussed (e.g., the internment, growing up in East Los Angeles, etc.). Your contact information is never released to the public.
How do I access someone's oral history? First, you must provide an acceptable reason why you are requesting access to our collection or a specific oral history. You must formally contact us through e-mail, telephone or letter. Once we have verified your project, thesis or research you will be granted access to oral histories that meet your requirements; there is no fee for this service. We reserve the right to refuse access to an oral history if we feel that it is in the best interest of either the participant or our organization to do so.
What if I want to contact the participant to verify or clarify information contained in the oral history? JA Living Legacy will act as the intermediary. We will contact the person and find out if they are open to participating in a direct conversation with you. Please understand that the privacy and comfort of our participants remain integral parts of our responsibilities as a community organization.
How do I donate to JA Living Legacy? While we do not actively solicit donations, we certainly welcome any contribution to our organization. Please see the "Support Us" link on our website for more information.


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Japanese American Living Legacy © 2005 - 2023
A California Non-Profit Organization
Website Last Updated: October 4, 2023