Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 1

Father's immigration story: "They jumped on the first boat they thought was destined for America" (ddr-densho-1000-98-1) - 00:05:05
The family's dairy plant, White River Dairy, Washington (ddr-densho-1000-98-2) - 00:02:09
First exposure to the Baptist religion, memories of being "gathered" up for nursery school (ddr-densho-1000-98-3) - 00:02:07
A family separated, mother and brothers leave for Japan, and a half sister arrives (ddr-densho-1000-98-4) - 00:06:21
Bailey Gatzert Elementary School, performances at the Nippon Kan Theatre (ddr-densho-1000-98-5) - 00:05:10
The Courier sports leagues (ddr-densho-1000-98-6) - 00:03:24
Activities at Seattle's Japanese Baptist Church: cooking classes, sports, the Young Peoples Christian Conference, and prayers for peace (ddr-densho-1000-98-7) - 00:07:13
Warm memories of attending Baptist Missionary Training School in the Midwest (ddr-densho-1000-98-8) - 00:02:37
(ddr-densho-1000-98-9) - 00:05:50
Returning home to help run the dairy as father returns to Japan to die (ddr-densho-1000-98-10) - 00:03:21
Meeting husband (ddr-densho-1000-98-11) - 00:05:20
Chaperoning young women on a church trip to Japan shortly before the war, being followed and questioned by police (ddr-densho-1000-98-12) - 00:08:13
Days following Pearl Harbor, "We're gonna put those Japs ... in camp, behind barbed wire" (ddr-densho-1000-98-13) - 00:02:09
Giving birth to daughter as family prepares to "evacuate," sharing a hospital room with the inconsolable wife of a serviceman (ddr-densho-1000-98-14) - 00:05:52
Caring for a newborn baby in Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington (ddr-densho-1000-98-15) - 00:05:11
Violating the curfew to see sick mother-in-law, and father-in-law is detained (ddr-densho-1000-98-16) - 00:02:23
Fellow camp inmate describes losing child during the curfew, too afraid to go to a hospital (ddr-densho-1000-98-17) - 00:02:57
Impact of mass removal on family business, selling at a loss, "we never recovered from, really..." (ddr-densho-1000-98-18) - 00:05:42
Conditions in Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho, dust everywhere -- turning to mud in winter (ddr-densho-1000-98-19) - 00:03:18
Leaving Minidoka concentration camp, finding a sponsor and a warm reception in Winetka, Illinois (ddr-densho-1000-98-20) - 00:07:50
Questioned by the FBI while living and speaking about the incarceration in Boston, Massachusetts (ddr-densho-1000-98-21) - 00:04:01
(ddr-densho-1000-98-22) - 00:04:10
Resettling in Boston, Massachusetts (ddr-densho-1000-98-23) - 00:06:19
Returning to Beacon Hill in Seattle, Washington, arriving to a vandalized home and getting involved in the community again (ddr-densho-1000-98-24) - 00:02:57
Opening an ice creamery, a community hub in Seattle's International District (ddr-densho-1000-98-25) - 00:02:47
Working at Rainier Heat and Power, a powerful position benefiting Seattle's International District (ddr-densho-1000-98-26) - 00:08:17
Involvement in the Seattle Asian American community (ddr-densho-1000-98-27) - 00:05:18
Involvement in the Seattle Asian American community (ddr-densho-1000-98-28) - 00:06:01
Thoughts on redress, money was the only way the government would understand... (ddr-densho-1000-98-29) - 00:04:41
Reflections on the incarceration experience, the good and the bad (ddr-densho-1000-98-30) - 00:05:12
(ddr-densho-1000-98-31) - 00:03:18
Defending the Japanese American Citizens League's role during the mass removal: "It's very easy to say hindsight, but at the time..." (ddr-densho-1000-98-32) - 00:05:13
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ddr-densho-1000-98-1 (Legacy UID: denshovh-ushigeko-01-0001)

Father's immigration story: "They jumped on the first boat they thought was destined for America"

00:05:05 — Segment 1 of 32

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September 18, 1998

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Shigeko Sese Uno

Shigeko Sese Uno Interview

02:30:26 — 32 segments

September 18, 1998

Seattle, Washington

Nisei female born 1915 in Seattle, Washington's International District. At an early age became active in the Japanese Baptist Church. Parents owned and operated a dairy plant called White River Dairy. Was a student at the Baptist Missionary Training School in Chicago, Illinois. Took a group of young women on an eye-opening trip to Japan right before the war started. Incarcerated with her family in Puyallup Assembly Center with a newborn baby, moving to Minidoka concentration camp before relocating to the East Coast. Returned to Seattle in 1947 and became the first Asian American and first woman to work at the Rainier Heat and Power Company, then a key property owner and landlord in the International District. She was the first woman president of the Japanese American Citizens League, and played a lead role in the redress movement. Shigeko Sese Uno passed away in 2007.

Beth Kawahara, interviewer; Alice Ito, interviewer; Steve Hamada, videographer


Courtesy of Densho