Small business

Japanese American businesses, such as groceries, fish shops, laundries, barbershops, public bathhouses, restaurants, drugstores, and dry goods stores, sprang up in communities along the West Coast. Women and children were vitally important to these "mom and pop" enterprises, as their free labor allowed the family to survive and even prosper during lean times.

Industry and employment (439)
Small business (370)

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370 items
Issei man in his store (ddr-densho-124-17)
img Issei man in his store (ddr-densho-124-17)
This store was located on Second Avenue in Seattle.
Tsutakawa Company camping trip (ddr-densho-128-115)
img Tsutakawa Company camping trip (ddr-densho-128-115)
Front row (L to R): Marion Tsutakawa, Frank Kubo, Jim Tsutakawa, J.K. Saoka, George Tsutakawa, Mr. Baba, J. Shima. Second row (L to R): Bob, Mrs. Tsutakawa, Dick, Mr. Y. Shimada. Front row (L to R): Thomas, Mr. Y. Omi (?), Kumako.
Man standing outside office (ddr-densho-128-37)
img Man standing outside office (ddr-densho-128-37)
Frank Kubo stands outside the Tsutakawa Company office where he was employed.
Sister and brother in front of car (ddr-densho-129-2)
img Sister and brother in front of car (ddr-densho-129-2)
This brother and sister lived in the University District in a small home behind their parents' storefront dye works business. (L to R): Dorrie Akimoto, Bob Akimoto.
Family portrait (ddr-densho-129-1)
img Family portrait (ddr-densho-129-1)
This Japanese American family ran University Cleaners, a dye works business located at 1014 East 45th Street in Seattle, Washington. (L to R): Mr. Akimoto, Dorrie Akimoto, Mrs. Akimoto, Robert Akimoto.
Dye works storefront (ddr-densho-130-2)
img Dye works storefront (ddr-densho-130-2)
The M & M Dye Works was located at North 42nd and Fremont Avenue in Seattle, Washington. The Japanese American owners lived behind and above the shop.
Dye works storefront (ddr-densho-130-3)
img Dye works storefront (ddr-densho-130-3)
About 15 families in North Seattle owned dye works (dry cleaning) businesses. This shop, the M & M Dye Works, was located at North 42nd and Fremont Avenue.
Two Nisei girls in front of dye works (ddr-densho-135-2)
img Two Nisei girls in front of dye works (ddr-densho-135-2)
Approximately 15 Japanese American families in North Seattle operated dye works businesses before World War II. These two girls are standing in front of the Royal Dye Works, located at 716 North 34th Street in the Fremont neighborhood. (L to R): Esther Hiyama, Marian Tamura.
Dye works picnic (ddr-densho-135-1)
img Dye works picnic (ddr-densho-135-1)
Dye works shop owners gather for a picnic, a common social activity for families in the business. (L to R): Yae Kumakura, Gonnojo Tamura, Yasuye Shimizu, Suma Tamura.
Japanese American family (ddr-densho-135-3)
img Japanese American family (ddr-densho-135-3)
This family operated the Royal Dye Works in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. (L to R): George, Marian, Yoshio, Mr. Tamura.
Siblings in front of house (ddr-densho-136-31)
img Siblings in front of house (ddr-densho-136-31)
Frank and Violet Yokoyama, along with their parents, operated a produce store and greenhouse in North Seattle, and sold their produce at a vegetable stand in the Pike Place Market.
Interior of Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-32)
img Interior of Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-32)
The Mitsuwado store, located at 522 Main Street, was owned by Kinzo Asaba (right). The store sold a variety of items including books, records, record players, and fishing tackle. Asaba's daughter, Chiyo, stands next to him.
Mitsuwado store's window display (ddr-densho-13-34)
img Mitsuwado store's window display (ddr-densho-13-34)
The Mitsuwado store was located at 522 Main Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown. In this display are matsutake (pine mushrooms) and various prizes to be awarded to fishing derby winners.
Three Issei men and child outside the Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-2)
img Three Issei men and child outside the Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-2)
Mitsuwado was located at 522 Main Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown. The store sold a variety of items including books, records, record players, and fishing tackle. Left to right: Kinzo Asaba (the store's owner), Mr. Osawa, unidentified, and unidentified.
Two Issei men outside the Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-16)
img Two Issei men outside the Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-16)
The Mitsuwado store was located at 522 Main Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown. The store sold a variety of items including books, records, record players, and fishing tackle. The store's owner, Kinzo Asaba, is on the left.
Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-31)
img Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-31)
The Mitsuwado store, located at 522 Main Street, was owned by Kinzo Asaba. The store sold a variety of items including books, records, record players, and fishing tackle. Left to right: Mr. Izui, Denny Yoshimura, Nobujiro Shibata, Ayako Shibata, Yoshiko Hagiya, Shuzo Asaba, and Kinzo Asaba.
Aiko Studio (ddr-densho-20-11)
img Aiko Studio (ddr-densho-20-11)
Aiko Studio, located in Seattle's Nihonmachi area, was one of several photography studios that catered to the Japanese American community before World War II.
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