Mitsu Fukui Interview Segment 18

Family background: both parents and paternal grandparents immigrated to the U.S. (ddr-densho-1000-140-1) - 00:04:35
Born in Seattle, Washington, one of five children (ddr-densho-1000-140-2) - 00:02:01
Learning English in grammar school, friends with non-Japanese American classmates (ddr-densho-1000-140-3) - 00:02:56
Memories of grammar school: helping with parents' dry cleaning business, sewing own eighth grade graduation dress (ddr-densho-1000-140-4) - 00:03:44
Activities in high school: joining clubs, attending Japanese language school (ddr-densho-1000-140-5) - 00:03:16
Father's involvement in Japanese community groups (ddr-densho-1000-140-6) - 00:04:06
Attending a Christian church; student at the University of Washington for one year (ddr-densho-1000-140-7) - 00:06:38
Remaining in Japan after taking a summer tour (ddr-densho-1000-140-8) - 00:06:55
Experiences as an American student in Japan (ddr-densho-1000-140-9) - 00:06:00
While living in Japan, acting as interpreter for Charles Lindbergh and Yasha Heifetz (ddr-densho-1000-140-10) - 00:02:33
Great Depression dispels parents' dream of returning to Japan (ddr-densho-1000-140-11) - 00:03:25
Journey back to the United States from Japan; meeting a Caucasian minister (ddr-densho-1000-140-12) - 00:03:57
Getting married to an Issei man, operating a dry cleaning business (ddr-densho-1000-140-13) - 00:06:35
Birth of son; celebrating Thanksgiving in the hospital (ddr-densho-1000-140-14) - 00:04:57
(ddr-densho-1000-140-15) - 00:02:09
Discussion of dry cleaning business (ddr-densho-1000-140-16) - 00:03:06
Memories of December 7, 1941: father taken by the FBI (ddr-densho-1000-140-17) - 00:05:28
Dealing with loss of dry cleaning customers after the bombing of Pearl Harbor (ddr-densho-1000-140-18) - 00:03:58
(ddr-densho-1000-140-19) - 00:05:10
Preparing for mass removal: finding renters for parents' house, selling dry cleaning business (ddr-densho-1000-140-20) - 00:05:57
Life in the Puyallup Assembly Center: fears about tuberculosis, son contracts measles (ddr-densho-1000-140-21) - 00:06:47
Feelings about dealing with hardships in the assembly center: "I thought that was really cruel. Being a citizen and to be put into a place like that." (ddr-densho-1000-140-22) - 00:04:52
Working in Minidoka concentration camp: laundress for the kitchen workers, husband a camp policeman (ddr-densho-1000-140-23) - 00:04:29
Raising a child in a concentration camp: friendliness of Caucasian missionaries, mediating kids' disputes (ddr-densho-1000-140-24) - 00:09:23
(ddr-densho-1000-140-25) - 00:01:18
(ddr-densho-1000-140-26) - 00:02:57
Leaving camp and ending up in an unpleasant hostel situation in Detroit, Michigan (ddr-densho-1000-140-27) - 00:06:23
Life in Detroit, Michigan: meeting a few Japanese Americans there (ddr-densho-1000-140-28) - 00:02:55
Finding employment and a place to live in Detroit, Michigan, after leaving concentration camp (ddr-densho-1000-140-29) - 00:06:13
Racial composition of neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan; cooking Japanese foods (ddr-densho-1000-140-30) - 00:05:29
(ddr-densho-1000-140-31) - 00:03:09
Life in Detroit, Michigan, meeting other Japanese Americans (ddr-densho-1000-140-32) - 00:05:40
Recalling an eventful car trip from Detroit back to Seattle, Washington: stolen tires and a trip to the hospital (ddr-densho-1000-140-33) - 00:10:51
Reunion with friends upon return to Seattle, building a new, drive-in dry cleaning shop (ddr-densho-1000-140-34) - 00:06:11
Reestablishing dry cleaning business postwar: difficulty obtaining a loan, working very hard (ddr-densho-1000-140-35) - 00:06:38
(ddr-densho-1000-140-36) - 00:02:32
(ddr-densho-1000-140-37) - 00:05:22
Son's and personal involvement in charity work (ddr-densho-1000-140-38) - 00:04:24
Taking a trip to Japan with son: "I told everybody there that it'd be my last trip" (ddr-densho-1000-140-39) - 00:03:27
Reflections on life: "Be happy and be healthy and try to get along with people the best you can" (ddr-densho-1000-140-40) - 00:05:08
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ddr-densho-1000-140-18 (Legacy UID: denshovh-fmitsu-01-0018)

Dealing with loss of dry cleaning customers after the bombing of Pearl Harbor

00:03:58 — Segment 18 of 40

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December 18 & 19, 2002

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Mitsu Fukui

Mitsu Fukui Interview

03:11:34 — 40 segments

December 18 & 19, 2002

Seattle, Washington

Nisei female. Born September 21, 1911, in Seattle, Washington. Had a younger sister and three younger brothers. Father, Riichiro Fukano, employed by Oriental Trading Company as a bookkeeper in Seattle, before operating a dry cleaning business. Mother, Kiyono (Miyama) Fukano, a seamstress. Learned dressmaking from mother, and helped in the shop. Family lived upstairs above the shop, in a neighborhood with few Japanese American families. Paternal grandfather and grandmother joined the household and lived with them for eleven years before returning to Japan. Father served many years as secretary of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce. Mother served as president of Buddhist Women's Association. Graduated from Lincoln High School in 1930, attended University of Washington one year, and attended school in Japan one year. While living in Fukuoka Ken, served as interpreter for Charles Lindbergh, Yasha Heifetz, and other notable visitors. Married William Owari Fukui, an Issei, in 1936. Husband also in dry cleaning business. Son born 1939. Moved back to parents' house, along with her husband and son, in order to be together with her mother and brothers, when incarcerated in Puyallup Assembly Center in May, 1942. Father had been picked up earlier by FBI, after December 7, 1941, detained and interned separately. Incarcerated in Minidoka concentration camp. Son attended nursery school in Minidoka while she and husband worked. Released on indefinite leave in 1944 with husband and son, to relocate in Detroit, MI. Car vandalized and burglarized in Minidoka camp, during their drive back to Seattle in 1945. Protested lack of assistance from Minidoka concentration camp staff. With husband, started another dry cleaning business in Seattle, overcoming discrimination in financing. Retired from dry cleaning business. Did volunteer work for Children's Hospital in Seattle for over 30 years and provided home care for two and a half years for her husband who suffered from a severe stroke. After his death, she provided volunteer services at Seattle Keiro for six and a half years.

Alice Ito, interviewer; John Pai, videographer


Courtesy of Densho