Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mitsuko Hashiguchi Interview
Narrator: Mitsuko Hashiguchi
Interviewer: James Arima
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Date: July 28, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-hmitsuko-01-0023

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JA: Can you relate to us your recollections of your family visits to Seattle during your childhood?

MH: That was one thing that we looked forward to every year on Fourth of July. My father said that's one day we can take a day off. He make us work every day because that's strawberry season for us, but he says that's one day he'll give us the day off. So he'd take us, cart us down to the boat in Medina, and we take a boat into Seattle. And we took a streetcar and went up to Kawahara's house, who lived on Jackson Street, and that was my mother's neighbor in Japan, and we been old-time friends. So we went over there and we were able to stay overnight, and they took us to the Fourth of July parade, and they took us to the Bon Odori, which was just a treat to all of us and none of us danced, but then we enjoyed watching the others. And then we went to Sagamiyas and bought one of their delicious pastry that we love, so we made sure we got some for Mom and Dad to take home and treat them, too, is what we did. It was just exciting.

JA: So Sagamiya was located at Sixth and Main in old Nihonmachi.

MH: That's right.

JA: Where was the Bon Odori held at that time?

MH: Bon Odori was held right straight through on that Main Street, the complete Main Street, that goes right up in front of Panama Hotel and all right around that whole section there up to Maynard. It's right in the Main Street, is where they had the whole road taken up.

JA: And how well-attended was the Bon Odori?

MH: Well-attended. You couldn't find a place to park, no place to stand, no place to sit. You had to bring your own chair and get a seat early and get a front row if you wanted it, but it was very, very popular in those days. Just all the Japanese from all over came up, just every place.

JA: And did the dancers stretch for blocks?

MH: Blocks and blocks and blocks and the taiko drummers were right in the middle on the stage is where they were situated. And so it was very well-attended.

JA: And were the, were the dancers pretty much all in kimonos or in Japanese attire?

MH: Oh (yes). They were all in kimono and when some hakujins liked to participate and so they borrowed somebody's yukata or something, or they have a yukata. And my sister-in-law always danced because she was a good dancer, and so we enjoyed going out to watch her, too.

JA: So this was really a major event.

MH: Yes, it was a major, we all looked forward to that every (year).

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.