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-01-0069

<Begin Segment 69>

JA: Now, your husband again when he first came to Bellevue as a city slicker had already been involved with many activities in Seattle and was a JACLer. How well was he welcomed back to Bellevue again, after the evacuation by the Nikkei community?

MH: He was accepted very well and they always had him president of the Bellevue Nisei Club, and he worked with Kim Muromoto and Seichi and all the other group together, whatever it was, and he was accepted. He did everything until, until we sold the Kokaido and we sold the Japanese school and he was right there with them. And they wanted him to be kind of the leader of the whole thing. And we bought a cemetery lot at Sunset Cemetery for Bellevue Nisei Club and he was involved in that. And so, they made him kind of the leader of the Nisei Club in Bellevue, it seems like. And I'm glad that they did and he was able to do all he can for the Niseis, as long as he was able to.

JA: The Kokaido, the Japanese Community Hall, that was the center of so many activities...

MH: All the activities.

JA: That was sold in 1952, was it?

MH: Uh-huh. I think, yeah. Something like that, yes.

JA: So along with the time when the farms were being sold.

MH: Everything was just gradually being sold because there was nobody around anyhow. All the Japanese were not around anymore. There was only twelve families left that came home, and we couldn't control the money whatever we sold and everything else, so we just had to disperse of it by donating and things like that.

JA: I've seen photos of part of the proceeds of this Kokaido being donated to the Seattle JACL.

MH: That's right.

JA: Your husband being one of them. Why has there not been a JACL chapter in Bellevue following the war?

MH: I wish I knew that answer because my husband tried, but no one seems interested and willing to join our organization. So I really couldn't tell you why, but they won't.

JA: Even today it seems that members of the returning families seemed to be reluctant to affiliate with JACL.

MH: I noticed that one of them joined the Seattle JACL.

JA: But the majority have not.

MH: Yeah. I don't know. I really don't know why they're that way.

<End Segment 69> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.