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-01-0075

<Begin Segment 75>

JA: Also then I guess with the loss of your husband you took on some handiwork. You took on Japanese crafts?

MH: Oh, yes. That's right.

JA: In some of your spare time. In fact, seated around you is some of the items that you personally made.

MH: Yeah, personally I made them all, yes, uh-huh. I enjoy doing something like handiwork like that, but I was able to do it for about ten years, I guess it is. No, it'd be longer than that. No, it's about twenty years ago. Twenty years ago, I started it and I made a kimekomi ningyo they call it. It's pressed wood dolls that we made and I made about forty of them and give them to everybody I can think of that would appreciate it. But it's fun making it, but it's becoming more and more expensive. That's the reason you have to give it up when you retire and you don't have the income. And then I always do the needlepoint, too, the Japanese needlepoint, which I enjoy very much, too. But I had to give that up because as we get older our eyesight start to go down, which is very, very hard to do and it's fine work so, therefore, that is given up. So that's why I'm so busy volunteering now, which I don't have to use my eyes that much.

JA: So beside you, to your left, is the Japanese warrior doll and that's one of the forty that you made yourself, personally made.

MH: Yes, that I made. That's for my oldest grandson that I will be giving and that girl's doll I made on that side is for my oldest granddaughter that I'll be giving it to. The name will be behind it.

JA: These are real treasures then, I'm sure.

MH: Yes, they will. I hope so. I hope they keep it because there was a lot work involved in it.

JA: And the stork on the wall behind you, also is an example of one of your needlework.

MH: Yes, uh-huh. That's one of my needlepoints that I did. Lot of fine work done on.

JA: Obviously. [Laughs] And what is the name of the dolls that you have in picture frames? Is there a term?

MH: The names of it I couldn't tell you, but I did make those, too. They come in as a packet and Toshi McCallister, our teacher, sells those and teaches us. And so, we learn how to put them all together, put the dresses on, and then put them in the frames like that. It's a lot of work, too, but it's fun even though it takes about three classes to do it.

JA: At one of the prior Bellevue Japan Week festivities your dolls have been on display in the Bellevue Square. Is that correct?

MH: Yes, so true.

<End Segment 75> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.