Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Seichi Hayashida Interview
Narrator: Seichi Hayashida
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary), Sheri Nakashima (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: August 21, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-hseichi-01-0002

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SN: And, you indicated before that, your brothers remained in Japan?

SH: Yes.

SN: Did they eventually come to the United States?

SH: No.

SN: So, but you were born here.

SH: Yes, I was born here.

SN: When was the first time you got to meet your brothers?

SH: One of the brothers was, worked for a... worked for a Mitsui, Mitsui Lines. So he used to come every two to three months, earlier, and visited. The ship docked in Seattle, Portland, Grays Harbor ports hauling lumber mainly in earlier parts. So, whenever he was going to be in one of the U.S. ports, he'd let us know by letter ahead of time and I met him in different places. I remember when I was young -- just barely old enough to drive, so I was probably seventeen, eighteen -- I remember going to Aberdeen, Washington, Hoquiam, Washington, Portland, to meet him where he was in port for two or three days. He was an engineer, so when the ship, on the seas he was busy, but when the ship docked he didn't have to do anything, he was free for two or three days. So he, they allowed him to leave the ship and we'd bring him home. I remember my dad saying, "We'll take you sightseeing." So we started out, went to Woodland Park and drive around and, I guess he didn't want to hurt my dad's feeling so my brother says, "Well, I'd rather just go home and sit down and talk." He said, "I've been all over the world, all the major ports in the world." He named off all the major ports, London, in Europe and Asia. So he said he's seen all the sights he wanted to see, and nothing is new. He said, "I haven't got, we haven't got much time to talk, so let's go home." So, we'd cut the trips short by a half a day. That only happened once, and after that, we didn't try to take him to see the sights. Because he said, "I've been all over the world."

SN: And, what about your other brother?

SH: Other brother didn't... he stayed in Japan and he never did anything much. He lived 'til he was ninety-two, though. Both of my brothers lived 'til, into their mid-nineties.

SN: Now, was this a common thing? Because it sounds like your two brothers were a little bit older when your parents left Japan -- was it common for the Issei generation to leave older kids behind when they immigrated?

SH: I don't, don't think it was very common. I haven't met very many people who had a brother sixteen or, fifteen or sixteen years older, but I guess my dad wasn't able to call my wife, his wife over here sooner.

SN: Was that difficult not growing up with your brothers? You had these two older brothers in Japan?

SH: The first time he come over and I met him, and I knew he was a brother, but it seemed like it was meeting an uncle because of the age difference.

AI: And you were born in 1919?

SH: 1919, in Seattle, right close to here.

SN: So this one brother that remained in Japan -- I know that you had a chance to see the other brother who worked for the company and got to travel the world -- you didn't get to see him as often?

SH: I didn't get to see him until quite later when I first went to Japan.

SN: I'd also like to go back and ask you a little bit about the Furuya Company. Because my understanding is that that's a company that employed quite a few of the Isseis in the Seattle area. Can you tell me a little bit about that company?

SH: I don't know too much about the company. There's probably people in Seattle that know more about Furuya and Company. All I know is that it was an importing/exporting firm.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.