Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mitsu Fukui Interview
Narrator: Mitsu Fukui
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 18 & 19, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-fmitsu-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

AI: Well, today is December 18, 2002. We're here in Seattle with Mrs. Fukui, Mitsu Fukui, thank you very much for having us. And I'm Alice Ito with the Densho Project. Our videographer is John Pai. Mrs. Fukui, I wanted to ask you about your parents' background and first ask you about your father. If you could tell us your father's name and where he came from in Japan.

MF: My father's name was Riichiro Fukano, and he came from Fukuoka, Japan, and my mother, well, actually they're both cousins, and that's very unusual, I thought.

AI: And they were cousins because their mothers were --

MF: My moth-, my grandmother, both my grandmothers are sisters. So they, so they become cousins.

AI: That's right.

MF: Uh-huh.

AI: So, and what was your mother's name?

MF: Kiyono, and Miyama is the last name.

AI: So, I think you mentioned to me, in an earlier conversation, that your father was born around 1896?

MF: I kinda think so.

AI: And what did he do in Japan, his education, before coming to the United States?

MF: Well, I heard that he went to a business college in Japan and it really helped him when he came here because he was a bookkeeper when he came here. He -- they call it Oriental Trading Company he worked for. And I think it was connected with C.T. Takahashi.

AI: About how old was your father when he first came?

MF: I kinda think he was about twenty-six, and my mother was eighteen when she came here.

AI: And I think you told me earlier that your mother was born about 1892? Is that right?

MF: Let's see... I was born 1911 and she came when she was eighteen years old --

AI: And she would have come about 1910?

MF: I kinda think so. I'm not definite.

AI: Uh-huh. And what about your mother's -- her education in Japan?

MF: She graduated from high school and she came right over. Being cousins, well, you know, in their family, I guess they had a understanding that they'd get married, you know. And so the minute she graduated from high school she came over.

AI: And did your father or mother ever tell you why, why they decided to come, or why your father decided to come to the United States?

MF: Really I don't know about why my father came to the United States. But later, my grandfather and grandmother on my father's came over and stayed here for eleven years. So I was -- when I was small I was raised by Grandma and Grandpa, too.

AI: Which is somewhat unusual.

MF: Yes, and you know, I didn't know a word of English when I went to school, and it was hard on the teacher, and it was hard on myself.

AI: Well, I think you mentioned that before you were born, that your parents lived out near Crystal Springs?

MF: Green Lake.

AI: Oh, Green Lake.

MF: Uh-huh.

AI: And then where --

MF: I think it was Latona.

AI: The Latona area?

MF: Yeah.

AI: In Seattle.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.