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-01-0016

<Begin Segment 16>

AI: Well, before we took our break we were just talking about, 1939 David was born and then 1940. And I was gonna ask you a little bit more about the Montlake Cleaners business. Could you tell me a little bit about your customers?

MF: They were, they were hakujins, you know. And we dealt with -- well, my husband had that cleaners before I got married to him.

AI: So he had many long-time customers?

MF: Oh yes. He started the Montlake Cleaners. And my father and mother were in the cleaning business, too, you know. And so I knew how to put zippers and repair, put new pockets and everything 'cause when my -- maybe I told you that my mother had to go to Japan to take care of Father, Grandpa.

AI: Yes.

MF: Why, I took care of the shop with Dad for three months during the summer vacation.

AI: Well, and then I wanted to ask you also, for people who don't know about the dry cleaning business, do you also usually have a wholesale cleaners that you work with?

MF: Oh yes.

AI: And what did they do?

MF: We had a Japanese wholesale cleaners because we had so many Japanese cleaners those days. I think there was about twelve. And we used to send it -- you know where, Fourteenth, I think it's Fourteenth Avenue and Jackson Street there's a building there. And that was where they did the wholesale work.

AI: And --

MF: You know --

AI: For people who don't know, can you explain the wholesale --

MF: -- Mr. Araki was the driver for picking up all the clothes for different cleaners. And we used to send it there and they used to clean only and they would bring it back and my husband pressed.

AI: Right. Well, I thought that was important to explain because lots of people don't know about the wholesale part of it.

MF: Yeah, well, most of 'em didn't have a plant, you know. But later on they did. And there's a certain kind of a gas that they use to clean. And that's, my brother had that. He used to clean his own and they say it's not very good for your health. And my husband -- my brother, of course, retired but, but we never, we always sent it out and then we just pressed it.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.