Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Hideo Hoshide Interview I
Narrator: Hideo Hoshide
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: January 26 & 27, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-hhideo-01-0004

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TI: Okay, so I just wanted to talk about, so your dad came to Seattle in 1906, and some of his brothers were already in Seattle. I'm curious, what kind of work did your dad's brothers, your uncles, do during that period when your dad came?

HH: Well, my uncle Shokichi, I don't know how he learned watch making, because that was not his work or business that he had, because Japan wasn't, that area that they were living in the southern part of Japan wasn't, or was farming area. But the Agenosho was a maritime school, maritime sailors' school. So that was about the only, only government-type industry or whatever. So rest were mostly Japanese, or mandarin orange producing area, that island of Oshima.

TI: And so, so back in Agenosho, he had no training in watch making, so more maritime or farming or agriculture.

HH: I'm sure they were nothing like that. Mostly --

TI: Well, so I'm curious. At about the time your father came, 1906, I was reading this newspaper article that your, your uncle Shokichi was actually working on a pretty famous watch in Seattle, or clock in Seattle. Can you tell me about that?

HH: Yes. This is a, the clock that's on the King Street Station, I guess, that bears a large clock, four sides, on the tower. And that clock was, I think, installed, made and installed by my uncle. And because he was already in the business of watch making, but not large clocks like that, but he did work on it. I don't know if he designed it or what, but anyway, that's what he's kind of known around this area.

TI: Well, I think that's, that's pretty amazing. Because that's one of the key landmarks in Seattle, the King Street Station watchtower, where the four faces, yeah, the four faces are of a clock. And so when I read that your uncle built that, it was pretty amazing.

HH: Yes. Then I understand that Seijiro, I think I understand that he had a ice cream cone factory or something around Dearborn Avenue, but just more hearsay, I don't know for sure. And also my dad, when he came, he was not a druggist, he was just, he was not a licensed druggist in those days. He didn't even go to school because he was only sixteen years old.

TI: But how did he get into that? Why did he decide to go into running a drugstore?

HH: Oh, I kind of mentioned before that one of my uncles was adopted by a Kyoto doctor's family, so he was kind of dabbling in drugs in those days, so I think he learned a little bit from his brother, and then when he came, there was a drugstore already here, the Main Drug Company on the Main Street. And so he, he kind of worked there for a short while, and then he decided to move to Tacoma.

TI: So you're talking about your father's brother, was his name Tasuku? He was the brother that was adopted by that...

HH: Yes, Hatano.

TI: ...and then, so he worked at the Main Drug in Seattle, and then went to Tacoma to open up a drugstore.

HH: Yes. And when he went to Tacoma, even though the drugstore is on Broadway, main street, he somehow decided to call his drugstore Main Drug Company, but no connection with the Seattle company.

TI: Oh, that's, that's interesting that he used that, because it must have been, it was a successful drugstore in Seattle, so he thought that it might be good luck or good marketing to use the same name.

HH: Well, maybe he didn't know what to call the drugstore, so he decided to use, instead of calling it Broadway Drug Store, he must have used the Main Drug Store.

TI: And so your father sort of worked closely with, with this brother then, down in Tacoma? He went...

HH: Yes, uh-huh.

TI: Tacoma. And what did your father do?

HH: Well, I don't know if my uncle Hadano was practicing there or not, in Main Drug Store. But by that time, maybe he might have already came back to, went back to Japan. I don't know for sure if they were all, all of them were together in Seattle by that time.

TI: Okay. But your, but your father did establish a store in Tacoma, though?

HH: Yes.

TI: During this period. Okay, that's good.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.