Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mary Hirata Interview
Narrator: Mary Hirata
Interviewers: Beth Kawahara (primary), Alice Ito (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 27, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-hmary-01-0001

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AI: Usually we just say that today is March 27, 1998. We're here in Seattle, Washington with Mary Hirata, and the interviewers are Beth Kawahara and Alice Ito. Matt Emery is the videographer. And that's about it for our beginning.

BK: Well, Mary, could you start by telling us a little bit about your father? When did he come from Japan?

MH: From what I hear, my dad came in 1900, he was nineteen years old. He was a orphan, his parents had gotten killed when he was about eleven. I believe that's what Dad said. And they had a business, I think something to do with lumber, but his auntie had taken it over. So when, although they had sent him to school and everything, when it came time, it wasn't his, so he decided to come to the United States. But my sister told me that she thought he came in at Canada, and my brothers say they don't remember, but I'm, but that's what we had heard, that he'd come in from Canada, and that... he'd done a lot of different things, like fishing and railroad, and I know that at one time he was helping in a restaurant in Cashmere, Washington.

BK: So...

MH: No, not Cashmere, Leavenworth, Leavenworth. And then later he had a laundry in Wenatchee. My mother came in 1913, so... and she was a picture bride.

BK: Now, this is -- that's really interesting, we'd like to find out more about that. But if we could back up a little bit, when you said that your dad came in from Canada, then how did he make his way down to the United States? Did he stay in Canada for a spell or...

MH: That, we have never been able to figure out. But that's what we had heard, that that's the way he came in, was through Canada.

BK: I think many of the immigrants at that time...

MH: I think he must have worked on a fishing boat. Sounds like that's what he did. But I can't imagine my dad doing too hard of a labor, because he was such a tiny guy. [Laughs]

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.