Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Frank S. Fujii Interview
Narrator: Frank S. Fujii
Interviewers: Larry Hashima (primary), Beth Kawahara (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 3 and 5, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-ffrank-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

LH: Densho interview with Frank Shobo Fujii on September 3, 1997. And this is in Seattle, Washington. My name is Larry Hashima and Beth Kawahara is also an interviewer.


LH: Well, thank you very much for speaking with us today, Mr. Fujii. We're gonna start off by talking a little bit about your parents. When did your father first come to the United States, and why?

FF: Well, at the turn of the century, I think. I don't know about why, but I think that he probably was really adventurous to do that coming from Japan. And I think, like I told you, he was one of those that, I felt, wanted to see what he could do over in this country. And I'm glad he did, 'cause otherwise I wouldn't be here. And as I told, told this story before, Dad went to naval school to, to get into naval school and he did fail. And I said, "Dad, that's one thing that I'm glad you did fail then, as otherwise I wouldn't, none of us would be here." There's nine of us in the family so I was really happy about that then.

LH: Okay, so your dad's adventurous spirit was probably one of the reasons he came out to the United States. So did he come immediately to Seattle or...?

FF: No, I think he went to Alaska first. And I think he worked in a -- I think it was a laundry, and then cannery, I think, and then he came back down to Seattle and started a confectionery. And then that confectionery wasn't making it, so he switched to a tavern, which actually did well.

LH: Okay. And what year was this that he switched to this tavern business?

FF: I think just about when I was born in 1930.

LH: Okay.

FF: And so I sort of got the fruit of the life, so to speak. Because once economically he was able to support nine kids, and I'm around, and to switch over, he was able to afford things that normally you couldn't do on the confectionery kind of place. You know, selling candies and goodies like that. But, so as much as none of us brothers are drinkers, but it was very successful. Fujii Tavern was very famous before the war.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.