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Richard Murakami Interview (ddr-densho-1000-64)
vh Richard Murakami Interview (ddr-densho-1000-64)
Nisei male. Born 1914 in Nemah, Washington. His family owned and operated Eagle Oyster Packing Company in Nahcotta, Washington. Incarcerated at the Tule Lake concentration camp, California. Returned to Nemah following the war, where his family had to fight to get the company back. Eventually, sold the business to Coast Oyster Company and stayed on as …

Narrator Richard Murakami

Nisei male. Born June 18, 1914, in Nemah, Washington. His family owned and operated Eagle Oyster Packing Company in Nahcotta, Washington. Incarcerated at the Tule Lake concentration camp, California. Returned to Nemah following the war, where his family had to fight to get the company back. Eventually, sold the business to Coast Oyster Company and stayed …
Unloading oysters from a bateau (ddr-densho-15-107)
img Unloading oysters from a bateau (ddr-densho-15-107)
These workers are unloading oysters from a bateau at the processing area. The oysters were shoveled into a hopper and onto a conveyor belt that led into the processing area, where they were opened.
Oyster bateaux (ddr-densho-15-106)
img Oyster bateaux (ddr-densho-15-106)
The seven oyster bateaux shown here are about to be towed to the processing area.
Unloading oysters from a bateau (ddr-densho-15-108)
img Unloading oysters from a bateau (ddr-densho-15-108)
These workers are unloading oysters from a bateau at the processing area. The oysters were shoveled into a hopper and onto a conveyor belt (left side of image) that led into the processing area, where they were opened.
Shucking oysters (ddr-densho-15-93)
img Shucking oysters (ddr-densho-15-93)
These Japanese Americans are shucking oysters on a table. Unshelled oysters were stored behind the wall shown here. The workers grabbed the oysters through an opening in the wall, opened them, placed the oysters in buckets, then deposited the shells on a conveyor belt below the worktable. Shuckers were paid by the bucket.
Unloading oysters from a bateau (ddr-densho-15-105)
img Unloading oysters from a bateau (ddr-densho-15-105)
These two farmers are unloading oysters from a bateau for processing. Left to right: Chuck (last name unknown) and Jack Tanabe.
Station-house dock (ddr-densho-15-94)
img Station-house dock (ddr-densho-15-94)
Oyster-farm workers often lived in station houses built on pilings in the bay. Since the only way to access the house was by boat, the houses had floating docks, such as the one shown here.
Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-101)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-101)
"Turk" Fugiya pushes a bateau, a small barge, with a pole. The harvested oysters were loaded on bateaux and moved by towing or by digging and pushing off on long poles.
Oyster-farm station house (ddr-densho-15-104)
img Oyster-farm station house (ddr-densho-15-104)
The station house is where oyster farmers lived during the harvesting season. The house was erected on pilings. In the foreground is a bateau, or small barge, that was used to haul oysters.
Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-100)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-100)
Norio Mitsuoka is farming oysters. Two long tongs allowed farmers to harvest oysters before the tide was completely out. Each tong had a "rake" at the end, and the farmers would scoop the oysters together between the rakes and haul them up. When full, the load weighed approximately 20 to 30 pounds. Oyster harvesters were paid …
New Washington Oyster Company (ddr-densho-15-92)
img New Washington Oyster Company (ddr-densho-15-92)
Oyster companies, such as New Washington, hired many Japanese American workers during the harvesting season.
Oyster farmer taking a bath (ddr-densho-15-95)
img Oyster farmer taking a bath (ddr-densho-15-95)
Norio Mitsuoka taking a bath. The water supply was limited, and workers had to depend on rainwater, which was collected in vats (behind the barrel), for bathwater.
Oyster  farmer (ddr-densho-15-97)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-97)
"Turk" Fujiya picking oysters at low tide. A bateau, or small barge, that carried the oysters is seen in the background to the right. Long poles were used to mark the cleared areas so that the bateau would not sit on unharvested oysters.
Oyster  farmer (ddr-densho-15-99)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-99)
Hisato "Monks" Yano harvesting oysters with tongs. Tongs were used when the tide was not completely out. Oysters were collected between two rakes, one at the end of each pole. The harvester pushed the poles together, closing the rakes, then pulled up the oysters. One load weighed approximately 20 to 30 pounds.
Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-96)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-96)
Mr. Okazaki gathering oysters in bushel baskets. When full, the baskets were emptied onto the bateau in the background. If the flats were muddy, the baskets were pulled to the bateau on wooden slats. The gloves worn by Okazaki were made from canvas covered with rubber. Because of the sharp oyster shells, a pair of gloves …
New Washington Oyster Company (ddr-densho-39-48)
img New Washington Oyster Company (ddr-densho-39-48)
Japanese Americans were active in oyster farming in the Puget Sound area before World War II.
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