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Communities -- Asian and Pacific Islander Community
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In 1934, Hisasha & Ruby Kumasaka received $10,000 each in the will of 80-year-old logger Sweny Smith. Ruby, 7, and Hisasha, 5, were the children of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Kumasaka of 1706 Broadway. For eight years, the family had taken Smith into their home and taken care of him. Despite his Norwegian heritage, Smith observed the Japanese holidays, attended the Buddhist church and followed the family's customs. He spoke of the two children as his grandchildren. On his deathbed in St. Joseph's Hospital, he told the children that he was going to the Great Beyond to watch over them and their growth, and directed them to a safety deposit box in the Washington Building that contained his will leaving everything to them for their kindness. The Kumasaka family, unaware that the frugal logger had any wealth, expected only a meagre amount, but found that the will left $10,000 to each of the children. (T. Times 10/31/1934, pg. 6)

Japanese Americans--Tacoma; Children--Tacoma--1930-1940; Kumasaka, Ruby; Kumasaka, Hisasha;


A large group of Japanese Americans are pictured on the steps of Jones Hall on the University of Puget Sound campus during the Pacific Northwest District Methodist and Youth Conference on November 27, 1960. Photograph ordered by the Japanese Methodist Church.

Japanese Americans--Tacoma; Religious meetings--Tacoma;

Asian-Americans - 10

Back of Photo:
Trang Nguyen (16), Thuy Le (14) who both attend Stadium H.S. and have been in the US for only 3 months and Betty Thach (16) who attends Clover Park H.S. and has been here for 2 and a half years, are all Amerasian children, they watch the city skyline pass by as the Sea Explorer boat Charles Curtis, a 80 foot wooden hull boat built in 1931 slips out of city waterway. Tacoma has been designated as one of about 50 cluster sites across the US. A program has been scheduled to welcome the Amerasian youth and their families, after lunch a boat cruise of Commencement Bay, courtesy of the Sea Explorers, a branch of the Boy Scouts of America.

Asian-Americans - 11

Back of Photo:
Tuyet Mazziotta feeds her 14-month-old daughter during a visit to the Luner New Year Festival celebration in the Kingdome Saturday. This is the beginning of the year of the horse. It's two days of food, music, booths, and combines many groups of differing Asian backgrounds including Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese, Thai et cetera. The traditional dragon dance can still be seen tomorrow afternoon after 4 pm in Chinatown in S. Seattle.

Asian-Americans - 12

Back of Photo:
Cultural Fair sponsored by South Puget Sound Adoptive Parents.
As part of a cultural fair to educate children and adults about different cultures Jennifer Yoon, 24, left and Angela Synn, 13, right performed some traditional Korean dances including fan and basket dancing.

Asian-Americans - 13

Back of Photo:
--Learning to Wok--
Merinda Chiu, 7 months, watches her mother, Nancy Chiu, prepare a meal at her restaurant, C&C Chinese Garden, in Spokane on Monday. Chiu says her daughter loves to watch her cook.

Asian-Americans - 2

Back of Photo:
--Old Culture, New Life--
Kathy Laufasa and Tupou Mamaea, both students at Chief Sealth High School, practice Polynesian dance steps. The Samoans are among increasing numbers of Pacific Rim natives who have emigrated to the United States.

Asian-Americans - 5

Back of Photo:
Hang Sou, a Hmong refugee, stands in line for his final medical exam at a Thailand transit camp in the Non Fiction Television documentary "Becoming American", which will be televised over the Public Broadcasting Service Friday, June 4 at 9 p.m. (Check local listings.) The documentary by Ken Levine and Ivory Waterworth Levine follows Hang Sou and his family from a refugee camp in northern Thailand to their new home in Seattle, WA.

Asian-Americans - 7

Back of Photo:
Thien Long, his wife, Soeuth Tuy Long and their baby, Ellen Mary Long (age 1.5) rest on a bed in their apartment in Tacoma. This is for a story on welfare for Southeast Asian refugees.
Photo by Joe Giron

Asian-Americans - 8

Back of Photo:
Them Prom Kim holds three-year-old Sokha Buntun during a Tacoma Police Dept. seminar on crime prevention in the Salishan Housing District. These seminars are for people with limited knowledge of English.
Photo by Joe Giron

Bingo (Gambling) - 5

Back of Photo:
--BJ's Bingo, new Indian gambling rules.
Lazara Gallardo, 90, of Tacoma plays bingo at BJ's Bingo Hall Friday. Her granddaughter, Lamar Abalahin, 22, of Tacoma is sitting behind her. They were playing in hopes of winning one of the six Yugos given away at BJ's. The winner of the car was Lazara's daughter! (Juanita A. Pastor, winner)
Photo by Susie Post


A Japanese American wedding party with their many guests posed on December 6, 1925 outside the building at South 17th and Market Streets that housed the Tacoma Jujitsu School and the Columbus Hotel. The bride, groom and attendants, as well as guests, are all dressed in American attire. Rather then wear a traditional shiromuku wedding kimono, the bride appears to be completely and stylishly dressed in a contemporary white dress, including a long lace veil, and carries a large bouquet of flowers. No one, with the exception of the two youngsters on the far right, appears to be smiling. G39.1-184; TPL-1438.

Japanese Americans--Tacoma; Weddings--Tacoma--1920-1930; Wedding costume--1920-1930; Grooms (Weddings)--1920-1930; Brides--1920-1930;


This young unidentified Japanese-American couple was married in a Buddhist ceremony on December 11, 1927, at the Hiroshimaya Hotel, 1355 Market Street. The bride appears to have had an attendant who is holding a large bouquet of flowers and four junior attendants. The Buddhist minister, in ornamental robes, is standing behind the newlyweds. The wedding party and guests, all dressed in Western attire, are posed beneath a canopy; each section of the canopy has a similar circular design. TPL-2838; G39.1-186

Japanese Americans--Tacoma; Weddings--1920-1930; Grooms (Weddings)--1920-1930; Brides--1920-1930; Wedding costume--1920-1930;


Sepia photograph of Japanese American children in colorful kimonos and obis, carrying open fans. Posed against the peaceful setting of the First Presbyterian Church on February 8, 1928, these young Japanese American girls from Fife are dressed in traditional costume. The two children kneeling in front have musical instruments in their laps. At center is their teacher, Miss Jones, who is also dressed in a kimono. The First Presbyterian had a "Tea of Nations" that afternoon which was attended by 400 women. Countries where the Presbyterian Church had missions were featured; this class of young children would be singing at the event. G39.1-188B (Tacoma Sunday Ledger, 2-5-28, D-1-article on Tea of Nations)

Japanese Americans--Tacoma; Children--Clothing & dress--Tacoma--1920-1930; Kimonos; Fans (Accessories); First Presbyterian Church (Tacoma);


Japanese American children from Fife line up on the steps of the First Presbyterian Church on February 8, 1928, dressed in traditional kimonos and with open fans. The tall young lady in the center of the photograph is their teacher, Miss Jones, who wears a kimono with thick obi. The positioning of the young girls on the steps resembles a gently opened fan. That afternoon the First Presbyterian Church sponsored a "Tea of Nations" which attracted 400 guests. Many countries in which the church had missionary programs were featured in a pageant of nations; these young girls may have been invited as representatives of Japan. They would be led in song by Miss Jones. G39.1-188A (Tacoma Sunday Ledger, 2-5-28, D-1-article on Tea of Nations)

Japanese Americans--Tacoma; Children--Clothing & dress--Tacoma--1920-1930; Kimonos; Fans (Accessories);


Tacoma Buddhist Shoso-kwai. The Shoso-kwai, which may have translated to "youth meeting," poses outdoors, sans coats, on February 19, 1928. The young girls belonged to the Tacoma Buddhist Church which met at the site of the Columbus Hotel on Market St. Two years later in 1930, the church would move to its present location on Fawcett Avenue. G39.1-189; TPL-2840.

Japanese Americans--Tacoma; Clubs--Tacoma--1920-1930;


Several members of the Yamamoto family posed for a group portrait on June 7, 1931 on the front steps of Mr. Kichigiro "Kay" Yamamoto's house at 3220 54th Ave E in Fife. Mr. Yamamoto in the light colored suit wearing spectacles right behind what appear to be a bride and groom. His wife, Masae, in the second row far left. Their children in the front row from left to right: Ray, Katherine, Margaret, George and Edith. Source: Sullivan, Michael "Legacy, part 3" Tacoma History Live Blog, July 31, 2019.


Members of the Yamamoto family posed in front of their residence on June 7, 1931. Gentleman with the glasses and is Mr. Kichigiro "Kay" Yamamoto and to his right his wife, Masae. Children from left to right: Margaret, Edit, Katherine, George and Ray. Source: Sullivan, Michael "Legacy, part 3" Tacoma History Live Blog, July 31, 2019.


Family gathering before or after the wedding of University of Washington graduates Luana Chizuru Uyeda and Dr. Keith Hiroshi Yoshino.


Post-wedding photo of University of Washington graduates Luana Chizuru Uyeda and Dr. Keith Hiroshi Yoshino in a Ford Crown Victoria.


The Tacoma Buddhist Church at 1717 Fawcett Ave. held an O-bon Festival on Sunday, July 19, 1959. Dressed in kimonos with obis around their waists and zori sandals on their feet are (l to r) Carol Hayashi, Lynne Nakagawara, Laurie Tanabe, Kathy Tanabe, Atsuko Duchi and Joyce Nakagawara. The festival opened at 7 p.m. with a religious ceremonial dance. This was followed by a selection of colorful Japanese folk dances. Japanese paper lanterns were used as decoration, and Japanese flower arrangements by the women of the Buddhist Fujin-Kai were on display in the church basement. (TNT 7/17/1959, pg. 14) Picture ordered by the Tacoma Buddhist Church

Kimonos; Japanese Americans--Tacoma; Girls--Tacoma--1950-1960; Hayashi, Carol; Nakagawara, Lynne; Tanabe, Laurie; Tanabe, Kathy; Duchi, Atsuko; Nakagawara, Joyce;


In the spring of 1942, four months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, more than 100,000 residents of Japanese ancestry were forcibly evicted from their homes in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Alaska and sent to temporary assembly centers, from there to be sent to internment camps in remote inland areas to sit out the war. The Puyallup Assembly Center, hastily erected by the Army in less than 3 weeks and known as "Camp Harmony," was utilized from April 28- September 12, 1942. On May 16, 1942, two year old Beverly Higashida and Lillian Fujihara were getting acquainted with Mrs. M. Kaniko and her seven month old son Wayne. The pictured group was all from Seattle. By the end of May, more than 7,000 people were crowded into the camp. The stoic Japanese made the best of a bad situation, forming their own government, schools and entertainments. The worst aspect of the camp was boredom in the confined quarters. A call went out for recreational materials, such as young Wayne's tricycle. (T. Times 4/30/1942, pg. 9)

Camp Harmony (Puyallup); Relocation camps--Puyallup; World War, 1939-1945--Relocation camps; Japanese Americans--Evacuation & relocation, 1942-1945; Children riding bicycles & tricycles; Fujihara, Lillian; Higashida, Beverly; Kaniko, Wayne;


By the end of May of 1942, more than 7,000 people of Japanese ancestry from Seattle and the surrounding area, including 1200 from Tacoma, were being detained at "Camp Harmony," a temporary assembly center built hastily by the army in Puyallup. They stayed there for four months, until they were shipped to the Minidoka Relocation Center in Southern Idaho to wait for the end of the war. In this photograph taken May 16, 1942, Seattleites Beverly Higashida (2 years old), Lillian Fujihara, seven month old Wayne Kaniko and his mother Mrs. M. Kaniko all smiled for the camera. Whole families were sent to the camp, each assigned a one room "apartment." The Japanese proceeded to make a home out of the almost unbearable conditions, forming a government, school and devising entertainments. Their values remained intact and their spirits high. (T. Times 4/30/1942, pg. 9)

Camp Harmony (Puyallup); Relocation camps--Puyallup; World War, 1939-1945--Relocation camps; Japanese Americans--Evacuation & relocation, 1942-1945; Children riding bicycles & tricycles; Fujihara, Lillian; Higashida, Beverly; Kaniko, Wayne;

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