Family Histories in Seattle’s Nikkei Community

This series explores family histories from Seattle’s Nikkei community. Two Seattle University students, Sharon Ideguchi and Minami Hasegawa, worked together to record the families’ stories.

Ideguchi’s articles about the families are presented in this series in English. The family histories written in Japanese by Minami Hasegawa are also available in a separate series.

* This series was originally published in the North American Post in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.

community en

The Pulling Strength from the Past to Build a Better Future — Fujii Family History

When Aiko and Nellie Fujii walked into the room I was instantly taken by the warmth that exuded from them. We introduced ourselves, smiling all the while and I was comfortable in their presence. Leading them into a conference room with Minami, we sit down and immediately Aiko Fujii begins telling us about her father and her family’s history. From her first words I am captivated by her story and am honored to share it here today.

Aiko Fujii was ten years old when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and killed thousands of people. Thankfully, she was miles away, …

Read more

identity en

Dragon in Seattle — Ideguchi Family History

At first, her voice is scratchy as her phone connects to mine across thousands of miles of sea, me sitting in a dorm room at Seattle University and her sitting at home in Hawaii. It instantly brings a smile to my face to hear her cheery voice, and I am reminded of family reunions and summers in Hawaii.

As I introduce my colleague, Minami, to my aunty Yako, my grandfather’s sister, I have so many questions in my mind. It is interesting to think about the little things that I never got around to asking anyone about my family. My …

Read more


a-bomb dillingham ranch family history hawaii heritage hiroshima oral history seattle yonsei