Filled with Grace - Japanese Americans in the South Sound
February 4 - May 21, 2017
The Japanese community first set down roots in Washington State during the 1890s. Early immigrants took low paying jobs in railroads, sawmills, salmon canneries, farms and as domestic laborers. Within a few decades, however, these Washingtonians had become a vital part of our state with contributions to both culture and commerce.
It was not a life without conflict, however. Changing laws and the stirring of war with Japan caused strain for many Japanese Americans. The bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 only intensified fear and frustration as uncertainty about the future increased.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, authorizing the creation of concentration camps for Japanese American citizens. This event would mark the lives of Japanese Americans, their families and their communities forever.
“The bitter ordeals I have suffered
|Filled with Grace focuses on the lives of the Japanese American community prior to World War II. Visitors will experience history through period music, interactive activities, art, and more. Some of the artifacts on display include photos of pre-war Japanese American life in Washington, traditional clothing, suitcases, dolls, and a diorama showing the layout of "Camp Harmony" at the Puyallup Fairgrounds.|
This black and white image from 1938 is of a Japanese American man in Pierce County, WA, identified as Johnny Fujita. He is sitting at a desk looking at some kind of accounting ledger and there is an adding machine on the desk to his right.
In this 1941 Seattle photo, a smiling Japanese American clerk hands a plate of pastries to a customer. A description on the back of the photo states that it is "the Sagamiya Confectionary Store, the oldest Japanese shop in the city. It has been in business since 1890, the year after the great Seattle fire."