At its peak, nearly 14,000 people, many of them U.S. citizens,
lived and worked from here on up the hill.
This is the original edge of Japantown, a large and
energetic community from the 1890s to 1942. The
Japanese influence in Seattle expanded as the Chinese
presence declined, limited by the Chinese Exclusion
Act of 1882. The growing U.S. still needed labor
and Japanese immigrants fit the bill.
As time passed, these immigrants and their
descendants established businesses, ran hotels,
raised families, and helped build Seattle-until
the forced removal of the entire population during
World War II, from which the original community
never fully recovered.
For more about Japantown, visit
the nearby Wing Luke Museum
Caption 1: The restored Furuya Building still stands across the corner on Main Street.
Its founder settled in Seattle as a tailor then gradually expanded into retail
and import-export, labor contracting, and eventually banking.
Caption 2: During World War II, the U.S. Government forced 7,000 Japanese
Americans from Seattle into concentration camps elsewhere. Their
businesses and houses taken, few returned after the war. Those
who came back re-established Japantown, which is now just a few
blocks up Main Street.
Caption 3: Parade float by the Japanese Fishing Tackle Dealers