Mountain of Shell: The Poetry of Miyoko Sato and Yukiko Abo
We learn from senryu that life is brief, our faults many and the ways we deceive ourselves innumerable. Senryu teaches us to be patient, to smile, to know the wisdom of humility and to be generous…in spirit. Koyo (Susumu) Sato
The senryu poems of Miyoko Sato and Yukiko Abo open a window to the lives of Japanese laborers in the oyster industry of Western Washington. Both women were born in the first quarter of the 20th century in Washington State, and spent most of their lives working on Oyster Bay, Totten Inlet, Washington.[i] Senryu, their graceful art, is a Japanese poetic tradition. It is related to haiku in form but its topics concern everyday life and often sparkle with wit and humor.[ii]
On this working bay in south Puget Sound a community of Japanese and Japanese Americans have lived and labored since about 1900. Many of them were United States citizens but were nonetheless incarcerated in 1942. Most spent their war years in the windswept and forlorn Tule Lake Segregation Center near the California border town of Newell. It was known as the “worst” of the War Relocation Camps and stories of it abound especially during the 4th of July reunions held on site.
Sliding from their box,
Seed oysters gleam in the sun
Of a foreign land
When I first moved to Oyster Bay in the early 1970s, I didn’t know I was entering a historically and culturally rich maritime community that had been occupied for thousands of years. We were a group of women, artists, writers, anthropologists, and educators who bought and lived in structures that themselves were part of this history. One friend bought the oyster plant that had belonged to the Brenner Oyster Company. It became living quarters and art studio. Two of us reclaimed workers’ houses from the invasive Himalayan blackberries, and the fast growing Douglas fir, and alder. Greenery had laid siege to the neglected uplands buildings associated with Brenner operations. As we talked with neighbors, we came to know a few names of the oyster growers: Justin Taylor, J.J. Brenner, Dave McMillan, and the man we knew simply as the “bay master,” to name a few; all were associated with an oyster business we knew nothing about.
We could look down bay and see a mountain of wooden boxes silk screened with the name “Olympia Oyster Company.” We learned these were the containers that held oyster spat shipped from Japan, kept wet on the decks of the ships that brought them to Washington. We watched the oyster barges and workers on the tide flats.
One person stood out in those years. A slight Japanese gentleman walked the beach, a dog that looked like a small bear on a leash by his side. He had a steady, erect gate, a bright smile, and a head of thick grey hair cut short on the sides and parted slightly off center. We came to know his name was Takeji Minegishi and heard stories that he had received his home, a dignified brick house with magnificent gardens, as a gift. He, we were told, had made and tended those gardens for the previous owners, the William Waldrip family. Down the hill on the beach and below that house were twin wooden cabins. They were in shambles by my time and accessible only by water or by a lurching ride down a steep, long, gravelly driveway then called Hardscrabble Road.
Then we no longer saw Mr. Minegishi.
During my beach walks in later years, I came to know the derelict cabins a better. They were long abandoned and stood on frail, worm eaten, pilings over the tide flats. One cabin corner rested on only an inch or two of support. When I dared to peek inside, I could see moldering Japanese language magazines, a woman’s white pump and matching tightly clasped handbag, and a scattering of foxed photographs. In the woods behind the cabins I found middens of sake bottles and tin shoyu canisters. Sometimes, from the muddy banks nearby, broken bits of rice bowls fell into the gravel and mud.
At the rear and to the side of the cabins was a splendid stand of bamboo that evoked the stroke and style of Chinese landscape painting. Its erect, green culms sequestered the modest dwellings. Their long leaves made a whispering sound with the breezes from the bay. In the spring, purple and yellow irises grew out of swampy beach grasses. A freshwater spring trickled out from under one of the cabins. A long ruined pier stood, a broken skeleton, leading from the cabins out into the bay. Just downbay near the cabins were large chunks of twisted rebar and concrete blocks, shards of broken glass, and even an old refrigerator.
Now, even the cabins are gone.
One day, a few years ago, after reading one of my articles about Oyster Bay, Ron Abo called me. “Wouldn’t you like to know our story? The story of the Japanese on Oyster Bay?” he asked.
Yukiko Abo, Ron’s mother lives almost directly across the bay from me though I had not met the family. She was born in a float house on Mud Bay in Thurston County, Washington in 1919, Ron said. Her parents worked for J.J. Brenner on the oyster beds. I wanted to learn more.
come with the wind
From the opposite shore
At our first meeting in Yukiko Abo’s home, we talked together as we flipped through family photograph albums. Yukiko spoke little, and then in Japanese. Her adult children, who take turns staying in her home as she has needed more help, translated. We asked her about the pictures and everyone had stories. The house, just above the beach, is adorned with Japanese art and on walls are scrolls of calligraphed senryu mounted on wooden tablets. Brilliant trophies bedeck shelves. These are awards from senryu competitions. As we talked, sipped green tea, and nibbled on rice cracker treats, the story of a vibrant Japanese and Japanese American maritime community of laborers emerged. The discovery that this community of laboring people had abounded with poets and poetry was an unexpected gift.
How many families
By this Mountain of shells
Japanese workers first came to Oyster Bay in the early twentieth century. In 1900 there were at least three Japanese laborers on Oyster Bay. They were single men, late twenties to mid-thirties, working side by side with a dozen or more Chinese in a community of English, Irish, Canadians, Germans, Swedes and Americans. By that time, few Indians worked in the tidelands on Oyster Bay. The Slocum and Simmons families were still in the business. The Tobins, who had beds in Oyster Bay, had long since taken a homestead on Mud Bay. Census records from 1910 lists nearly twenty individuals “working at oystering” who were born in Japan. They had immigrated between 1900 and 1907, a few years after the many Chinese oyster workers in the Kamilche/Oyster Bay area. Several of the Japanese were members of small families in which both spouses or other relatives were working.[iii] In Shelton two young Japanese men were servants and oyster openers at the “oyster house” in the downtown district.
Some of the oyster workers in the early 1900s were part-timers. E.N. Steele notes that, “Two young Japanese men, by name of J. Emy Tsukimato and Joe Miyagi,” graduated from public schools in Olympia and earned their way by acting as “house boys,” opening oysters for J.J. Brenner, or working on the oyster beds during summer vacations.[iv]
Can’t say “no”
So I am overworked
There is very little in the literature of the oyster industry about these essential Japanese laborers and their contributions. T.R. Ingham’s history notes that Tadayasu (Tad) Abo was among those who showed him how to use an oyster fork. He was impressed if somewhat condescending: “…many people little realize how hard the ‘blue -collar men’ work, and how much they understand what they are doing, with good suggestions helplful to management.”[v]
Oyster growers established families in float houses moored to “good producing beds.” The families were “usually Japanese” and the float houses were linked to a “top float and a sink float.”[vi] The high-sided sink float held harvested oysters below water level when the tide came in. A float house itself, “had a flat bottom so when the tide was out it settled on the tide-flat.” It was, “fitted up with sleeping quarters, food and cooking utilities.” [vii] The cabin-like living quarters were built on “six logs with a diameter of six or seven feet” bound together. It was “chained to…pillars sunk” into the mud flats.[viii]
Through the late ‘teens and 1920s there were,“six Japanese families on Mud Bay and thirteen or fourteen at Oyster Bay.”[ix]
Japanese families continued to work and live on Oyster Bay through the 1930s.
Periodically articles appeared in the Mason County Journal that mentioned this hearty community of immigrants.
A storm of snow
I wait for him to come home,
while the kettle boils.
These notes were often somber.
In October of 1917 the Mason County Journal, in its “Oyster Bay Odd Bits of News” column reported that,“the Japanese of the community are plunged in gloom which was cast upon them by the death of three of their number recently.” John Hyamo drowned in an attempt to save his small son. The death records show that, “Chiyonia Lou Hayami” from Japan was 45 years old when he was declared dead of “accidental drowning.” The boy was 4 years old. Years later, Tadayusu Abo remembered that the Hayami boy “floated under the house,” and could not be retrieved before he died.[x] Another version of the story says that, “John Hyama” and his son were washed away by the “strong current from outgoing tide.” Such tragedies or near tragedies were not uncommon. And they were long remembered.
At the beach for his return
Sad sound of foghorns![xi]
In 1909, a month old boy, “Asuo Matsumoto” died of pneumonia and bronchitis. In 1912, a month old girl, “Tsuyu Oyama” died of gastroenteritis. Intestinal hemorrhage was listed as cause of death of two day old “M. Tsurutomi” in 1914. In 1917, a nearly eight month old baby, a “Yoshihari” died of gastroenteritis.” Baby “Ikiyi Sabata” was stillborn in November of 1917. “Minoru Osako,” a two month old boy died of “acute indigestion.” [xii]
A special 1905 edition of the Mason County Journal notes that Japanese and Chinese are “employed in gathering and culling” the big business of oyster growing. Mason County was producing and shipping “an average of 20,000 sacks of oysters a year.” The return, the article reports, was “close to $75,000.” [xiii] The grower’s gross return was $3.25 “from which he paid $1 to $1.25 for gathering and culling.” This would have included the Japanese workers living in a oyster opening and shipping house at Kamilche Point when it burned to the ground after some locals “camped” in vacant rooms set off fire crackers July 4, 1915.[xiv] Eventually, the Japanese workers replaced the Chinese who, in turn, had displaced most of the Indian oyster bed workers.[xv]However, in February of 1904 the Mason County Journal noted that many Japanese oyster workers returned to Japan with the outbreak of the Japanese-Russian war.
Other records of the community appear occasionally. Mosa Yoshahara is among the youngsters pictured in a 1920 Oyster Bay school class picture. In 1929 the Mason County Journal noted that, “the Japanese colony of employees” was well represented at the funeral services in Olympia of the well known grower, Joseph Waldrip.
The Yoshihara family, cousins of the Abo family, were sometimes in the Mason County news. Originally working for the J.J. Brenner along with the Abos on Mud Bay in the 1920s, they acquired their own beds in Oakland Bay near Shelton and incorporated as the West Coast Oyster company in 1935. The Mason County Journal called them “energetic and progressive Japanese who have been quite successful in their business under many handicaps.”
Even on a snowy night
He goes to work with his lantern.
A local memoir notes that there were several families living on float houses on Oyster Bay through the 1930s. “Mr. and Mrs. Motamatu lived in two small float houses anchored to the shore…accessed by a long wooden plank.” The Hisata family lived on a “floating barge with a small rectangle house built on top…opposite Burns Point.” [xvi]People living on the shore heard the sound of children laughing or sometimes a flute. Families maintained small gardens on the decks of their floating homes and in the summer, the houses were pulled up on shore, leveled, and large, lush vegetable gardens were made on above the beach.[xvii] Romantic as it may sound, life on a float house was fraught with danger. During harvest season, people worked long hours and through the night and in rough weather with high winds and waves. Oil lanterns provided the only markers for workers on the dark low tides of winter. “If the tide was right in the middle of the night, dark figures could be seen in the soft circlet of light cast by their lanterns…raking with slow strokes using their long handled oyster rakes. They were visions of dependability, ingenuity and industry,” [xviii] Tadayasu Abo said in the “busiest season before Thanksgiving and Christmas” he “worked as long as one week without taking off his boots.” The weather could be nasty; the waves and currents rough. Pay was “enough for food” Yukiko Abo remembered. “Not very much,” another former opener said. When her husband Kay broke his leg, Irene Nagai, who didn’t drive, walked a mile and a half each way to catch a ride to work. The pay may have been meager, but it was essential.
There were few amenities and no benefits. Until the mid-1970s, women’s pay was lower than men’s. Women, mostly openers and cullers, were paid by piece work and men were paid by the hour. There was no health care though accidents on the job were covered through Washington State Labor and Industries. There was no extra pay for Saturday work. There was company housing, but workers paid rent and were reluctant to ask for the repairs the old, rotting houses needed.[xix]
The Imperial Government of Japan bombed Pearl harbor. It was December 7, 1941. Every Life changed for everyone that day. First there were rumors, then fear. The Mason County Journal February 6, 1942 edition announced:
Enemy Aliens Get To Monday to Re-Register.
Oyster Bay was in trouble even before the Japanese and Japanese Americans were interned. Sulfite from pulp mills opened in 1927 in Shelton had begun to take its toll on the waters that fed the tiny Olympia oyster, the mainstay of production on the bay. Some growers filed a damage suit against Rainier Pulp and Paper in 1930. In the mid-1940s the Washington State Fisheries Department launched a survey to study of the effects of pollution and the decline of the native oysters. The oyster beds were also suffering from absence of workers during the war. A newspaper article in April 1942 noted “The problem of the oyster industry is complicated by the lack of men to work the beds because of the Japanese evacuation.” Growers were concerned. “There is some difference of opinion as to what harm may be done the oyster beds by letting them lie idle because white help will not work the beds,” the paper reported. Japanese laborers moved seed oysters to fattening grounds, laid shell on beds to catch spat, and repaired “dikes, boats, scows and floats.” In short, the Japanese did almost all work.
Yukiko Abo was born on a float house on Mud Bay in 1919. Her mother Yuri was born in Hiroshima in about 1900. Her father Tomitaro Abo was born in around 1887 and immigrated to the United States in 1903. In 1920, the family worked on oyster beds along side the Yamada family and the Yoshiharas. Yukiko’s brother became ill with tuberculosis and Yuri took both children to Japan. Yukiko, an American citizen, attended the Mukaishima Koto Shogakko (upper division elementary) school in Mitsugai district of Hiroshima until 1932 then went to a girl’s school (jogakko) in the same town until 1936. She studied sewing, arithmetic, reading, and geography, “similar to American schools.”[xx] She became what is known as Kibei, American born-educated in Japan, once she returned to the United States. Kibei were suspect when WWII began because of their ties to Japan and Tule Lake internees counted many Kibei among their population. In 1936, Tadayasu, who was born in a lumber camp in Selleck, Washington in 1911,[xxi] and was also Kibei, returned to Japan and married Yukiko. It was, Yukiko says, a marriage arranged by their families. The couple stayed in Japan for three months then they booked passage from Kobe on the Hiye Maru. Over 11 thousand tons, it was launched and put into service as a passenger and cargo ship in 1930. The well known vessel travelled between Kobe and Seattle during the 1930s at one point carrying 1000 rose bushes as return gift from Seattle to the city of Yokohama. It could carry 331 passengers and traveled at 18.5 knots. It’s place in history is unique. It carried scrap metal to Japan before WWII, was almost blown up in Elliot Bay near the Great Northern Dock by Canadians protesting the war in China, it carried Polish Jewish refugees to the United States in 1941, it was used as a submarine depot ship by the Japanese Imperial Navy during WWII, and was torpedoed and sunk in 1943.
Yukiko was 16 when she came back to Puget Sound. The couple returned to work for the Olympia Oyster Company on Oyster Bay where Tad had been working since 1934.
In 1940, Tadayasu Abo registered for the draft. After the attack on Pearl Harbor the United States Government moved quickly to contain “enemy aliens.” In February 1942, Executive Order 9066 ordered the evacuation from the West Coast of “all persons of Japanese Ancestry.” By March of 1942, assembly centers were established as containment areas until camps were constructed. Executive Order 9102 established the War Relocation Authority.
The Abos boarded a train for Tule Lake with their two year old son, Joe, in June of 1942. They were interned until February 1945. Tad Abo was officially classified 4C, an “enemy alien” inelgible for military service.
Tule Lake became a camp of “disloyals.” A loyalty oath was given to internees in 1943 and those who did not sign became the majority population at Tule. Yukiko wrote, “I thought that …I would be forced to relocate during time of war to unfriendly communities. I didn’t want to be separated from my husband and son. Mr. K……(a Hoshi Dan leader my note) said if I didn’t refuse to answer or didn’t give negative answers I would be separated from my brother who was sick. I couldn’t think of relocating with my son and without my husband, especially after the experience of how Japanese could be treated by white persons who hated us because of the war.” Yukiko had been kicked by a white woman while walking in town one day before the evacuation. This stoked her fear of relocation somewhere that she wouldn’t know people. Her experience on Oyster Bay before the war with non-Japanese was positive. “Short” Barrick worked side by side with Tad on the mud flats and not only provided firewood and friendship but offered to keep all the Abo belongings safe when they were evacuated. [xxii]
Camp life itself fueled fear. After Congress passed a constitutionally questionable “denaturalization” bill that allowed Japanese Americans to renounce their citizenship, organizations at camp including Sokuji Kikoku Hoshi-Dan and Hokoku Seinen-Dan (a young men’s association), both pro-Japan groups advocating return to Japan, stepped up their efforts to recruit others. [xxiii]“I was always in fear of my husband, children and I getting harmed by…the Hoshi Dan and the Seinen Dan.[xxiv] I was always hearing how they beat people that were not deciding for renunciation.” There were threats. Some who had decided to renounce shunned others. Tad Abo was afraid that there might be retaliations against his parents, now in Japan, if he said he would be willing to serve in the United States military. And he was certain that the family would be deported no matter what they did and face trouble in Japan if they signed loyalty oaths in the United States. Finally Yukiko followed her husband’s decision and renounced citizenship. They and many others were young adults with small children, torn by their loyalties to families, fearful, and not yet proficient in English. More than 5000 eventually came forward after the war to tell their stories. Yukiko and Tad sent letters asking to have the applications for renunciation cancelled in 1945.
Wayne Collins, a San Francisco Attorney took up the case of the renunciants and filed two mass class equity suits including Tadayasu Abo v. Clark, No. 25294 in the U.S. District VCourt at San Francisco on November 13,1945. It would be a 24 year struggle as the case made it through the courts, affidavits were collected from individual renunciants, and rulings were made case by case.
After the war the family, with daughter Nancy (born in camp) and son Joe, lived briefly in Red Bluff, California where Tad worked for Southern Pacific Railroad. Then a letter came from Tamotsu “ Tom” Nagai, the first family to return to Oyster Bay, asking them to return to work for the Olympia Oyster Company. A meeting had been held asking whether the Nikkei would be welcomed. The Abo, Marikawa, Yoshimura, Kanda, and Kajihara families returned. Others including the Satos, followed.[xxv]
The suits were successful and affirmed that the whole renunciation process was filled with missteps. A final order restoring citizenship to the Abos was issued on February 7, 1957. [xxvi]
It was that year that Yukiko began to write poetry with other Nikkei oyster workers on Oyster Bay.
Happy to see you with your
catch of smelt.
During one of my visits, Miyoko Sato, after showing me her garden, led me to a lower level room which served as her office. She sat before a computer with a Japanese keyboard which she used to publish Hokubei Senryu.[xxvii] She also sent selections of senryu to followers. “She always starts with a description of the season like, ‘sensing the daffodils and the daphne about to bloom, I know spring is just around the corner,’” one reader wrote.[xxviii] She learned from Miyoko Sato to take notice.
When Miyoko Sato took over as publisher in 1980, she used “steel pens, stencils, and mimeographs” and an “almost antique” printer.[xxix] She showed me the slips of paper used to write senryu during meetings and explained how the poems were judged and how she edited the monthly journal.
Miyoko Sato began writing senryu with her husband, Susumu Sato,[xxx] Yukiko Abo, Irene Nagai, and others from Oyster Bay in 1957. Their teacher was the man who walked by my house in the early 1970s, Takeji Minegishi. He immigrated at age 16 with his father and studied and wrote senryu most of his life, first as a member of a group in Longview, Washington where his father worked. He spent the war years in Japan then returned to the bay in 1951, and in 1957, after becoming a citizen, brought his wife and children. His Oyster Bay students met monthly, in his home at first, writing on topics that were close to their experiences and sharing their poetry with one another. It became, this writing, a life long passion.
Miyoko Mabel Sato was born Miyoko Sazaka in 1920. The birth took place Bellevue where her parents had arranged for a midwife. Her parents, Mitse and Fusa or Fusaye (nee Fujiwara), were born in Japan and immigrated from Nagano-ken. Fusaye was born in 1890 and arrived in the United States in 1918 after completing eight years of school in Japan. The family lived in King County. Her mother and father worked for Grand Union Laundry. When she was seven, she and her brothers and sisters were taken to Japan by their grandfather. Miyoko attended elementary and girls’ high school there.
As a young man, Susumu was a summer oyster employee of the Washington Oyster Company in South Bend where his father was an oyster laborer. He was in school the rest of the year. Susumu was also born in the United States and attended school for nine years in Japan. He returned to the United States in 1936, sailing from Yokohama on the Hiye Maru. Miyoko returned to the United States with her brother Hiroshi two years later. She was 17. Her traveling companions from Japan included many U.S. citizens: students, farm laborers, missionaries, and even a hotel howner.
Susumu “Koyo” was a friend of Miyoko’s brother. He came to visit and help with chores. And he sang. The young Miyoko was attracted to Koyo and “what followed was: ‘Sono mukashi hubo mo kawashita.’”[xxxi]They began to exchange love letters.
They married in Seattle in August 1941 at the Buddhist Church on King Street. They moved to Bay Center where they both worked for an oyster company. It was there they received notice that they were to be evacuated to Tule Lake. The newlyweds left a houseful of gifts behind and boarded a train in Olympia. Miyoko, just 21, was pregnant with her daughter Dorothy, born in July of 1942. Miyoko’s family in Seattle were interned at Minidoka.
After the war, Susumu worked for three years as a member of a section gang for the Southern Pacific Railroad.[xxxii]Then Miyoko’s father in Seattle saw a piece in the newspaper: “Employees Wanted by Oyster Company.” They arrived on Oyster Bay in 1948 and never left.
Gloves are good things
Rough hands may hide
During our visit in November 2009, Miyoko showed me her hands, fingers bent from years of the tedious task of culling oysters and scraping barnacles from the oyster shells. We talked about the Hokubei Senryu. Few people subscribe, now. Many of those who were writing senryu have died. After we talked, she read some of her poems.
You think you know your body
but not really
On a grey day in February 2010 Oyster Bay families shared sushi, hot tea, and a large cake. Oyster Bay Senryu and Friends was emblazoned on it with thick, daffodil yellow frosting.The Minegishi house had been, after many years of vacancy and vandalism, remodeled and was ready to be occupied by the family. Sue Kikuchi, Takeji Minegishi’s daughter, hosted the afternoon tea for the families, many of whom hadn’t seen each other since they were young. Abos from across the bay came, including Yukiko. Harry Sato represented the Sato family. Miyoko wasn’t feeling up to it. Others involved in the Mountain of Shell project, including Aki Motomatsu, a long time Oyster Bay resident and shellfish laborer were there. The “reunion” called to mind the senryu gatherings and parties so many years ago held on these grounds. People shared stories, studied photographs, and then, at the urging of Mary Abo, the poems came out and the readings began.
Without any applause
the curtain comes down
We do applaud.
The Mountain of Shell project is an ongoing effort to record and archive the history of Japanese and Japanese American laborers on Oyster Bay. The author wants to thank the Abo, Sato, Motomatsu, Kikuchi families for their collaboration and enthusiasm. Shirley Earhart at the Mason County Historic Society has been of invaluable help on this project for nearly 10 years.
Katsu Young helped with some translation.
[i] The poems quoted in this article were originally written in Japanese and translated either by their authors or family members helping with the Mountain of Shell project.
[ii] Shuho Ohno. Modern Senryu in English. Hokubei International. 1988. Virginia Painter. “Oystering a Longtime Way of Life…” The Olympian. January14, 1979.
[iii] Other Japanese and Japanese families worked on Mason County logging crews.
[iv] see E.N. Steele. The Immigrant Oyster: Now Known as the Pacific Oyster. chapter I. 1962. These men figured prominently in the history of the local industry after graduating from college.
[v] T.R. Ingham, M.D. History of Olympia Oyster Company. 1993. p. 33
[vi] History of Olympia Oyster Company.
[vii] op. cit The Immigrant Oyster. page 17
[viii]A History of Japanese Immigrants in North America. Translated by Shinechiro Nakamura and Jean S. Gerard. Published by Executive Committee for Publication of Issei: A History of Japanese Immigrants in North America c/o Japanese Community Service, 1414 South Weller Street. Seattle, WA. 1973. page 582
[ix] Ibid. p. 582
[x] ibid. p. 583
[xi] This was likely the fog signal from the Dofflemyer Point Lighthouse at Boston Harbor according to long time residents of Oyster Bay and Totten Inlet. It was built in 1934.
[xii] Death rates for Japanese laborers was probably high all over the west coast of the United States. Yuji Ichioka infers that poor, unsanitary, or unsafe working conditions may have accounted for many of the illnesses and accidental deaths. Yuji Ichioka. The Issei: The World of First Generation Jpanese Immigrants 1885-1924. 1990. Pp. 84-85.
[xiii] About $1,800,000 using consumer price index to determine relative value in 2010 dollars.
[xiv] Mason County Journal. July 9, 1915. “Old Landmark Burned.” The house at first been McDonald Simmon’s saloon which “served to supply early-day loggers with all kinds of wines and liquors, including the genuine old ‘red-eye,’ all on tap from the same keg.”
[xv] Humprey Nelson. Little Man and The Little Oyster. Mason County Historical Society.
[xvi] Georgia Ann Bergh. The World Was Our Oyster. Unpublished Memoir. 1993. She lived on Oyster Bay as a child with her mother and father Newton and Georgia Lena White.
[xvii] Justin Taylor. Personal communication. February…..2010.
[xviii] op. cit. Georgia Ann Bergh,
[xix] Nancy Brewer. Personal communication. March 20, 2010.
[xx] Affidavit of Yukiko Abo August 9, 1956.
[xxi] Selleck was a company town for Pacific States Lumber. During this period 2200 Japanese men worked as contract laborers in sawmills in Washington and Oregon. Tadaysu’s mother was popular for the Japanese food and drink she made for the bachelors. The Japanese community in Selleck was known as “Lavendar Town.” Yuji Ichioka. The Issei The World of the First Generation Japanese Immigrants 1885-1924, P. 72 and U.S. Immigration Commission, Immigrants in Industries, Part 25: Japanese and Other Immigrant Races in the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain States (Washington D.C. 1911).
[xxii] Eleanor Barrick. Personal communication. February 25, 2010.
[xxiii] See Teruko Imai Kumei “‘Skeleton in the Closet’: The Japanese American Hokoku Seinen-dan and Their “Disloyal” Activities at the Tule Lake Segregation Center During World War II.” The Japanese Journal of American Studies, No. 7 (1996)
[xxiv] For more see: John Christgau. Enemies: World War II Alien Internment. University of Nebraska Press.
[xxv] “The Japanese in Olympia” n.d. unpublished.
[xxvi] John Christgau. “Collins versus the World: The Fight to Retore Citizenship to Japanese American Renunciants of World War II,” Pacific Historial Review, Pp. 1-31 and “Collins v. the World: Wayne Collins, Sr. and the Tadayasu Abo case. The Historical Reporter, Vol. 3, No. 1. Summer 1983. Published by the Historical Society of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
[xxvii] Hokubei means North America. Katsu Young. Personal communication.
[xxviii] Yaeko Inaba. Hokubei Hochi. March 28. Year?
[xxix] Miyoko Sato. “Message from a Senryu Friend: Thanks to You.” n.d.
[xxx] According to Miyoko Sato, Susumo or Koyo became a “demon for senryu” and received the “Order of the Sacred Treasure with Silver Rays” award from the Emperor of Japan in 1987 for his senryu.
[xxxi] Miyoko Sato. Voice of Senryu Friends. Living On. n.d. The phrase means something like “love letters parents exchanged” Katsu Young. Personal communication.
[xxxii] Vance Horne. “He Writes Verse Fit for an Emperor” The Olympian. December 9, 1987.