Inspiring Women February 2023

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Judy Furukawa, FAUSA<br />

Chiyo Fukuchi<br />

In 1920, at the age of 27, Chiyo Fukuchi agreed to an arranged marriage and was put on<br />

a ship to Seattle. A photo was sent to Giichiro Mizuki, so he would recognize his “picture<br />

bride” on arrival. My mother was born the next year.<br />

Grandma never spoke English very well, but was a teacher and taught “Japanese school.”<br />

My mother and her three brothers didn't attend, as returning to Japan was never my<br />

grandfather’s plan. They had a corner store and my grandmother was well known among<br />

her friends and church community as a fabulous cook.<br />

My mother and her family were forced to leave Seattle in 1942, pursuant to Executive<br />

Order 9066. My grandparents and two of my uncles “relocated” to the camp in<br />

Minedoka, Idaho. They eventually returned to Seattle, where they opened a garden<br />

store. My grandparents were not allowed to become US citizens until the Chinese<br />

Exclusion Act was repealed after World War II. It wasn’t easy to be Japanese in the US.<br />

Both my mother and grandmother only had brothers; this gave them a certain<br />

“toughness,” yet allowed them a gentler side as well. Throughout their lives, they dealt<br />

with life’s setbacks, and then always, always carried on.<br />

The top photo is of Judy's grandmother and the bottom photo shows three generations, Chiyo, Judy's mother and<br />

Judy herself.<br />


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