Japanese Detention

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Community leaders held at immigration facilities. Wing Luke Museum Collection
Community leaders held at immigration facilities. Wing Luke Museum Collection

Miyo Ike was born in Seattle to Japanese immigrant parents (Issei). Her father owned the NP Hotel in Nihonmachi (Japantown), which is still located on 6th Avenue South between South Jackson Street and South Main Street. Miyo spent most of her childhood living in the hotel. She was a teenager in 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.  “That very day, December 7th, we already saw the FBI in person. There were usually two gentlemen, very dark coats and hats, and they would walk in, hand a piece of paper over with a name, and ask my father and the clerk – this person, which room did he live in? They would go upstairs, find the man, and all we saw was this one single man, going out with his toilet articles and maybe a couple pieces of clothing. And he was taken away… That happened to several of the residents in our hotel.  [My uncle] also was taken away. I remember he was taken to the Immigration Building… We visited him about two or three times, so [he] must have been [there] about a month… You went in, and signed in, and then you waited until they came to window, and you just talked with them… [My uncle] looked very fragile. I was surprised how he was always such an upstanding, fine figure of a man – he was tall for a Japanese – and it just seemed like he had shrunken… And it was sad… All this makes you feel helpless, because there’s nothing you can do.” – Miyo Ike 

Place(s): Seattle

– Voices of the Immigration Station, Wing Luke Museum

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant