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06 - Memoir of a Picture Bride - National Museum of Japanese History
         
 

Memoir of a Picture Bride

This memoir was written by issei (first-generation Japanese immigrant) Sen Natsuhara (maiden name: Furukawa) who traveled to Auburn, Washington, United States of America as a picture bride in 1905 just before the anti-Japanese movement started to rage on the West Coast. The portion extracted here is her memory of about two years before and after she traveled to the United States as a picture bride. It depicts specific details such as her offer of marriage, to the procedure for passport issuance in Japan, events on the ship, and her new life in the United States.

This is a memoir of an individual, but this is a very interesting record for those who study how picture brides during that time left Japan and started their lives in the United States. As we planned a special exhibit, “Japanese Immigrants in the United States and the War Era” from March 2010 through April 2011, we decided not only to display this section of the memoir but also translate it into English after receiving permission from the family.

                                    National Museum of Japanese History

 

写真結婚花嫁の手記

この手記は、米国西海岸で排日運動が吹き荒れる直前の1905 年に、米国ワシントン州のオーバンに、写真花嫁として渡った一世「夏原勢ん(旧姓:古川)」がつづったものである。ここに抜粋した部分は、写真花嫁として渡米した前後、約2年間の出来事を綴ったものである。縁談から旅券発給に至る日本での手続き、船上での様子、渡米後の生活の状況が具体的に描かれている。

これらは一個人の体験記であると同時に、当時の写真花嫁がどのように日本から旅発ち、米国で生活を始めたのかを知る上で、大変興味深い記録である。2010 年3 月から2011 年4 月まで当館企画の特集展示〖海を渡った日本人と戦争の時代〗を開催するにあたり、ファミリーの許可を得て展示することにして、同時に英訳も試みた。

                           国立歴史民俗博物館

 

 
   

 

Contents

目 次

 

1904 (明治37 年)

      縁 談        Offer of Marriage

      写真結婚       Photo Marriage

      渡米まで       Before Departure

      旅券発給       Passport Issuance

 

1905 明治38 年)

      目の検査       Eye Examination

      横浜出帆       Departure to the United States

      シアトルに到着    Arriving at Seattle

      船上での結婚式    Wedding Ceremony on the Ship

      オーバンまで     To Auburn

      手づくりの家     Handmade House

      ささやかな披露宴   Modest Wedding Party

      おすみさん      O-Sumi-san

      ハップス摘み     Hop Picking

 

1906 明治39 年)

      出 産         Delivering a Child

      夫のけが       Injury of my Husband

      夫の回復と父の死   Recovery of my Husband, and Death of my Father

 

 

 

Offer of Marriage

My name is Sen. I was born as the eldest daughter of Genzo Furukawa (childhood name: Unokichi) and Koto in Taga-mura Taga, Inukami-gun, Shiga on July 12, 1885 (Meiji 18). This place has Taga Taisha, which enshrines two gods, Izanagi and Izanami. I had two younger brothers, Gennosuke and Genshichi, and a younger sister, Mito. I graduated from Taga Elementary School in 1897 (Meiji 30). When I was 17, I left home to work in Yokohama as a housemaid for Mr. Hisakichi Fujiyama (dealer in kimono fabrics) who was from Taga-cho. When I was 19, I received a letter from my parents asking me to come home because I had an offer of marriage. I asked many questions about my future husband. The marriage arrangement was to a merchant’s family in the neighboring town of Takamiya. I turned down the offer because I wanted to go somewhere a little further away.

Around that time, Mr. Kyuhichi Shimizu was looking for a girl who wanted to be a bride in America. My uncle, Mr. Magodayu Matsumiya, said, "Sen is always saying that she wants to go somewhere far away, so America will be all right. I know Chiyo-san because we went to the same school in Taga. We are the same age. It will be perfect." My maternal grandmother Matsumiya also said, "Chiyo (Chiyokichi) is a nice boy. He will be a good husband for Sen." My parents didn't know about Chiyokichi (Natsuhara), and asked me what I thought. Hearing the word "America", I couldn't give an answer right away. So I asked them to give me a little more time to think.

 

  

私勢んは、明治十八年(1885 年)七月十二日、滋賀県犬上郡多賀村多賀で古川源蔵(幼名は卯之吉)、古登の長女として出生。イザナギ、イザナミの二尊をおまつりする多賀大社のある所です。弟は源之助と源七、妹は美登。多賀小学校を明治三十年に卒業しました。そして、十七才の時から横浜へ女中奉公に出て、多賀出身の藤山久吉様方(呉服屋)に行っていた。十九才の時、縁談があるからおひまをもろうて帰るようにと両親から手紙が来たので、帰りました。それで、先方の事を色々ききました。それは隣町、高宮の商家への話でしたが、私はもっと遠い所へ行き度いとお断りしたのです。

其頃丁度、清水久七様がアメリカへ行く娘さがしをして居られたので、私の松宮孫太夫叔父さんが「おせんはいつも遠い所へ行き度いと言ってたで、アメリカなら遠いからよいだろ。千代さんは多賀の学校でわしと一緒だったから知ってる。同年や。丁度よいやないか。」と言われた。又、母の実家の松宮のおばあさん祖母が「千代はハキハキした子や。あの子ならお勢んをやってもよいやろ」と言われたので、両親は夏原の事は知らんのですが、「お前はどう思うか」と私に尋ねましたが、アメリカときいてすぐ返事はできませんので、よく考へますと言って置きました。

 

Before the Wedding

After a while, I received a picture of (Chiyokichi) Natsuhara sent from America. He was standing in front of a Western style restaurant in white cookware. My uncle, Mr. Matsumiya, recommended that I send a picture of myself to him. Since my uncle ran a photo studio, he took the picture and I sent it to him right away.

The marriage arrangements progressed between our parents, and I came to marry a man in "faraway" America though pictures. For a picture marriage, a passport would only be issued six months after registration of the marriage. But a person in the government office said that my passport would be issued in about three months if I change my physical address and my legal name to Natsuhara. So I prepared, and on March 18th the relatives of both families gathered and a wedding party was held in Kyutoku and I formally became a member of the family. My mother-in-law accompanied me for the second-day home visit, and my mother accompanied me for the third-day home return. After that, I stayed at the Natsuharas’ house, helping them with domestic chores and farm work.

On May 1st, for the first time, I wrote a letter to my husband whom I had never seen. "I can't read English characters, but I have practiced writing them by copying the address on the envelope of your letter on a board many times. Now, I can finally write the address on this new envelope. Please write back to me if you have received my letter." In reply, he wrote, "Until now, my parents had my nephew in Shinya write the address when sending letters to me. From now on, you will write letters for my parents and send them to me." From that time on, we exchanged letters until I went to the United States.

 

嫁  入  り

其の内、アメリカから洋食店の表で白いコック服着て立ってる夏原の写真送ってきました。それで松宮のおじさんが、おせんも写真をとって送ったらよいやろとすすめられたので、松宮の叔父さんは写真屋さんでしたから、すぐに写して送りました。

双方の両親の間で話がすすみ、それで遠いアメリカに居る人と写真結婚をするようになりました。写真結婚は入籍して六ヶ月過ぎないと旅券が下附にならんのですが、正式に夏原家に嫁入りしたら、三ヶ月位で下附になるだろと役場の人が申されたので、支度をして三月十八日に夏原の両親の家へ正式に嫁入りして、両家の親類皆集まって披露宴もすませました。二日里帰りは夏原の母さんが送って下さり、三日帰りは私の母が送ってくれましたので、私はそれから夏原家に居て家事色々、百姓仕事の手伝いをはじめました。

五月一日に、まだ見ぬ夫へはじめて手紙を書いて送りました。「横文字は読めませんが、あなたから来た状袋(封筒)の表書きを見て、はじめは板にうつしてなんべんもなずってけいこして、やっと新しい状袋に住所を書いて送りますから着いたら返事をください。」と書きましたが、其の返事に「今まで両親は新屋の甥に表書きを書いてもろて、用事の手紙が来たが、今からお前が両親の言う事を書いて送ってくれ」と書いて来たので、それから渡米するまで手紙で交際しました。

 

Before Departure

My passport was issued only six months after registration of the marriage. Since my aged parents-in-law were farmers, I helped them with their farm work until my departure to the United States. Since my parents were farmers too, I helped both families. Then, I received a letter from my husband asking me to visit the Go-Honzan (Higashi Honganji Temple) in Kyoto and to ask the chief priest to do Okamisori before I come to the United States. So, I visited Honganji Temple with my mother and my mother-in-law. I applied at the office of the temple, and early the next morning I participated in the ceremony of Okamisori conducted by the chief priest Gomonzeki with many other people, and was given a homyo (Buddhist name) and kaichu myogo (charm). The previous day, we visited Ishiyamadera Temple first, and then Mii-dera Temple in Otsu. After that, we climbed down the mountain and went to Kyoto by boat across the canal (water channel sending the water of Lake Biwa into Kyoto). We visited many places like Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Sanjusangendo Temple, Chion-in Temple, etc.

 

渡 米 ま で

入籍して六ヶ月すぎないと旅行免書(注 旅券)は下附にならんので、老父母は農業をしていますので渡米するまで百姓の手伝いをして居ました。私の実家も百姓でしたから両方の手伝いをしていました。そのうち、夫から渡米するまでに京都の御本山にお詣りして御法主(注:ご門主)様から「おかみそり」を受けてくるようにと手紙に書いてますので、早速私の母とお姑さんと三人で本願寺へおまいりいたしました。お寺の事務所で申し込みをして、翌日早朝たくさんのお同行の方々と一緒にゴモンゼキ御法主様のおかみそりを受けて法名(ほうみょう)と懐中名号(お札)をもらいました。その前日、私たち母子達は、はじめ石山寺へお詣りして大津の三井寺様にお詣りして山から下りて疎水(注:琵琶湖の水を京都へ流す水路)の小舟に乗って京都へ着き、清水寺、三十三間堂、知恩院其の他方々見物させて頂きました。

 

Passport Issuance

The passport was finally issued in September, but there was no one going to the United States or Vancouver in Canada among my acquaintances at that time. My parents felt uneasy sending a young girl to a strange, distant place. Then, our neighbor Sumi Kozai visited us and said, "I received a letter and a document from my husband in America to get together, so I am going to America with my son, too. Why don't we go together? I know Chiyo well, so I will take you to him." My parents were glad, and I felt relieved. I waited for the passports for Sumi-san and her son to be issued. O-Sumi-san was the wife of Mr. Shinya Kozai in Auburn. Since Mr. Kozai was able to live a stable life in America, he decided to bring his wife and his son (then 43 year-old Sumi and 6 year-old Gizo) to America to get together for the first time in five or six years. Time had passed, and we celebrated the New Year of 1905 (Meiji 38).

 

旅 券 発 給

九月になって漸く旅行免状は下付になりましたが、其の当時近くの知り合いの中に一人も米国行きもカナダバンクーバ行きの人もありません。父母が遠い知らん所へ若い娘を一人で出すのは不安で心配やと申しますので困っていました所へ、近所の小財すみさんがおいでになり、「アメリカから私にも来いと言って呼び寄せの手紙と書類が来たから私も息子をつれてアメリカへ行きますから一緒に行きましょう。千代さんを私はよく知ってるからつれて行ってあげます」と申された。それで両親もよろこび私も一安心して、おすみさん等の旅券の下附になるのを待ちました。小財すみさんは、オーバンの小財新弥さんの妻ですが、新弥さんはアメリカの生活も安定したので、五六年ぶりに妻子(四十三才のおすみさんと当時六才の儀三さん)を呼び寄せて再会される事になったのです。お其の内、お正月も過ぎ、明治三十八年になりました。

 

Eye Examination

I was set to board Nippon Yusen’s Kaga-maru in Yokohama on May 19th. We went to Taiseiya Inn in Yokohama to go through the procedure. Eleven of us went for an eye examination from Taiseiya Inn. There was an epidemic of trachoma at that time, and the eye examination was very strict. Out of 11 applicants, only two passed the eye examination. One was me, Sen Natsuhara headed for the United States, and other was Mr. Masuemon Omoto (from Oyabu or Hassaka of Hikone) heading to Vancouver in Canada. O-Sumi-san's son Gizo failed the eye examination. O-Sumi-san could not go to America without her son, so she decided to wait for the next ship and returned home.

I had been happy to go to America with O-Sumi-san, but then I was alone. I heard that some people who were going to board the ship in Kobe had failed the eye examination there, and failed it again in Yokohama. The eye examination was very strict for trachoma, etc. at that time. In the meanwhile, we were in the middle of the Russo-Japanese War. I heard that some people in other inns gave up on taking the voyage even though they had passed the eye examination because the situation was dangerous with the Russian fleet out of the Russian coast according to a newspaper in Yokohama. But I did not back off from the situation because I had come this far and had passed the eye examination. Thinking that I might have to die, wherever I might be when the time came, I made up my mind and boarded the ship.

 

目 の 検 査

五月十九日横浜発の日本郵船加賀丸に乗船することになり、横浜の大勢屋旅館へ三人で行って色々手続きして、目の検査に大勢屋から十一人行ったが其の時トラホームとかの流行で、とても検査がきびしかったので十一人の内、二人合格九人不合格になりました。米国へ一人夏原勢ん、カナダバンクーバへ一人尾本増右衛門(彦根の大藪か八坂の人)。おすみさんは儀三さんが不合格になったので、この子一人置いてはいけませんからつぎの船まで待ちますと言って帰られました。

折角一緒に行けると思ってよろこんで居たのに、一人になりました。ある人は、神戸で乗船するつもりが、目の検査で不合格になり、横浜へ来て又不合格になった人が何人か居られるとききました。あの当時は、トラホームとか目の検査がとてもきびしかった。話し変わって、当時は日露戦争の最中でしたので、横浜の新聞に今露艦がロシヤ沖に出て居るから「キケン」と書いてあるので、他の旅館に居た人で目の検査に合格したけれど、おそれて行くのをやめた人が何人か居られると聞きましたが、私はココまで来て目の検査も合格したのだからこんな事におそれず、死ぬ時はどこに居ても死ぬだろうと決心して乗船しました。

 

Departure to the United States

The ship sailed out to sea at 3:00 p.m. on May 19, 1905 (Meiji 38). All the people who had come to see us off had gone home, and I was standing alone on the deck, wondering when I would be able to set foot on the land of Japan again. Thinking about my parents, brothers, and sister, I felt lonely and shed tears. The ship gradually gained speed, and Mt. Fuji eventually disappeared from my view. Someone told me that a black island, seen far away in the sunset was Mt. Kinka (an offshore mountainous island in the southeast of Oshika Peninsula in Miyagi). Mr. Masuemon Omoto was about the same age as my father. He had been with me since we were in Taiseiya, and he was kind enough to carry my heavy luggage when we boarded the ship.

The first dinner served was sekihan (steamed rice with red beans) and other delicious celebrative foods. But shortly after, I became seasick and had to stay in bed. I tried hard to get up, but I felt dizzy and was suffering from nausea. I could not eat or drink anything for a week. I became so weakened that Mr. Omoto kindly called the ship's doctor, but the doctor just looked at my face and didn't give me any medicine, saying that I wouldn't die from not eating anything for a month while seasick. I felt miserable. Mr. Omoto said, “I am going to Skeena near Vancouver to work as a salmon fisherman. When the salmon season is over, I will go back to Japan. My wife and children are in Japan, so I will go back to Japan as soon as the salmon season finishes. And, I will come back again next spring." Then, when the Kaga-maru entered the port of Victoria in Canada, he immediately transferred to a Canadian ferry. After the ship arrived in Victoria, my seasickness disappeared like magic, and I suddenly felt better.

 

横 浜 出 帆

明治三十八年五月十九日午後三時出帆、見送りの人々皆帰られ、私は一人甲板に立っていつ日本の土をふむ事ができるかしらん。父母や弟妹等の事を思ひ、心淋しくなり涙がながれました。次第に船は陸を離れ、やがて富士山も見えんよになり、日の入りごろ遠くに黒い嶋のように見えるのは金華山(注:宮城県の牡鹿半島南東の沖合の島山)と聞きました。あの尾本増右衛門様は私の父位の方で、大勢屋からご一緒でしたから、乗船した時私等の荷物重い物皆運んで下さいました。

最初の夕食は、赤飯でおいしいご馳走が出ましたが、まもなく船酔いで寝たきりになりました。がんばって起きようとしても、目まいがして胸がむかつきくるしみました。一週間何もノドを通らなかった。 ひどく弱りましたので、尾本様が親切に船医をよんで来て下さいましたが、ダクタは私の顔見ただけで「船に酔ったのは一ヶ月何も食べんでも死にませんよ」と言って、おくすりも何もくださらなんだ。なさけなかった。尾本さんが「私はバンクーバへ行って、そこからスキーナへサモン、シャケ取りの仕事に行きます。シャケ取りのシーズンがすんだら日本へ帰ります。妻子が日本に居りますので、シーズンが終わったらすぐ日本に帰ります。そして又春に行くのです」と申された。それで、加賀丸がカナダのビクトリヤに入港した時、すぐカナダの連絡船に乗りかえて行かれました。私は船がビクトリヤへ入港したら船酔いはうそのようにとれて、気分もよくなりました。

 

Arriving at Seattle

The next day, on June 1st, the ship entered the port of Smith Cove in Seattle. I watched the passengers disembark one after another. Four of us girls from Japan on that ship for picture marriage had a copy of our family register and our passports, but we didn't have a United States marriage license, so the immigration officers didn't allow us to disembark. So, we waited for our husbands to come to our ship.

Before I left for the United States, my husband wrote to me, saying, "You don't have to bring any Japanese kimono. Instead, you should buy and bring average western-style clothes. I will buy you other necessary things after you have arrived here." So, I went to Hikone with Sumi-san, and ordered a suit at the western dress shop, Beniya. But they didn't have a hat. So, when the ship entered the port of Seattle, I immediately wrote a letter to my husband, asking him to buy me just a hat and bring it to me. I asked someone who left the ship to mail the letter for me. On the second day, my husband came to meet me with a high-toned beautiful straw hat.

 

シ ア ト ル に 到 着

翌日、六月一日、船はシヤトル スミスコーブへ入港しました。乗客がだんだんと上陸されるのを見ていました。此の船で日本から来た私達写真結婚の娘四人は戸籍謄本と旅券を持っていましたがアメリカの結婚ライセンスを持っていなかったので移民官が上陸を許してくれず、夫の出迎えを待ちました。

渡米する前に、夫から「日本着はいらんから中位の洋服を買って来い。又ほかに入用の物はこちらへ来てから買う」と手紙に書いてましたので、小財すみさんと彦根に行って、紅屋洋服店でスーツを一揃ひ注文しましたが、帽子はなかったのでシヤトルへ船が入港したとき、私はすぐ手紙を書いて帽子だけ買って迎ひに来てくださいと手紙を書いて上陸なさる人に出してもらいましたら、二日目に「キレイナ」ストローのハイトンの帽子を持って夫がきました。

 

Wedding Ceremony on the Ship

On June 3rd, the immigration officer and a Japanese minister came to our ship for the wedding ceremonies of Ms. Yamanouchi from Kumamoto, and myself. The captain and about ten crew members of the ship attended the wedding ceremony which was held in a beautiful parlor of the first-class cabins. Then, the minister prayed in the Christian tradition, but I didn't understand the contents. At the end, the minister asked us to promise to share our happiness and sorrow together until we die. We promised so, and bowed. Then, the minister asked us to shake hands, joining my hand with my husband's. Then, the ceremony was over.

My husband was 28, and I was 19 at the time. I talked with Mrs. Yamanouchi, and we contributed five dollars each as a gratuity to the minister. We paid one or two dollars for the marriage license, and had it sent to us later. After the ceremony, we were able to disembark immediately.

 

船 上 で の 結 婚 式

私と熊本県出身の山内さんは、六月三日私達二組の結婚式に移民官と日本人の牧師さんが船までお出で下さって式をすませてくださったのです。船の一等室のキレイなパーラで、船の船長様はじめ船員が十人ほど列席して居られました。それで、牧師さんがキリスト教式で何かおいのりをして下さったが私は何もわかりませんでしたが、終わりに終生苦楽を共にせられんことを誓われたしと申されたので、礼拝しておじぎをいたしましたら両人同士セキハン(注 shake hand のこと)しなさいと言われ、手をにぎらされたら式はすみました。

其の時、夫は二十八才、私は十九才でした。私は山内さんと相談して五ドルづつ出して計十ドルを牧師様にお礼として差し上げました。マリッジライセンスは一ドルか二ドル手数料を支払い、あとで送っていただきました。式がすむと、すぐ上陸できました。

 

To Auburn

Since my husband wanted a tall and healthy bride, I imagined that he would be tall and strong in body, like his father. But he was short like his mother, and I was taller than him. I was ashamed in front of others, but there was no help for it. After we landed in Seattle, we first took souvenir pictures. Then, we went downtown to buy clothes and other necessary things, and spent the night at a hotel in Seattle. We bought a blouse with white lace, a long green skirt, shoes, etc. at a white person's shop, which was large. My husband also bought me some everyday printed cotton wear in what was called the "trumpet style" at that time. It was so interesting to see how, single women wore short skirts, and married women wore long skirts that trailed along the floor during that time.

On the next day, June 4th, we bought some groceries at the Furuya store, and went to Auburn by train in the afternoon. Our friend Mr. Shinya Kozai came and picked us up at the depot with my husband’s horse buggy, and we travelled two miles to our house in his wagon. As we were passing through the town of Auburn, my husband said, "Here, I had opened a Western-food restaurant all year, last year. But good customers don’t come to a restaurant run by a Japanese, so I quit. Then, I started growing strawberries." He had leased a 10-acre field two miles east of the town, and planted strawberries there.

Before I came here, I assumed that he had a restaurant, but he had given up the restaurant the year before, and had just started growing strawberries.

 

オ ー バ ン ま で

背の高い健康な嫁を送って下さいとの注文だから、お父様に似て背のたかい大きな丈夫な人だろと思っていましたら、お母様に似て背がひくいので夫より私の方が背が高いので、人様の前一寸はづかしく思ひましたが仕方ない。シャトルへ上陸して、一寸記念の写真とってから町で衣類や色々入用の品物を買ひ、シヤトルで一宿しました。白人の大きな店で、白いレースのブラウスと裾の長いみどり色のスカート、靴などを買いました。そのころ「ラッパ」という木綿のサラサの普段着も買ってもらった。当時、ミスは短いスカートをはき、ミセスは引きずるくらい長いスカートをはいていたのも私には珍しかった。

翌日六月四日、古屋商店で食料品グロセリ物を買って、午后の電車でオーバンへ来ました。友人の小財新弥様が内の馬車でリポ(停留所depot )まで迎ひに来てくださいましたので、住家まで2マイルほどワゴン馬車で来ました。オーバンの街を通った時、「昨年一年洋食レストランをしたが、日本人がはじめたら良いお客がこんよに(来ないように)なったので一年でやめたのや。それでこんどはイチゴ作りを始めたのや。」と申して、町から2 マイル東に十エーカの土地をリース「借地」して、ストロベリを植え付けてました。私はレストランだと思って来ましたら、一年でやめたのやと申して、丁度ストロベリ苺作り百姓を始めたところでした。

 

Handmade House

Auburn was a small rural town at the time. I stood absentmindedly in front of the small, humble house, far away from the town. Looking around, I found only the landlord's house nearby, and saw just a couple of houses spread sparsely in the distance. Before I came, I assumed that America was a more beautiful place. I didn't want to stay long in such a deserted place. I was thinking of working hard and going back to Japan as soon as possible, and I stood there blankly for a long time. Then, my husband said, "I built this house by myself, with the help of three or four friends of mine, and $50 worth of wood. Now, a little over ten Japanese people live in Auburn, but I am the only one who built a house." He was very proud of his house, but it was a humble one with just a bedroom and a kitchen. I had to carry water, in either buckets or oil cans, from the landlord's property, which was about 200 feet from our house. We had to burn fire and heat the water from outside of the house for laundry and bath. The toilet was about 100 feet in back of the house. In this way, my life in America began.

 

手 づ く り の 家

其の当時、オーバンは小さな田舎町でした。町から離れた小さい粗末な家の前にぼんやりと立って、あたりをながめたら地主の家は近くにあるが、あとは遠くに家があちこちにぽつぽつと見えるだけです。アメリカはもっときれいな所だと思ってたのに、こんなさびしい所には長く居たくない。一生けんめ働いて早く日本へ帰り度いと思って、いつまでもぼんやりと外に立っていましたら、夫が「この家をたてるのに 材木材料代五十弗買って友達三四人に手伝ってもろて建てた家だよ。オーバンには日本人が今十人あまり居るが自分の家を建てたのは僕一人だよ」と言って威張って居りましたが、ベッドルームとケチン(キッチン)の二部屋だけの粗末なものでした。水は二百フイートくらい離れた地主のところまでもらい水でした、バケツや石油カンで運びました。洗たくや行水のお湯は戸外でわかした。便所は家の裏百フィート位の所に建てられていました。私のアメリカ生活の始まりはこんなものでした。

 

Modest Wedding Party

I began to weed the fields from the day after I came to this house. The next Sunday, we invited about ten friends to our modest wedding party. Instead of sake, some wine and sashimi of the large whitefish harapa were served. A variety of foods such as large fried wiener bologna, large sliced oranges, plenty of gomoku-sushi, etc. had been prepared. I didn't know what to do, so a cook, or someone who was a friend of the Natsuhara family, prepared the dishes. There were about ten people, only men in their 20's to 30's, and there were no women. So, I asked them if there were any Japanese women in Auburn. The answer was, “There have been no Japanese women until now, and you are the pioneer.” I was pleasantly surprised to hear that, yet I felt lonely at the same time. There was no party for my 20th birthday.

 

さ さ や か な 披 露 宴

この家に来た翌日から畠の草取りの仕事でした。そして次の日曜日に友達を十人ほどお招きして、ささやかながら披露宴をいたしました。ご馳走はまだ日本酒はありませんので、何とかワイン、おサシミは大きな「ハラパ」白身の魚です。ウイニーとブロニー大きい分のフライやスライスして大きいオレンジスライス、オスシは五もくずし等どんと作ってありました。私は何もわかりませんので、夏原家の友人のコックか上手な人が仕度してくださったのです。二十代から三十代前後の男子ばかり十人あまり居られて、婦人は一人も居られんので私が「オーバンには日本人女の人は居られませんか」と尋ねたら「今までは一人も居りませんでしたから、あんたはパイオニヤですよ」と言われておどろきましたし、さびしいなと思いました。はたち(二十歳)の誕生祝いは無しでした。

 

O-Sumi-san

Two months after that, at the end of July, Mr. Shinya Kozai was happy to welcome his wife and young son to Auburn from Kyutoku. He received a letter saying that O-Sumi-san and her son had landed in Vancouver by way of a Canadian ship, so he went there immediately to pick them up. There were no telegrams and telephones in those days. We could count on nothing but letters, even when we were in a hurry. O-Sumi-san and her son arrived in America safely and lived in my neighborhood, so I was as happy and excited, as if my aunt had come to me. When I stayed in the Natsuharas’ house in Kyutoku for a year, O-Sumi-san lived in my neighborhood in front of the village shrine, so I always felt at ease with her. In America, we were together again. We encouraged each other, went to work together, and talked about our hometown.

 

お す み さ ん

しかし、それから二ヶ月後の七月下旬、お隣りの小財新弥様が久徳から妻子を呼び寄せなさいました。小財すみさん母子がキャナダの船でバンクーバに上陸したと手紙が来たので、新弥さんはすぐ迎ひに行かれました。当時はデンポもデンワありませんから、いそぐ用事も手紙がたよりでした。おすみさんとボーイさんが、無事に渡米されて近くにお住まいでしたから、おばさんが来て下さったように心にぎやかになりました。私は久徳夏原家に一ヵ年居りましたが、おすみさんの家はお宮さんの前の近所でしたのでいつも心易くして居りましたのです。ここで又一緒になり、お互いに励まし合ったり、一緒に仕事に行ったり、郷里の事を話したりしました。

 

Hop Picking

In September, we began picking hops. White people were growing hops in the neighborhood. Many Japanese and white people, including O-Sumi-san and I, went hop picking. For a boxful of hop flowers, we were given a $1 ticket. Men would pick $2 worth of them, but we girls could pick no more than $1 worth of them from morning till evening. In October, we began potato digging. O-Sumi-san and I walked together to a distant place to dig potatoes, but it was a heavy work. Since it was “piecework,” people who were good at it would have made money. But, I was able to make only two dollars, even though I worked very hard all day long.

The potato digging season finished between October and the beginning of November. In autumn and winter, men went to chop firewood and mountain brush. We girls only had domestic affairs. I bought knitting yarn, and enjoyed knitting various things. I did needlework to prepare for the next summer, too. On cold days, I enjoyed baking and making Western dishes, morning pancakes, cupcakes, cookies, many pies, such as apple pies, lemon pies, mint pies, and other things. My husband taught me how to make them. Whenever I made morning pancakes, I wanted to have my parents in Japan try those tasty cakes and pies, but they couldn't. I always thought that was a shame and regrettable.

 

ハ ッ プ ス 摘 み

九月に入ってハップスつみが始まりました。近くに白人が作っているのです。日本人も白人も大勢つみに行かれるので、おすみさんと私もつみに行きました。大きな箱にハップスの花を一っぱいつんだら一弗テケツ(チケット札のこと)をくれるのです。男子は二弗位つまれたでせうが、私等は朝から夕方までかかって一弗よりできませなんだ。十月に入ってポテト堀りが始まったので、おすみさんと一緒に遠い所まで歩いて行って芋掘りの仕事したが、芋掘りはとても力仕事です。「ピースオーク」ですから、上手な方はたくさんもうけられたでせうが、私は一生けんめいで一日二弗よりできませなんだ。

芋掘りも十月から十一月初めにシーズンがすんで、秋冬は男の方は「マキ切り」や山ブラシ切りの仕事でした。女は家事ばかり。私は毛糸を買って毛糸で色々あみものして楽しみました。又、夏の手まわしに針仕事など。寒い日には、夫(主人)からベカリ(注ベーカリーのこと)、洋食料理や朝のパンケーキ、カップケーキ、ビスケット、パイ色々、アップルパイ、レモンパイ、ミンツパイ、色々作り方を教へてもらいましたので、ぼつぼつと自分で作って楽しみました。朝のパンケーキを作る度に、日本の両親に此のおいしいケーキやパイなどたべさせ度いなと心にかかるばかりで送る事もできず、残念な事やもったいない事やといつも思いました。

 

Delivering a Child

After I became pregnant, I suffered from morning sickness. But, I delivered our first daughter without any complications in April, 1906 (Meiji 39). I felt relieved and happy. But, the child passed away in a month, on May 23rd. (The child was named Chise, combining the first characters of my husband's name and mine.) There were no Buddhist temples in Auburn or Tamas at that time. So, we asked Rev. Gendo Nakai, who was the first missionary of Seattle Buddhist Church, to conduct a sad funeral. We had eleven children in total, and Chise was our first child. I wished to have my parents nearby, at a time like that, whenever I looked at Mt. Rainier. Mt. Rainier is a high mountain similar to Mt. Fuji, and can be seen from everywhere. Japanese people called the mountain "Tacoma Fuji" because they climbed the mountain from the Tacoma side.

 

出  産

私は妊娠してつわりがひどくて困りましたが、1906年(明治39年)四月にお蔭さまでぶじに長女を出産いたしました。大いに安心よろこんで居りましたら、一ヶ月後五月二十三日に亡くなりました。(長女の名前は私と夫の一字をとりチセ)其の当時はオーバンにもタマスにもお寺はありませんのでシヤトル仏教会の初代開教使中井玄道先生をお願ひしてかなしい葬式をして頂いたのです。子供は全部で十一人授かりましたが、チセははじめての子でした。こんな時、日本の親が近くに居てくれたらと、マント.レ二ヤを見るたびに思いました。レ二ヤ山は富士山に格好が似ている高い山でどこからでも見えますが、タコマの方から登るので日本人はみんな「タコマ富士」と呼んでいました。

 

Injury of my Husband

We began strawberry picking in the middle of May. We were busy until June through the beginning of July. My husband’s close friend, Matajiro Sakagami, invited us to eat the plentiful trout he would catch on July 4th (Independence Day). I rejoiced at the invitation because I hadn't visited anywhere for pleasure. My husband and I enjoyed picking O’Leary’s strawberries. My husband went to the N.P. (Northern Pacific Railway) depot to deliver the strawberries to the Seattle commission house. He returned at the milk company’s whistle, at six o’clock, and then went to the pasture to stable the horses.

He told me that he would come to help me when he came back. I waited for him while working hard, picking strawberries alone. But he didn't show up. I thought that he might have become sick because it was very hot during the day. I stopped working when the sun went down at 9:00, and went home. I found the back door open. I went into the house immediately, and found my husband snoring loudly, covering his head with bedding in the bedroom. I asked him if he was sick, and took off the bedding. I was shocked because his face was all bloody, and because of that, I couldn't recognize his eyes, nose, or mouth. I asked him if he had been in a fight with someone. Indians often passed by our house, so I asked him if they’d hit him. But he just answered, "It's nothing. Oh, it’s so cold." and pulled the bedding over himself again. I told him that I would call a doctor. But he repeated, "No, no, it's nothing."

 

夫 の け が

五月中旬からストロベリつみが始まり、六月七月上旬まで忙しかったのです。親友の坂上又次郎さんが七月四日(注 独立祭の休日)にはツラウトをたくさんつってごちそするからワイフつれて遊びにこいと言ってくださったので、私はどこへも行った事がないのでよろこび、たのしみながら二人でオリリのストロベリーつんだ分をシヤトルコミッションハウスへおくるので、夫はN.P.( 注 ノーザンパシフィック鉄道) リポ(注 駅 ディポのこと)へ送りに行き、ミルク会社六時の笛鳴る時帰ったが、それから馬を入れにパスチャへ行きました。

帰ったら手伝いにくると言ってましたので、私は一人で一生けんめい終わりの苺をつんでましたが、いつまで待っても来ませんので、ふっと今日はとても日中暑かったので、もしや気分が悪いのではないかと思って日の入り九時になったのでやめて帰りましたら、裏口の戸があいてるのです。すぐ家に入ったら、夫はベッドルームでフトンを頭からかぶって大きいイビキをかいてましたので、私はすぐ気分がわるいのですかと言ひながらフトンを取りのけたら、顔一めん血で目も鼻も口もわからんので、私は大いにおどろき「だれとけんかしたのですか。」インデアンが家の前をよく通るので彼等にたたかれたのかと尋ねたら、「どうもしやせん。ああ、寒い寒い」と言って又フトンかぶって、「どうもしやせん」といってますが、医者さんを来て頂くと言ったら、やはり「いらんいらん、どうもしやせん」と言ってます。

 

Recovery of my Husband, and Death of my Father

My husband recovered gradually, thanks to the gods. At the end of July, I felt a little relieved because his life had been saved. I wrote a letter to his parents in Japan, saying, "Chiyokichi was severely injured by his horse on July 2nd, but his life was saved thanks to the gods. So, please don't worry." My father-in-law (Zenzaburo) Natsuhara, went to the Jizo Bon festival in Taga village on August 23, and he told my parents about my letter there. My parents were very surprised, and my father became sick on the night of that day. The next day, he died from some illness that had lasted for just one day. In September, I received a lot of letters from my relatives in Japan, so I thought the letters were get-well letters, and I first read the one from my mother. But it was to let me know about my father's death.

My mother wrote of the details,"We were very surprised to hear that Chiyokichi was severely injured. Your father became sick on the night of that day, and died from an illness that lasted for just one day. He wanted to see you so much and said, “O-Sen ni aitai, O-Sen ni aitai.” (“I want to see O-Sen. I want to see my daughter.”) When I read it, my heart burst into grief, and my vision went black. I was stunned by shock and grief, but I became convinced that my father had died in place of my husband, Chiyokichi. I was the eldest daughter, and my father had always been kind to me, and loved, and cherished me. It was just a year and a month since I had come to America far from Japan, and I had written to my father only few times. I only made him worry, without making him happy even once. I was not a good daughter, and I regret it very much.

 

夫 の 回 復 と 父 の 死

神仏様のお守り下さるお蔭様で、少しづつ快方にむかひました。七月下旬には生命だけは助けて下さったと、少し安心しまして、日本の夏原家の両親に「千代吉どのは七月二日に自家の馬で大けがいたしまして大心配しましたが生命だけは神仏様の御蔭様で助けていただきましたから御休心下さい」と書いて手紙を出しました。丁度八月二十三日は多賀村の地蔵盆で夏原のお父さんはよばれて行かれた時「おせんから千代吉が七月二日に自家の馬で大けがして大へんだったが、生命だけは助かったから御休心下さいと手紙が来た」と話されました。私の両親は大いにおどろき、私の父は其の夜から気分が悪くなり、翌日一日の病ひで亡くなりました。九月に入って、日本からたくさん手紙が親類から来たので、見舞の手紙だろと思ひながら母のてがみを先に開けてよみましたら、思ひがけない父の死去の知らせでした。

母のくわしい手紙に、「千代吉どの大けがした事きいた時、大へんおどろきました。父は其の夜から気分がわるくなり、わずか一日の病ひで亡くなりました。そして、父が「お勢んに会いたい、お勢んに会いたい」といわれた」と。母の手紙よんで私は胸がせまって、目の前がくらくなって、おどろきとかなしみでぼうぜんとして居りましたが、父は私の夫千代吉の身がわりになって下さったのやと私一人心にさとしました。私は長女で、父は大へんかわいがり大事にして下さるやさしい父でしたのに、遠いアメリカへ来てまだ一年一ヶ月位で、手紙もまだ二三回より出して居りませんので、心配をかけたばかりで、まだ一度も安心よろこばす事もできませなんだので、父には大不孝。ざんねんでなりません。

 

Author: Sen Natsuhara  著者: 夏原勢ん
  Born: July 1885 in Taga, Shiga-ken, Japan  出生:明治18年、滋賀県多賀
  Came to US in 1905   渡米:明治38年
  Died: October 1979 in Auburn, Washington  死去:1979年 ワシントン州
English translation: Yoshiaki G. Takemura   翻訳: 竹村義明

 

Japanese American Issei Pioneer Museum - isseipioneermuseum.com - 2013