HIGO VARIETY STORE

SEATTLE

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    Higo Story Sanzo Murakami and his wife Matsuyo moved the Higo 10 Cent Store to Seattle’s Japantown in1932. Early on, the family lived in the back of the store and after school, their daughters Chiyoko, Ayako and Masako, and son Kazuichi worked along side their parents stocking shelves and serving customers. Higo offered more than imported household goods, foodstuffs and sundries. They were known to the Japanese community as a gathering place where news from home and reminiscences were shared and savored. For those moments, the homeland they left seemed less far away and the new one much closer. Through 75 years of good and bad times, war and displacement, loss and recovery, Higo was the heart of commerce and connection for the Japanese community. In 2003, after the deaths of her siblings, Masako closed up shop for the last time and retired. And Higo, once the center of community life, past into the district’s history.

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