Summary (Afable and Weibel)
Performers, Interpreters, and the Showman Onstage and Offstage
at the Pay Streak's "Igorrote Village"
Patricia O. Afable and Deana Weibel
Summary (Aoki & Ho)
Tatsuya Arai Concessionaire for the 'Streets of Tokio' at the AYPE
Shea Shizuko Aoki & Chuimei Ho
Arai in fact was not the sole proprietor of “The Street of Tokio”. The business was owned by two other Seattle Japanese businessmen and community leaders, Masajiro Furuya and Charles Takahashi. These three were usually more competitors than allies. But they joined forces and formed a company called Kyosan-kai in January 1909, which literally meant Street of Tokio. It seems that Arai alone was made to bear the PR and marketing responsibilities for AYPE. He and his young wife, Kan Arai, attended many AYPE official receptions.
Tatsuya Arai came to Seattle in 1894 and died in 1922, buried at Lakeview Cemetery. His wife, Kan, came to join him in 1900. Their first child, Clarence, was born in 1901. Then came Fumiya in 1902, Tom in 1904, and Baby Lillian in 1908. Lillian is still alive, in California. By 1909 Tatsuya Arai was already a leader in the Japanese community. He was the first president of the Japanese Association and the Japanese Commercial Club in Seattle, in addition to being a banker. In fact, he was the only Asian sitting on the AYPE committee.
The Formosa Tea House also served Chinese tea and Japanese rice cakes. It seems Tatsuya was keen on doing food business at AYPE. Basically he was a businessman who did not want to miss out opportunities. He wanted all kinds of customers. At one corner of the “Street of Tokio” he even put up a coffee shop which sold ice cream as well. It makes sense for Seattle Japanese to focus on food and drinks at the Fair.
Formosa, or Taiwan, by then had been a Japanese colony for 14 years. The Formosa Tea House at AYPE was operated “under auspices of Formosa Government, Japan”, as indicated in the official Japanese Exhibits handbook. It is interesting that the Arai managed to persuade the Japanese government let him use the name of the colony commercially. And semi-officially as well - on the Open Day of the exposition Japanese and American sailors were given lunch at Formosa Tea House. What exactly was the relationship between the Japanese government and Japanese residents in Seattle? How did they cooperate, or divide their roles, at AYPE? These are questions without easy answers.
Another Frank Nowell picture, #4280, may throw some light. It shows a group of Japanese, dressed in suits and boiler’s hats with a AYPE badge, posing in front of the Japan Building. Tatsuya Arai is the first right of the 2nd row. The Seattle Japanese community must have been very proud of being Japanese at the Fair. After all, Japan was the only official participant from the other side of the Pacific rim. Here they are, carrying two flags – one Japanese and one American?
But the community must have also felt the need to make the point that they were not Japanese from Japan. On the left is a square banner which reads “Japan-U.S. Friendship” in Japanese and “Seattle Local Japanese” in English.
Asian Americans and Images of Asians at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
Following the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, most world fairs in the U.S. were formally divided into official and unofficial sections generically called midways. Official national exhibits in the former served, naturally enough, the perceived interests of the governments that sponsored them. However, unofficial national exhibits on midways had more disparate goals. Often termed “villages,” such exhibits aimed at entertaining fairgoers, making money, and – where possible – advancing the interests of the exhibitors. At later U.S. fairs, many such exhibitors were ethnic Asians.
At the AYPE, as had been the case at all fairs since Chicago's, the Chinese Village was under the control of resident immigrants. Interestingly, so was the Japanese Village, but this was the first time in any city that American-based Japanese had financed and managed a world fair exhibit of their own. The only Philippine village at the AYPE was that of the “Igorrotes,” the management of which was not in Filipino hands. And the AYPE did not have a Hawaiian village, perhaps due to feelings in Hawaii about image problems caused by the exploitation at other fairs of hula-hula dances and the like.
The very commercial Igorrote Village was a financial success but, surprisingly and due to the showmanship of talented Igorot participants, managed to project a view of Igorots at variance with the popular notion of them as dangerous, under-evolved, and dumb. The Chinese Village was successful, not so much financially as in conveying a positive picture to white Northwesterners of a previously despised ethnic group. The success of the Japanese Village, however, was mixed. It made money. It showed advantageously the organizational skills and heritage of U.S.-based Japanese. But the official activities of Japan's government had a negative impact. That government's proud display of its colonial ambitions and newly revealed military power might have helped immigrant Asians in the short term. However, in the longer term the effect of such displays would be disastrous for Japanese Americans .
Filipinos in Washington and the AYPE.
Dorothy L. and Fred Cordova
Fred Cordova will present a summary and analysis of his research on the "Igorotte Village" during the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition at the University of Washington. Historic photographs of the Village from the UW Special Collections and Smithsonian Institution will enhance his presentation. Dorothy Cordova will address the impact derogatory promotional
materials about Igorots had on Filipinos living in Seattle for the next 40 years.
Calming the Waters of Japan-U.S. Relations through Commerce:
The Reception of Shibusawa Eiichi's Trade Commission at the A-Y-P
In considering Japan’s participation at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, it is essential to consider that the fair took place in the wake of furious anti-Japanese immigration sentiment that had broken out in areas along the Western United States and Canada in 1907. Though Seattle’s extensive population of Japanese residents was generally spared the brunt of this violent agitation, concerns over continued Japanese immigration lingered.
Japan could rightly present itself as a world power after its victory in the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War. It asserted this fact not just by contributing a national pavilion and extensive collection of exhibits at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, but by stationing a warship at Seattle for the duration of the fair. Yet to assuage such fears and provide a constructive vision of Japan-US relations, the Japanese government contributed a national pavilion and an extensive collection of exhibits to the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. In addition to such official participation, a non-governmental commission of prominent Japanese businessmen, led by the renown industrialist Shibuasawa Eiichi, arrived in Seattle in time for the fair’s Japan Day celebrations and then embarked on a nation-wide tour of United States’ Chambers of Commerce in order to affirm the potential for mutually beneficial transpacific trade. This paper will examine the events surrounding this trade commission’s visit as well as its reception.
How Ready Were the Chinese and Japanese Communities in Seattle to join the AYPE?
Seattle’s two leading Asian immigrant groups, the Chinese and Japanese, decided to participate in the city’s first world’s fair, in spite of the fact that Seattle in 1909 was not a friendly place for them. Hostile examples were plentiful, although there were also occasional friendly gestures offered by businessmen, clergies, liberals, and other minorities. At the end of the AYPE, by all accounts, the two immigrant groups had pulled it off. How did they handle the prevailing hostility and make themselves equal, or almost equal, members of the international exposition? This presentation examines their strength and strategies before the AYPE took place.
Details in strategies varied between the two groups but the principles behind their actions were similar: (1) utilize existing goodwill, (2) neutralize attacks, (3) adopt counter-hostility defenses, (4) build community assets.
But they may have been concerned with more than just being accepted by Americans. In those early days, even when “Asian American” was not yet a meaningful term, Chinese and Japanese residents began to worry about who they were and how they could reconcile differences in American and home-country values. The AYPE was one of the early testing events in the Pacific Northwest that forced the immigrants to deal creatively with this issue.
Hawaii at the Fair
Summary (Kay & Bronson)
Lew G. Kay, the Chairman of China Day at the AYPE
Richard Kay and Bennet Bronson
China Day, on September 13 1909, marked the high point of the AYPE for Washington's Chinese community. The Program Chairman of China Day was Dick's father, Lew Kay. Although only 24 years old, he was given a lot of responsibility. His job as program chairman meant organizing (1) the China Day Parades, (2) the China Day floats, (3) the China Day luncheon at Ah King Restaurant in the Chinese Village, and the China Day speeches and entertainment in the AYPE Auditorium. In his own speech, delivered in faultless educated English, he thanked Americans for their friendship and for the decision, just made by Congress, to use the Boxer Indemnity money owed by China to the U.S. for bringing young Chinese to study in American universities.
So Lew Kay could give diplomatic speeches. But why was he chosen for the job in the first place? Goon Dip, a prominent businessman in Portland and Seattle, did the choosing. In overall charge of the event, he needed a local man to run the program. Lew Kay clearly was well qualified. He had just graduated from the University of Washington and had already been involved in representing American Chinese on important occasions.
Japanese art and crafts at the AYPE – what beauty, and messages, do they convey?
Visitors to the AYPE were treated to a wealth of Japanese culture through architecture, graphical imagery, and thousands of objects that ranged from the mundane to the sublime. With four major venues distributed over a wide area of the grounds, no participant could miss their beauty or fail to receive their influence.
By 1909 Japan had a long history of involvement with exhibitions in the West as well as at home. Its rising stature in international affairs, together with a deep and long-standing interest in Japanese culture and commercial potential among the fair’s planners helped create a rich atmosphere of cultural exchange. Much of this took place though exposure to objects of commercial and artistic creation, covering a wide range of categories. Regardless of background or standing, there was something Japanese for every visitor to appreciate. Through objects of every type Japan’s culture had a significant impact on areas of the Fair’s areas of commercial development, foreign relations, landscaping, performing arts, and fine and applied arts.
The AYPE really took place in related and sanctioned events all over the city and when we come to our subject the story is no different. Japanese goods and AYPE souvenir objects were available in many locations in Seattle and so it is not always useful to say that something was observed, enacted, or purchased on the fairgrounds. Department stores in downtown Seattle, for instance, list paper fans and umbrellas among their souvenir goods for sale. On the grounds, though, there were two main sources for objects that have survived today: The Streets of Tokio, located on the lower Pay Streak, and the main Japanese Government building.
My Grandfather, Ah King, the Only Chinese Concessionaire at the AYPE
Howard E. King
The Chinese Community at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
Trish Hackett Nicola
This presentation is a summary of the Chinese involvement in the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.
Finally, there will be a summary of the financial aspects of the exposition—how it almost made a profit and the legacy of the exposition to the Chinese community.
Japan: The Architecture of Abodes Abroad
Ken Tadashi Oshima
Of “dead exhibits” and living things: lessons from the Philippine ethnological
displays at St Louis and Seattle
[PRESENTATION CANCELED BY QUIZON, 09/01]
This paper will examine the parallels and divergences between the nature of Philippine ethnological displays in two early 20th century American World’s Fairs: the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St Louis in 1904, and the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition at Seattle in 1909. In what way did the exclusive role of the United States government in the display of living Filipinos and their culturally/scientifically meaningful artifacts in St Louis shape the more divergent exhibition modes that played out in Seattle five years later? In this transition from the realm of serious education and other truth claims in the St Louis colonial exhibits to the multiple realms of both government and “entertainment ethnology” in Seattle, what kinds of economic and social arrangements made the repeated displays of living Filipinos, possible and, from the point of view of the Fair organizers, extremely desirable? If we actively consider new research on the communities of origin of these individuals and their perspectives on participating in displays of their own culture that are nevertheless explicitly authored by others, what kinds of insights might be gained from conflicting truth claims that ostensibly originate from early 20th century American and European anthropological practices? What kinds of implications arise when past practices are considered alongside contemporary anthropological representations of living peoples on one hand, and tourist-oriented representations on the other? This paper will broadly examine the role of state institutions such as the Smithsonian as well as key private entrepreneurs in shaping the customary arrangements that facilitated the staging of both living Filipinos & non-living/artifactual ethnological displays in the Seattle exposition.
The Chinese Exclusion Act in the era of the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition
Sarah Nelson Smith
By the time the Alaska Yukon Exposition opened in June of 1909, there were thousands of Chinese Americans living in the Pacific Northwest. Chinese settlement began in this region in the 1850s, along with other non-Native people. By 1909, Chinese neighborhoods had been bustling for years. But the decades prior to the AYPE held a mixture of antagonism and ambivalence from other settlers towards the Chinese community. The Chinese Exclusion Act became law in 1882 as the first law excluding particular persons from immigrating to the United States. Though the U.S. Government worked to stymie the population of Chinese people in this country, the Chinese communities did thrive.
This paper will discuss the realities of entering the Port of Seattle as a Chinese person in 1909, the year of the AYPE. By examining the records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and other primary sources, we will look back at the history of the Chinese Exclusion Act and familiarize ourselves with the operations of the Seattle office. The Pacific Northwest was experiencing an economic boom following the Klondike Gold Rush, and the AYPE flaunted those broadening horizons. But the Chinese Exclusion Act kept the formal distance between the societies and economies of the United States and China, and did so for several decades after the Pay Streak was gone.
Chinese Architecture at the AYPE and in Early Seattle
Asian Imagery at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and in Seattle
David A. Rash
At the time of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle had the largest Asian-Pacific community in the Pacific Northwest and one of the largest such community on the West Coast. Within this community, only the first Seattle Buddhist Church gave any outward expression of the architectural heritage of Asia. This had not always been the case in Seattle, and after the A-Y-P, the area now known as the International District, which was the twentieth century home of Chinatown and Nihonmachi, would slowly acquire visual accoutrements of Asian architecture.
This paper will examine some of the causes for the disappearance of Asian imagery from Chinatown and how this affected Nihonmachi. It will also look at the various examples of Asian architecture that were included at the A-Y-P, as well as the public reaction to these examples. It will also show various examples of post-A-Y-P buildings in the International District where Asian imagery was incorporated into their design and how these projects were influenced by the A-Y-P, as well as other factors. A particular focus will be the iconic Maneki Café as it existed between 1913 and 1941 in the former Oriental-American Bank building.
Aggressive Businessman, Gentle Gardener, and Bainbridge Islander
I Furuya Resort House / Whitman Home - visitors and history
I live in the 105 year old “Furuya Resort House” on Bainbridge Island. Over the years we have become aware of the significance of Furuya’s business and social position in the Japanese community. The history and personal information provided to us by visiting employees, their children, guests and past owners has been so valuable. Over the last 33 years we hosted a Japanese Community Picnic and had many visitors with connections to the house. Our most memorable visit was a celebration of life for a previous owner, Sheigeko Uno’s mother. She had requested her ashes be scattered in the Atlantic and at Crystal Springs which was her favorite place. We were honored to fulfill her request.
2 Furuya - from tailor to million dollar business empire
1890, Furuya a 28 year old tailor arrived in Seattle at a time the Japanese community was growing, providing him with unlimited business opportunities. The Furuya Company was involved in many enterprises including grocery stores, real estate, construction, printing, postal service, banking and a Tea House. His business branches served Yokohama, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. He was a frugal, strict, Christian man demanding the discipline and obedience of his employees. This included a 10-hour ,7-day work week, a dress code, and no vacations, except once a year when employees and their families picnicked at Furuya’s Crystal Springs home on Bainbridge Island.
3 AYPE - Japan Day.
The official group picture of the local Japanese merchants taken in front of the Japan Building, showed their unity in making Japan Day at the AYPE a successful business and social event. Furuya was one of three big owners of “Kyosan-Kai” which ran the “Street of Tokio” at AYPE. He frequently attended AYP receptions and toured with Japanese dignitaries. He imported souvenirs with his “Furuya Co.” trade mark. His contributions as a business and community leader played a major part in this event.
5 Final Thoughts - the man and his empire
Throughout the 20’s he was the most prominent and powerful Japanese business man having built a million dollar empire. By the early 30’s he was bankrupt, disgraced and poor. He returned to Japan were he died at the age of 75.
Living in his “Resort House” for the last 33 years, we have acquired a great appreciation and understanding of the business and social contributions he made to the Japanese community. We continue to enjoy the vision and beauty he created 100 years ago. Our thanks to Kaora Ichihara, Deborah Ono and her aunt Lillian, Eddie Harrison, Irene Shigaki, and her aunt Yuki Kawakami who have provided us with valuable information and photos.