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Eastside Heritage Exhibit

By David Yamaguchi, The North American Post

A part of the Eastside Heritage Centers A Taste of the Eastside on display at Crossroads Mall Bellevue It shows what the Terumatsu Yabuki family purchased in Japanese groceries from North Coast Importing Seattle The latter was a wholesale grocery in the International District where Nisei daughter Kane Connie Yabuki Saito worked for decades as an adult after growing up laboring in her parents greenhouse Photo DY

If you find yourself on the Eastside, you might find the Eastside Heritage Center‘s four Plexiglas-cubes display of late 20th century foodstuffs interesting. Two of the cubes show Japanese food products from North Coast Importing, one of three Seattle Japanese American groceries, before two of the family businesses quit in the late 1980s, leaving the local Japanese grocery business largely in the hands of the Moriguchis of Uwajimaya.

The Japanese food exhibits were made by greenhouse family granddaughter Carolyn Yabuki, whose Auntie Connie made wooden crates for the greenhouse in the mornings before school. North Coast was run by the Yamaguchis, where a present-day speaking coach, recent tennis coach, and a news editor grew up hefting 100-lb. sacks of rice into Issei and Nisei shoppers’ car trunks. The exhibit makes the point that what was once every day JA life has become history.