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The Kobukata Family: A Story of Resilience

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

One family’s journey through immigration, Issaquah, internment, and beyond

In the early 1900s, the Kobukata family—Makoto, Noye, and their three children, Yuri, Kenneth, and Ume—lived in Issaquah’s Pine Lake district. Makoto and Noye were both Japanese immigrants. Given Issaquah’s history of racism and its prevalence at that time, it is easy to assume that the Kobukatas would have struggled to fit in the Issaquah community. But even though the environment was not in their favor, the Kobukatas worked hard, and did their best to thrive. They were well-liked, respected, and active members of the Issaquah community. In 1942, the Kobukatas were interned in Pinedale Assembly Center and Tule Lake Relocation Center. They were the only family living in Issaquah to be interned under Executive Order 9066. Though they lost everything due to internment, they pressed on, and all had successful, fulfilling lives. Their story is one of resilience and connection, and it should not be forgotten.

Life In Issaquah

Makoto and Noye were both born in Ohitaken, Japan. Makoto was born on November 14, 1889, and came to Washington in 1905. It is unclear if he lived in Issaquah right when he moved from Japan, or if he first lived in a different part of Washington and later made his way to Issaquah. Noye was born to Arinaga and Kimi Junonichi in 1897 and married Makoto in 1921. Resources were inconclusive on whether they wed in Japan or America; however, when Noye moved to Washington on June 8 of that year, Makoto was already her husband.

Read the full blog post below

The Kobukata Family_ A Story of Resilience [For Issaquah History Museums]
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