• 1212 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98144
  • (206) 322-1122
  • info@nvcfoundation.org

About 40 years ago, Kazuko Stout founded a club for Japanese women who married servicemen and immigrated to America and other countries so they could communicate with each other and share their experiences.

When the club was founded, there were almost a thousand members living in Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, and virtually every state in the United States, including Alaska, and Hawaii. When Kazuko’s health made it impossible for her to continue, Tsuchino Forrester, who was vice-president of the club, took over as president. Tsuchino Forrester has been publishing a newsletter four times a year where the members could send pictures and stories they wanted to share about their lives and experiences with the other members. Because of this newsletter, members were able to become close friends.

In 1988 the group held its first meeting in Olympia, Washington, and the women have held week-long meetings every other year since then. Usually the site where the meetings were held was determined by a vote of the membership. They held meetings throughout Japan from Kyushu to Hokkaido, several times in Tokyo, as well as Australia, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and several in Reno, Nevada.

On November 30th and December 1st, what will most likely be the last meeting of the club was held at the Nisei Veterans Hall in Seattle. Most of the women are in their 90s, and the membership has declined to less than one hundred.

When planning this meeting, Tsuchino Forrester was confronted with problems that appeared to be impossible to solve. The original plan was to have the meeting at the Seattle Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington (JCCCW) so the attendees could see the history of the Japanese in Seattle, but the lack of parking proved to be a serious obstacle.

Dale Kaku recommended that Tsuchino ask the Nisei Veterans Committee for permission to use their hall and recommended that she contact Alan Nakamoto and Mari Wilson, who arranged for the use of the hall — something for which the women will be forever grateful. Without the generous support of the NVC, the meeting could not have taken place.

The club members were able to rent a bus and tour the JCCCW, visit the Peace Park to see the Sadako statue, and visit the new Tori Gate at Seward Park.

Thank you, NVC, for making all this possible.