When president Roosevelt signed executive order 9066, over 100,00 men, women and children of Japanese ancestry were interned in relocation centers, far from the West Coast. In most cases the farms, homes and businesses they were forced to leave were lost or taken over.
But not all!
The Higo 10 Cents Store owned by the Murakami family in Seattle survived. They were able to secure their property and boarded everything up as they left. Non–Japanese tenants helped take of the building during the Murakami's interment. When they returned years later they used the crowbar they cleverly kept with them to re-open the store.
The touching story of the Murakami family and their store is told in a wonderful new book "Meet Me At Higo: An Enduring Story of a Japanese American Family." The book is full of fascinating photographs, documents, personal diaries and illustrations and is a testament to the bravery and resourcefulness of a family during WWII.
You can visit the historic store's location at today's KOBO in Seattle where there is a display of artifacts. There is also an exhibit at the Seattle Public Library Central Branch through March 26th.