SiteMapNihongo
 Japanese American National Museum
Collections & Research

Tazawa, Haruno

Haruno Tazawa arrived in Hawaii as a picture bride from Fukushima Prefecture on July 27, 1917. The nakodo (marriage go-between) who had arranged her marriage was her older sister, who had preceded her to Hawaii seven years earlier as a picture bride herself.

Haruno was the only bride on her ship to bring two large kori. In one, she carried her futon (cotton-filled bedding) and a tanzen (a cotton-padded kimono worn by people in northern Japan during the winter months). She brought with her three kimono, including a black montsuki. But she was married wearing the purple cotton kimono she had on when she arrived.

Haruno's husband-to-be was Chozo Tazawa, a foreman on the Ewa Sugar Plantation. When he stepped up to claim her at the immigration station, Haruno was not quite sure that he was the man who photograph she had received. But he was dressed in a nice black suit and a white shirt with a wing collar, and, when he identified her from her photograph, she quietly followed him. He hired a hakku (hack) and took her to the Yamashiro Hotel, where they were married by a Buddhist priest.

They spent their wedding night at the hotel, and the next morning Chozo hired a taxi and took Haruno to Ewa Sugar Plantation. Her plantation home was quite a shock to her. She told me [Barbara Kawakami': "I had visions of beautiful Hawaii. My dreams were shattered, though, when I saw my new home located deep in the mountains. My new home reminded of our horse barn back in the village."

The next day a huge reception was held for the newly wedded couple, and the entire community was invited. The men pitched a huge tent, while the women helped with the preparation of the wedding feast. Haruno was uncomfortable:

That was the first time I had ever laid eyes on a gaijin [non-Japanese person, Caucasian], and I was scared. I came face to face with the gaijin as I poured sake into cups to greet them. They had such big eyes and tall noses? Some of them shook my hand and said something like "nice girl." There were all kinds of people in Ewa Plantation Camp -- Spanish, Hawaiian, Portuguese. ... There were also Filipinos, Okinawans, ad a few Koreans. Those faces seemed so strange. ... I could not communicated with them, so it made things more difficult.

For the wedding reception, Haruno wore a simple black montsuki with her mother's family crest.

She wore the same black montsuki for her husband's funeral in 1928



 

 

Jump to Top of Page Japanese American National Museum

 
janm.org home
Copyright © 1998-2017 Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles California 90012   ▪   phone: (213) 625-0414