Terumatsu Yabuki
Ft. Lincoln - Lordsburg

Brick #1379   Wall Location  Column: 105   Row: 14

Terumatsu Yabuki was born In Fukushima, Japan on March 23, 1892. He immigrated to Seattle on June 15, 1911, following his older brother, Kameji, who had arrived earlier.

In October 1915, he returned to Japan and married Hide Yamakishi on January 17, 1916. He came back to Seattle on April 15, 1917 and found employment as a restaurant worker. Hide arrived shortly thereafter. Their first child, Kane (Connie), was born May 2, 1917.

In May of 1918, the family moved to Saal's Greenhouse in Medina, and then to the Hunt's Point Greenhouse, which they bought from the Boddy family in 1919. They grew cucumbers, tomatoes, chrysanthemums, geraniums, and pansies.

Terumatsu built a two story house for them to live in. For a time, his father, mother, brother, and sister from Japan lived there as well.

Hidematsu, their first son, was born in 1919. He fell off a car and died in 1921. Hideo was born on December 18, 1921, and Kiyoshi on April 21, 1923.

The new Reo truck that Terumatsu bought was used to take produce and flowers to market. Sometimes he loaded a 200 gallon oil tank on it so he could purchase oil to heat the greenhouses in the winter.

Terumatsu could read, write, and speak English quite well. It's thought that he must have attended night school at some time.

He loved children and baseball, and often played baseball with his sons and their friends, and took the family to watch the Bellevue Seinenkai team play at Columbia playfield in Seattle. He also drove the neighborhood children to Japanese school, Kenjinkai, and to greenhouse picnics. He was a fast runner!

World War II broke out on December 7, 1941. Three days later, he was taken by authorities to the Seattle Immigration Station for questioning. He wasn't reunited with his family until more than two years later. First, he was interned at Fort Lincoln in Bismarck, North Dakota. From there, he was transferred to Lordsburg, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. While there, he was permitted a visit from son, Kiyoshi, who had joined the Army's 442nd R.C.T. That was the only contact he had with family during that entire period of time. It wasn't until 1944 that he was able to join Hide and family in Minidoka. There, he worked on the poultry farm.

After leaving Minidoka, he, Hide, and Hideo relocated to Spokane before ultimately returning to the Hunt's Point Greenhouse. Once again, he put in long hours working to make the business a success. It wasn't until about 1977 that he stopped working.

Two especially notable events of the post-war years were when he became a naturalized citizen in 1953 and when he and Hide celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1966.

Terumatsu's last seven years of life were spent at Keiro Nursing Home, where he died on November 27, 1988, at age 96. His surviving family members included three children and their spouses, nine grandchildren and their spouses and children.

  • Minidoka
Prisons/Isolation Centers
  • Ft. Lincoln
  • Lordsburg
Brick Donors
  • Warren Saito