Tag Archives: tonic

Grandfather’s Seattle Barbershop – 1910-1930


One of the finds from the 100 year old shed were photos from my Grandfather Hisakichi’s barbershop.  It would appear these are from about 1917 through 1930.

His shop was in the Hotel Fujii at 620 South King Street in Seattle, WA.  Being raised here in America, it is not only striking to see my grandparent’s barbershop but it is so unlike those of other barbershop photographs of that time being manned by “non-Caucasians”.  Is that best way of putting it?  You can see the hair tonics that were used as well as the Koch porcelain barber chairs.  Through the help of my friends interested in WWII history, we believe the calendar indicates shows “Thursday, October 9, 1930”.

Grandfather Hisakichi is at right. Due to the blur, we are uncertain if the lady on the left is Grandmother Kono…but the gal in the center is very attractive.

In this picture below, a “no nonsense” Grandfather Hisakichi is holding my Aunt Shiz; this would put the photo as being taken in 1917.

According to my dad a couple of weeks ago, Grandfather would work the shop by himself during the slow times but would bring in others as the season changed.  They lived upstairs in a room at the hotel.

It is difficult to imagine he supported the family with this one barber shop but you would think he worked hard and was a sound businessman in a foreign country.

Oh… Since WWI was raging, he registered for the draft.

Ninety years later, I thank him.