Sadako Moriguchi

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Sadako Moriguchi
Native name
森口 貞子
Sadako Tsutakawa

(1907-10-16)October 16, 1907
Seattle, Washington, US
DiedJuly 25, 2002(2002-07-25) (aged 94)
Years active1932 – 1992
Known forCo-founding Uwajimaya
Fujimatsu Moriguchi
(m. 1932; died 1962)
ChildrenKenzo Moriguchi
Suwako Maeda
Tomio Moriguchi
Akira Moriguchi
Hisako Nakaya
Toshi Moriguchi
Tomoko Matsuno

Sadako Moriguchi (森口 貞子, Moriguchi Sadako, née Tsutakawa, October 16, 1907 – July 25, 2002) was an American businesswoman who helped establish Uwajimaya with her husband Fujimatsu Moriguchi.[1]


Sadako was born as the second daughter of Shozo Tsutakawa in Seattle in 1907. Her younger brother was George Tsutakawa.[2] Although she spent her childhood in Seattle, she went to Japan for formal education.

On October 20, 1932, Sadako married Fujimatsu Moriguchi in Tacoma, Washington. According to family tradition, Sadako's father arranged a marriage with Fujimatsu. Sadako helped open the first Uwajimaya store in Tacoma. During World War II, the Moriguchis were interned at Pinedale, California, where Sadako gave birth to a daughter, and then at Tule Lake, where she gave birth to two children. After the war, the family moved to Seattle's Japantown, where they set up Uwajimaya again at a small building on South Main Street.[3][4]

In 1962, Uwajimaya made exhibitions at the Century 21 Exposition by opening a gift shop.[5] After Fujimatsu died that same year in August, he left his business to his sons. The brothers eventually shared their ownership with their sisters and their mother, who continued working at Uwajimaya with her children until the age of 85. However, for the next 40 years after her husband's death, Moriguchi still attended to the customers of Uwajimaya, mostly in the company's gift operations, even though she did not serve in an official position.[6] She was selected as one of eleven Northwest women of Japanese ancestry to feature in the exhibition "Strength and Diversity: Japanese American Women 1885-1990" at the Burke Museum.[7] Moriguchi spent her last days at Seattle's Keiro Nursing Home. She died from complications of Alzheimer's disease on July 25, 2002.[8][9][10][11]

A café at Uwajimaya's store in Bellevue, Sadako's Café, was named for Moriguchi.[12]


  1. ^ Kawai, Ryosuke (2019-04-27). "第10回 ルーツと同郷の成功者" Dai 10-kai rūtsu to dōkyō no seikō-sha [10th: Roots and successful people of the same town]. Discover Nikkei (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  2. ^ Itō, Kazuo (1973). Issei: A History of Japanese immigrants in North America. Japanese Community Service. p. 821.
  3. ^ Zurlo, Tony (2003). The Japanese Americans. Lucent Books/Thomson Gale. p. 82. ISBN 9781590180013.
  4. ^ Sato, Ryoko (2017-05-13). "Life of Fujimatsu Moriguchi – Founder of Uwajimaya". The North American Post. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  5. ^ Dern, Judith (2018-08-10). The Food and Drink of Seattle: From Wild Salmon to Craft Beer. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 105. ISBN 9781442259775.
  6. ^ Grant, Tina (2004). International Directory of Company Histories. 60. St. James Press. p. 312. ISBN 9781558625051.
  7. ^ Ament, Deloris Tarzan (1994-09-29). "Generations Of Talent -- Two Exhibits Document, Celebrate And Place In Context The Contributions Of Asian Immigrants To Our Cultural Treasure Chest". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  8. ^ Fryer, Alex (2002-07-27). "Sadako Moriguchi, 1907 - 2002: The guiding force at Uwajimaya, a landmark store". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  9. ^ "Sadako Tsutakawa Moriguchi". Seattle: The Seattle Times. 2002-07-28. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  10. ^ 'Founder of Seattle Landmark Grocery Dies at 94', Lewiston Morning Tribune.
  11. ^ 'Sadako Tsutakawa Moriguchi', Baltimore Sun (30 July 2002).
  12. ^ "Uwajimaya Bellevue". Seattle Dining!. Retrieved 2019-01-22.

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