A Glimpse into Seattle's Vibrant Japanese-American Past

Hundreds of vintage photos are on display at the Wing Luke Museum.

Judging by the 400 archival photographs on display at the Wing Luke Museum, bridal portraits were a steady source of income for Japantown’s Takano Studio. Founded in 1910, the Japanese-American photography studio was a thriving business until 1942, when Japanese citizens were sent to internment camps. But before that, Takano captured Seattle’s vibrant Japanese community on film—and the Wing Luke Museum now holds the collection of negatives. Family portraits abound, taken both in the studio and in front of rural homes with greenhouses in the background, as do what appear to be adult class pictures, including one sweetly titled “Mrs. Hosokawa’s flower arranging group.” The Wing called on residents of the Central District’s Nikkei Manor (for Japanese senior citizens) to help identify names where possible. But in many cases the faces are anonymous, making them all the more intriguing and poignant. 7/8–2/2012. Times and prices vary. Wing Luke Museum, 719 S King St.; 206.623.5124; wingluke.org. B.D.