Haruye Onishi Family



Haruye Onishi was born on March 12, 1879 in Agarimichi town, Tottori Prefecture, Japan. The Federal Censuses reported his entry into the U.S. as 1902 and 1903. He was single and would have been about 23 years old. From then until probably 1907 he lived in Seattle at the Great Northern Hotel working as a laborer. This information came from border crossing records when he returned from visits to Vancouver. One of his traveling companions in 1905 was Yutaro Kawashiri who was also from Tottori Prefecture and later farmed in Palos Verdes.

The 1910 Census reported that Haruye Onishi was living in a Little Tokyo boarding house run by Kinzo Yasuhara who was also from Tottori Prefecture. Haruye was a helper in a fish market.

In his World War I registration Haruye Onishi apparently still lived in the boarding house but worked on a farm owned Kiosuke Miura in Fresno, California.

By the time of the 1920 Federal Census Kinzo Yasuhara had turned over the boarding house in Little Tokyo to Gitaro Teramoto, another émigré from Tottori Prefecture. Haruye Onishi and his new wife, Seki, lived there. At this time Haruye was a 41 year old car cleaner for the electric railway company. Seki, 26 years old, had arrived in Los Angeles the year before. Their son, Seiji, was born in 1920. Later, sons Yuji (1922) and Minoru (1923) arrived.

One of the other boarders was Yoshikichi Kitamura from Tottori Prefecture whose cousin was Kichiro Nakatani, a Palos Verdes farmer. This boarding house had served as temporary housing for the Ashimoto family and other immigrants from Tottori Prefecture.

Sometime in the mid-1920’s the Onishi family moved to Palos Verdes Estates and began farming bluff overlooking the Lunada Bay. Their neighbors were the Ashimoto’s, the Sumi’s, the Shoji’s and the Kadonada’s. The houses were clustered to form a small village. The Takenaga’s, Hatashita’s, Sato’s and Ino’s lived across the road nearer to the bluffs.

The family was sent to Poston after they had relocated to Strathmore, California. After the war had ended the family lived in Walden, New York. Haruye’s death record could not be found in the Social Security index. Seki died in 1980. Minoru died in 1966 and Yuji died in 1998. A Patrick Seiji Onishi died in 1963 in Cook County, Illinois. It is not certain that this is the son of Haruye and Seki.