Brick #233 Wall Location Column: 56 Row: 34
Marji Mitaka Harada was born Mitaka Yachiyo Matsumoto on February 4, 1913 in Hiroshima, Japan. Mother was one of six children born to Kiichi and Ichi Matsumoto and was the last surviving member.
After graduating from high school, Mom traveled to the United States for a visit and planned to work temporarily for her brother Masao at the Japanese Trade Association in Seattle, before returning to Japan to further her studies in elementary education. However, her plans changed when she met and fell in love with Kazuto Harada, who was completing his last year at Pacific Dental College in Portland, Oregon. They were married on August 3, 1932.
During World War II, Mom and Dad were interned at Minidoka, Idaho. They returned to Seattle after the war and she assisted Dad in his dental practice on Jackson Street. In 1953, a change in U.S. law allowed Asian immigrants to apply for citizenship. Mother became a naturalized citizen and legally changed her first name to Marji to reflect her new nationality, of which she was very proud. Mother was a gracious woman of incredible inner strength and resilience. She loved flowers and had a special touch that worked magic with all plants. She enjoyed Ikebana and karaoke,was a member of the Seattle Hiroshima Club, Kokusai Shigin and served first as secretary, then treasurer, and later President of the Seattle Betsuin Women's Club. She owned and managed her own business from 1961 to 1997, when she suffered a stroke. Her eight year journey from that moment ended on March 13, 2005. She was preceded in death by her 5 year old son Kazuhiko in 1938 and by her loving husband Kazuto in 1955.