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The Northwest times. [volume] : (Seattle, Wash.) 1947-1955
Place of publication:
Seattle, Wash.
Geographic coverage:
  • Seattle, King, Washington  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Budd Fukei
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan. 1947)-v. 9, no. 23 (Mar. 30, 1955).
  • English
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Newspapers.
  • Washington (State)--Seattle.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204940
  • "The only all-English Nisei newspaper in the Pacific northwest."
sn 86071999
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The Northwest times. [volume] January 1, 1947 , Image 1


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The Northwest times

The Northwest Times (1947-1955), an English-language newspaper serving Japanese American readers based out of Seattle, Washington, was founded by Shigekazu Budd Fukei on January 1, 1947. At the turn of the twentieth century, several Japanese- and English-language newspapers, such as the Hokubei Jiji (The North American Times) and the Japanese American Courier, sprang up in the greater Seattle area. However, after the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, pressure from the federal government led to the closure of all Japanese newspapers on the West Coast by May of 1942. In the postwar period, new Japanese-language papers such as the Seattle Hokubei Hochi (North American Post) emerged, but there were no English-language papers dedicated to Japanese American topics for Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans), a population on the rise and increasingly using English as a first language. As a result, Fukei established the Northwest Times in order to, in his words, "satisfy the appetite of the news-starved Japanese Americans who craved for stuff about the local and national Japanese American scene written in the American language."

True to this vision, the Northwest Times offered news on a wide array of subjects, with a front page boasting articles ranging from major national news reports to local interest pieces. Editorials, often penned by Fukei, appeared on the first few pages, while local community news, events, religious organization announcements, sports updates, and special features were covered on the third and fourth pages. For eight years, the paper was published twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays from its office on 304 Main Street. It was priced at 10¢an issue, with subscription rates of 75¢per month, $4.25 for six months, or $8 annually. The paper was a small operation with a circulation of under 1,000, but it had a great impact on second-generation Japanese Americans living in Washington. Although this was Fukei's first time acting as publisher, he brought years of editorial experience to the business. He began his career in journalism as a student at the University of Washington (UW) in 1936, where he edited the University of Washington Daily, and then he acted as English editor for the Seattle-based Taihoku nippō (The Great Northern Daily News). Fukei also worked for the Seattle Hokubei jiji (The North American Times), from 1941 until it closed in March 1942.

Many of the Northwest Times regular columns provided updates on local Japanese American community news and events. In its first year, columns such as Fukei's "The Sporting Thing" and Associate Editor Hideo Hoshide's "Keeping up with the Times" quickly became staples. Other popular titles without by-lines included: "Nisei Calendar," "Church Notes," and "The Social Whirl," keeping readers informed about upcoming activities. By 1949, Fukei's prewar editorial, "Main Street," resurfaced, and in 1950, a new column submitted by the UW Health Science Division called, "It's Your Health," appeared as recurring titles. National and local news was still reported throughout the duration of the paper, along with other titles such as: "It's Your Home," "It's the Law," and "The Vets Mail Bag." A special feature, "Foto Times," arranged by Photography Director Ralph Setsuzo Ochi, appeared in 1950. This four-page pictorial supplement portrayed the life and times of local businesses and community events.

Despite the efforts of Fukei and his editorial staff, the Northwest Times was never very lucrative. In 1951, Associate Editor Hideo Hoshide left the paper. Although John Kitasako continued Hoshide's column, Fukei took over most of the production duties himself, and the paper fell into economic hard times. In an effort to keep it afloat, Fukei's wife, Gladys Arlene Fukei, acted as business manager and joined the writer team with her column, "Musings by Arlene" in 1954, but the paper continued to flounder. On March 12, 1955, the paper announced that its final issue would be March 30, 1955. After paying off all outstanding debts and retiring the paper, Fukei continued to work in journalism as a contributor to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer from 1955-1983. Finally, from 1983-1989, Fukei worked alongside Hoshide on the Nisei Veterans Newsletter, the official newsletter for the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) in Seattle since 1952, before retiring himself at age 75.

Provided by: Washington State Library; Olympia, WA