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Furuya Company (#20)

Also known as: M. Furuya Company

Masajiro Furuya founded the Furuya Company in 1892. Although it started as a tailor shop, Furuya grew the company to amass retail, import-export, labor contracting and banking businesses. Historian Gary Iwamoto describes him as “perhaps the most prominent local [Seattle] businessman of the early 20th century” and “certainly the top businessman among Japanese on the Pacific Coast” during that period.

Furuya built his company headquarters here on 2nd Avenue, housing his main office and retail outlet as well as his Japanese Commercial Bank central office. Find the nearby wayside exhibit as part of the “Trail to Treasure” walking trail to learn more.

Images

Look carefully at the building’s many signs to see the many aspects of Masahiro Furuya’s business empire.

Wing Luke Museum Collection.

Another view of the Furuya Building on the right.

Wing Luke Museum Collection.

The Furuya Company produced fans as promotional giveaways for its customers. The reverse side has an advertisement in English and Japanese for Higeta Soy.

Wing Luke Museum Collection.

This fan shows two women catching fireflies by the light of the moon. The back of the fan reads in English and Japanese, “M. Furuya Co., 216 Second Ave. S., Seattle, Wash., U.S.A. Importers and Exporters of Japanese and American Merchandise and Products with branches in Yokohama, Kobe, Vancouver, B.C., Portland, Tacoma and 2 branches in Seattle.”

Wing Luke Museum Collection.

Another fan distributed to Furuya Company customers.

Wing Luke Museum Collection.