An injunction was filed on Thursday, October 24th to stop the sale of the Mukai house and garden. Go to our Legal Status page for more information and to read the injuction
Three historic preservation organizations filed a brief in support of Friends of Mukai. Go to our legal Status page for full details
Seattle Times Seattle Now and Then: The Mukai Farm Matters
The July 13, 2013 Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine feathered the Friends of Mukai “This Place Matters” event in Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard’s “Seattle Now and Then” series. “The historic Mukai Farm and Garden on Vashon island is now the focus of a dispute between the current ownership group and a citizens' group decrying the property's neglect.”
Pacific NW Magazine Tuesday July 16, 2013
The historic Mukai Farm and Garden on Vashon island is now the focus of a dispute between the current ownership group and a citizens' group decrying the property's neglect.
Why Mukai Matters
Visiting Mukai, you immediately see that it’s a place where stories live, hundreds of them. Japanese immigrants making their way in America overcoming adversity and discrimination to build a new life. A woman’s unique vision of blending two cultures. Generations of Japanese Americans who became part of our culture and yet maintained their own. One of the birthplaces, some say, of the Northwest’s agricultural industry from strawberries to food processing.
Why Change Is Needed
Just look at the place, as best you can since there’s a chain link fence with a no trespassing sign around it. Plastic nailed over the leaking roof. Paint covering windows. Crumbling cement and stone ponds and walkways. The plants that have been allowed to die. It’s a sad case of demolition by neglect. Everyone acknowledges that this was a great idea but the property was acquired for restoration 13 years ago and nothing’s happening.
We want to make the original restoration vision happen. We want to tell the stories that live at the Mukai site. These unique, historic buildings and gardens can’t be lost and they will be if nothing is done. The site needs to be stabilized, restored and preserved. We want to open it up so the community and scholars can gather here to celebrate this place…its stories, the once beautiful gardens that Kuni Mukai created, the thriving farm that once existed here along with a family bungalow home where people lived and gathered with their neighbors.
What We Are Doing NowWe decided to take action now, as best we can given the chain link fence around the property. For example, we had the founder of the Bainbridge memorial of the internment here for a community talk. We’re planning a full schedule of that type of program, including an Obon festival in July to carry on the long tradition of Japanese cultural celebrations at Mukai. Our garden committee has been going full speed on research about the plants that Kuni Mukai grew in her garden and studying options for restoration. A committee has started work on a business plan for future restoration, once we gain access to the site.