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Experiencing Like the Issei

Makoto Yurikawa with Kusak Cut Glass. Photo courtesy of the Uchikura & Co.

By Akari Terouchi

The North American Post

Issei began immigrating here about 140 years ago with few belongings. While facing hardship, they laid the foundation of the current Japanese American community.

Makoto Yurikawa, a Japanese international student, might be like the Issei. He came last March, studied business and has utilized the knowledge he cultivated at Uchikura & Co. as an intern. The company was established by Kenichi Uchikura, who also founded PSPINC.

“I wanted to try something new,” said Yurikawa.

He has contributed to sales of Kusak Cut Glass in the local community and Japan. His tasks have varied in sales, marketing and logistics.

Kusak Cut Glass products are made from glass in Bohemia, Czech Republic by skilled workers, whose techniques have continued since the 13th century. Anton C. Kusak founded the company in Seattle in 1914.

“I like to create something new more than to develop something existing,” Yurikawa said. “I cannot be taught with great patience and care how to work. I am often in trouble because the outcome is not in proportion to the quantity of work. I also keenly feel the lack of my capacity. However, I can undertake most and so make the outcome increase.”

He continues to endeavor to make good products not outdated.

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The North American Post is a community newspaper that celebrates Japanese culture in the Greater Seattle area. Founded by 1st generation Japanese-Americans in 1902, the publication is one of the oldest minority-owned newspapers in the region. Today, with bilingual articles in English and Japanese, the publication connects readers with diverse cultural backgrounds to Seattle’s Japanese community. Our articles include local news, event calendars, restaurant reviews, Japanese cooking recipes, community interviews, and more.