Return and Change

1946 to Present

After WWII ended, the Mukai family returned to Vashon and continued to farm strawberries and operate the Barreling Plant. During the1950’s, Masa opened two more processing plants, one in Ferndale, Washington, the other in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Masa sold the packing business in 1969 and changed the name to VIPCo, operating as a septic and contracting business until he retired in 1979.

In 1993, the Mukai house and barreling plant, about five acres remaining of the original sixty, were designated a King County Landmark.  In 1994, they were placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Kuni died in 1957, B.D. died in Japan in 1972, Chiyeko died in 1994, and Masa died in 1999. Milton Mukai, who retired from working for Seattle City Light continues to live in Seattle.

In 2000, the Mukai house and garden was purchased with public money by an island non-profit.  By the end of 2018, Friends of Mukai expects to complete restoration of the house and garden.

In 2017, King County purchased the adjacent Fruit Barreling Plant. Friends of Mukai will restore this facility, and then operate all components—the house, Japanese Garden, and Fruit Barreling Plant—as the Mukai Farm and Garden, for the benefit of the public.

Mukai is a vibrant gathering place that tells the story of Vashon’s Japanese American and agricultural heritage.

« Exile 1942 to 1945