Mukai Farm & Garden – How History Lives

The Mukai Farm & Garden is transforming. The Friends of Mukai, sponsors of the
historical property, have an updated website, new logo, plans to renovate the
Japanese Garden pond and complete restoration of the Mukai home. New board
members and staff are offering community events that include the Vashon Japan
Festival, September 22nd and the Seattle Miyagi-Kai Koto concert, September 30.
The community will be invited to help plan for the Fruit Barreling Plant
transformation later in 2018. The Mukai Farm & Garden tells a story of the
Japanese American experience in the Pacific Northwest. That story remains
meaningful today: Mukai is how history lives.

The Friends of Mukai have been committed since 2012 to sharing the Mukai Farm
and Garden and its history with island residents and visitors. The story of the Mukai
family began in the early 20th century: their adoption of their American home and
contributions to local agriculture, of a Japanese garden designed by a woman, and
the impact of World War II internment offer a connection to history that lives today.

The volunteers with Friends of Mukai have accomplished:
• Four years of litigation to rescue the site from neglect.
• Creating a historical preservation plan for the buildings and site.
• Restoring the Mukai home, with completion expected by the end of the year.
• Beginning renovation of the garden pond designed by Kuni Mukai.
• Plans to begin community participation on the use, role and next phases for
the Fruit Barreling Plant.
• Securing over $1,000,000 in public grant money to support these capital
expense efforts.

To mark these achievements, the Friends are launching the new Mukai Farm and
Garden identity, logo and website at The Friends of
Mukai will continue as the stewards of the historical community asset. Future plans
include public events such as the Vashon Japan Festival, September 22, 10:00 am –
4:00 pm, Mukai Farm and Garden, 18017 107th Avenue SW, Vashon; the Seattle
Miyagi-Kai Koto concert September 30, 2:00 pm, Camp Burton Lodge, 9326 SW
Bayview Dr. Vashon, and hosting visitors from the Japan-American Grassroots
Summit. For more events, visit

The Friends of Mukai Board President, Kay Longhi, said, “I am amazed at the
caliber of professionals involved on the board and their connections to other
regional and local professionals. They have been an example of how motivated
volunteers can truly make things happen; from landscape architects, construction
professionals, electricians, preservationists, lawyers, graphic designers, website
developers – they have worked hours and hours on projects for little or nothing,
offering pro bono services. The power of their experience, networks, and willingness
to help is truly inspiring.”

Longhi added, “Their contributions are an affirmation for someone like me. I did not
know what I was getting into. It is enriching for the community and me personally
and shows what a highly valued piece of history we have on this island where I
grew up and love.

Much of the work at Mukai has been supported by grants from 4Culture, the State
of Washington, King County, and individual and local donors. The Washington Trust
for Historic Preservation brought the Mukai property to the public’s attention by
designating it one of the most endangered properties in Washington in 2013. “We
have the dedication and commitment of a wonderful group of volunteers to thank
for saving the Mukai Farm,” Longhi said. “Now the community can enjoy it and
learn from our shared history.”