Mary Adams Urashima

Mary Adams Urashima is an author, government affairs consultant and freelance writer living in Huntington Beach. She created HistoricWintersburg.blogspot.com to generate more awareness about the history of the Japanese in Orange County, including stories of an area in north Huntington Beach once known as the Wintersburg Village. Urashima is chairing a community effort to preserve the century-old Furuta farm and Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission complex, named to the “America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” list in 2014 and designated a “National Treasure” in 2015 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Her book, Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach, was released by History Press in March 2014.


Updated April 2016

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Women in Wintersburg

Yukiko Furuta was not a picture bride and she did not remember meeting any picture brides in the area. Her marriage was arranged by family and friends.

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C.M. Furuta—who had been living in America since 1900—traveled to Japan to meet his prospective bride. “…One day this lady asked her to go to a public bath house with her,” explains the translator for Yukiko Furuta’s 1982 oral history interview with CSU Fullerton history professor Arthur Hansen.

When they finished taking the bath, this lady told Mrs. Furuta, ‘Go …

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Goldfish on Wintersburg Avenue Part 2 - The Living Jewels of the Furuta Gold Fish Farm

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Did you ever wonder why goldfish and koi ponds have been a long tradition in landscapes around Orange County? Most likely, the trend owes its roots to Wintersburg.

One of Wintersburg’s most unique business enterprises were the goldfish farms, all owned by Issei (Japanese immigrants). While there was a long history of goldfish farming in Asia, this was a fairly new enterprise for America. The glittering fish delighted the American public and ignited a trend that remains popular today.

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By the 1920s, Charles M. Furuta had established goldfish ponds on …

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Goldfish on Wintersburg Avenue - Part 1

One of the 1982 oral histories recalling Wintersburg’s past was conducted with Mr. Clarence Iwao Nishizu (by Professor Emeritus Arthur A. Hansen as part of the Honorable Stephen K. Tamura Orange County Japanese American Oral History Project, jointly sponsored by the Japanese American Council of the Bowers Museum Foundation—Historical and Cultural Foundation of Orange County, and the Japanese American Project of the California State University, Fullerton, Oral History Program).

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Clarence Nishizu’s accounts of Wintersburg are remarkably detailed and revealing of his gentle sense of humor. He recalls an incident involving the Asari Goldfish Hatchery, which was located at 8741 …

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