Uwajimaya is a supermarket chain based in Seattle, Washington, with three stores: in Beaverton, Oregon; Bellevue, Washington; and its flagship store in Seattle's International District. Its corporate headquarters are in Seattle's Industrial District.
Mainly selling Asian food, with an emphasis on Japanese, Uwajimaya also stocks Western staples.
Uwajimaya was founded in 1928 by Fujimatsu Moriguchi of Yawatahama, Japan, in Tacoma, Washington, where he sold goods from his truck. It was named after the town of Uwajima, where he first entered the business.
As part of the internment of Japanese Americans following the entry of the United States into World War II, Moriguchi and his family were sent to the Tule Lake Internment Camp in 1942. Upon their release, they moved to Seattle and set up shop on S. Main Street in the International District.
In the 1960s Uwajimaya began to offer non-food items and food from other Asian countries than Japan. In 1962, Fujimatsu Moriguchi passed away and his wife Sadako Moriguchi took over the company.
In 1970, the store moved two blocks south to 6th Avenue S. and S. King Street. An expansion was added in 1978.
2000 saw Uwajimaya's move across the street to 6th Avenue S. and S. Weller Street into a complex known as Uwajimaya Village, twice the size of the previous building. It includes a food court, bookstore, bank, restaurant, optician, salon, and cosmetic shop in addition to the grocery, and features apartments on the second level. S. Lane Street was vacated to allow Uwajimaya to extend south to Dearborn Street, using the entire southern block for parking.
With Sadako Moriguchi's death in 2002, Uwajimaya came under the control of her son, Tomio Moriguchi.
- Official site (http://www.uwajimaya.com)