Summary

Green waistcoat made by I. Sato, a Japanese tailor in South Yarra, Melbourne, circa 1930s. It was used by Japanese immigrant Setsutaro Hasegawa circa 1930s-1940s.

Setsutaro Hasegawa migrated to Australia in 1897 at the age of 29. This was just four years before the introduction of the Immigration Restriction Act which virtually banned immigration to Australia from Asia. Setsutaro established a laundry business in Geelong. By 1910 he had married an Australian-born woman and had several children. In 1941 Setsutaro was interned at Tatura as an enemy alien, he was over 70 years old. He was released at the end of World War II, and unlike most Japanese interns he was not deported. Setsutaro returned to Geelong where he remained for the rest of his life.

Physical Description

Waistcoat with a woven green, white and black woollen front and a brown silk back. It is double breasted with lapels and has four front pockets. There are ten green and white, round, glass buttons down the front of the waistcoat and two clear plastic buttons on its inner lining. The waistcoat has a brown silk adjuster on its back, which is fastened with a silver metal buckle. Its body is lined with white striped cotton.

Significance

The Hasegawa collection enables the exploration of a number of important historical themes relating to migration, working life, and wartime internment in Victoria.

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