Green woollen waistcoat made by Ichizo Sato, a Japanese tailor in South Yarra, Melbourne, circa 1910 and worn by Japanese immigrant Setsutaro Hasegawa.

Setsutaro took great care in his appearance and he purchased his suits from his friend Ichizo Sato, a fellow migrant from Japan who had arrived in Melbourne in 1901. Ichizo eventually set up his tailoring business in Toorak Road, South Yarra. Many photographs of Setsutaro show him wearing a Sato suit.

Setsutaro migrated to Australia from Japan in 1897 at the age of 26, just four years before the introduction of the Immigration Restriction Act which severely limited migration to Australia from countries in Asia. He established a laundry business in Geelong and by 1911 he had married an Australian-born woman and had three children.

In 1941 Setsutaro was arrested as an enemy alien and sent to Tatura internment camp in northern Victoria. Released early in 1943 due to his age and poor health, unlike most Japanese interns he was not deported to Japan after the War. Setsutaro remained in Geelong for the rest of his life and died in 1952.

Ichizo Sato was arrested and interned in 1942; one of the few possessions he had with him was his tape measure. Although he had arrived in 1901, been married for over 20 years to Eva Elizabeth Chue, an Australian of Chinese heritage, he was deported to Japan in 1946.

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.


The Hasegawa collection enables the exploration of a number of important historical themes relating to migration, working life, and wartime internment in Victoria. Late nineteenth century and early to mid twentieth century Japanese migration and settlement experiences are little represented in the museum's collections and this collection of clothing, documents, personal items and photographs helps to redress.

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