Navy woolen 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

Navy blue woollen fronted waistcoat with small black and white woven spots, and a black silk back. The waistcoat is double breasted with lapels and has eight black and gold, round, glass buttons running down the front. There is also one black plastic button on the inner lining. The waistcoat has four front pockets; the lower two have flaps. There is a black silk adjuster on the back, which is fastened with a black metal buckle. The body of the waistcoat is lined with white and black 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.

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