The Hasegawa Building

On the mauka side of Mamane Street, adjacent to the Sakata Building, is the Seishiro Hasegawa, Ltd. Store Building. The two story structure consists of three sections: the original 1937 portion on the Hilo side, additions on the back and Waipio side in 1939, and more warehouse space erected in 1949. The building is typical of territorial era: two story, mixed use buildings – single wall construction with retail space at street level, and the owner and family living above that retail space and warehousing in the back.

In 1907, Seishiro Hasegawa, an unmarried 19 year old male, emigrated from Kanzaki Mie-ken Prefecture in Japan. His future wife Takeno Suzuki immigrated in 1912 at the age of eighteen. He began his confectionary business by traveling on horseback up and down the Hamakua Coast selling Japanese candy in the plantation camps.  By 1926 he was able to rent on the mauka side of Mamane Street in the Holmes/Rice Building, allowing him to expand his retail inventory. By 1937, despite the Great Depression, Seishiro was successful enough to erect the Hilo side of the present building; by 1939 he had acquired further property on the Waipio side and extended the building frontage to that today.

Besides Seishiro’s custom-made Japanese confections and hand cranked ice cream the Hasegawa Store sold a wide variety of dry goods, gifts, and Shiseido cosmetics.  They were known for providing the complete package for the home seamstress offering classic Japanese patterned fabrics and fabrics with up-to-date fashion and Polynesian patterns, along with Simplicity clothing patterns. Under the motto, “More than just a country store, your neighborhood friend”, the business operated until 2002.

Hasegawa Building Nomination Form