Mary Murayama, a girl unknown

1930 High School Class Photo, Mary Murayama

1930 High School Class Photo, Mary Murayama

Another beautiful young Japanese-American girl. A senior at Auburn High School in King County, Washington in 1930. Unlike Mabel Natori, there’s no smoking gun to tie “Mary” to her Japanese identity. A 1920 and 1930 census from Christopher, King Co., Washington (near Auburn) lists one Murayama family in the area: Kaistangu (father), Mura (mother), Tami or Tansi (daugher) and a son (Koichi) only in the 1930 census. It’s possible that Tansi is Mary, the ages are close enough, putting her birth year between 1910 and 1912. But a possibility does not make for an identity.

As is often the case, our paper trail goes straight from high school to the cemetery. There are two interesting Social Security death records. 1) Tami Murayama died in Los Angeles in May of 1985. 2) Mary M. Maruyama (slightly different spelling) died in California in 1991 and was born in February of 1911.  I believe #1 is actually the wife of brother Koichi. She was a Murayama by marriage and her first name was Tamiko, often abbreviated Tami. There’s no mention if #2 was a Maruyama by marriage or not. And the middle initial M. isn’t referenced anywhere else. But her birth date does fit Mary better.

“Mary” remains a mystery.

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