Coastside WWII: Japanese Home Burns near Pescadero

January 1945

From the Half Moon Bay Review

“A Japanese-owned home, barn, tool shed and farm equipment on a hilltop between Pescadero and the new coast highway were destroyed recently by a mysterious fire, it became known Friday.

“The place was owned by Elizabeth Kiyoko Monometo Matsuki, who resided there with her three children prior to being evacuated by military order three years ago.

“The residence was a four-room house, with a large barn and toolshed. Considerable farm equipment were stored in the barn. The loss is estimated at several thousand dollars.

“Reluctant to discuss the fire, Robert Wilson of the Pescadero grocery, said that return of the Japanese to Pescadero and that locality would not be welcomed by many residents and signs had been erected on roads warning them that they were not wanted.

“I do not know of any investigation being made and do not know whether the fire was incendiary,” Wilson said. “All I know is that fire destroyed the place about the time the announcement was made that Japanese would not be allowed to return.

“The place was burned on the morning of December 21, the blaze being discovered about 4 o’clock in the morning.

“No report of the fire was made by the county fire warden’s office and residents of Pescadero were reluctant to discuss the fire at all.

“A check in Pescadero revealed that no report had been received of any proposed return of the Matsuki family.

“A power pole, transformer and electric wires leading to the house and supplying electricity, were destroyed in the blaze.

“Since the evacuation of the family, the place was under lease of Mrs. Isabelle Artiego, who, in the past had raised starwflowers on it…”