Back to All Events

SOLD OUT Film Series: Ebb & Flow

Ebb and Flow: A Japanese-American Family, An Oyster and How They Influenced Pacific NW History

Ebb and Flow, a film by Shelly Solomon, follows 93 year old Jerry (Eiichi) Yamashita’s recounting of the family history to his son Patrick on their shellfish tidelands.

Relying on Jerry’s memory, and with the help of rare archival footage, Ebb and Flow begins with his father Masahide’s arrival to America from Japan in 1900.  The Yamashitas’ journey spans four generations, of seemingly unending struggle and uncertainty, met always with an unflagging entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to family. In fact, son Patrick discovers for the first time what an important role his family has had in Washington State history. 

Today, the elder Yamashita is now being recognized for his role in saving from complete collapse, the Pacific Northwest shellfish farming industry of the 1930’s, with a Japanese oyster. Now, this same oyster is considered the most premiere oyster by top North American chefs and is the foundation for the largest shellfish industry in the US.  Today, son Jerry is known as a shellfish icon/pioneer among his peers, beloved by all who know him for his sense of fairness, and his always cheerful outlook that belies the hardship and injustice he has experienced. Jerry Yamashita still retains his historic tidelands in Purdy lagoon and this film is a must see!

The Yamashitas’ family story is an inspiring one and at the same time shows the value of immigrant contributions and the weight of the loss if not respected.

The evening will include a Q & A with filmmaker Shelly Solomon following the film and an Oyster Bar, sponsored by Taylor Shellfish.

Please contact Elizabeth Langford at 253-858-6722 x6 or to reserve your seat. Tickets can also be purchased at the front desk of the Harbor History Museum.


All proceeds will benefit future projects by Leaping Frog Films