Nihonmachi ("Japantowns")

Because of housing and employment discrimination, Japanese Americans tended to cluster in ethnic neighborhoods known as Nihonmachi, or "Japantowns." Living, working, studying, and worshiping in close proximity made for tight-knit communities. With the forced removal of Japanese Americans in the spring of 1942, the bustling Nihonmachis of the West Coast closed down and never fully recovered, even after the war ended.

Nihonmachi ("Japantowns") (125)

125 items
Mitsuwado store's window display (ddr-densho-13-34)
img Mitsuwado store's window display (ddr-densho-13-34)
The Mitsuwado store was located at 522 Main Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown. In this display are matsutake (pine mushrooms) and various prizes to be awarded to fishing derby winners.
Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-31)
img Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-31)
The Mitsuwado store, located at 522 Main Street, was owned by Kinzo Asaba. The store sold a variety of items including books, records, record players, and fishing tackle. Left to right: Mr. Izui, Denny Yoshimura, Nobujiro Shibata, Ayako Shibata, Yoshiko Hagiya, Shuzo Asaba, and Kinzo Asaba.
Classical dance performance (ddr-densho-13-15)
img Classical dance performance (ddr-densho-13-15)
This dance performance took place at the Nippon Kan Theatre in Seattle's Nihonmachi (Japantown) area.
Nihonmachi covered in snow (ddr-densho-16-16)
img Nihonmachi covered in snow (ddr-densho-16-16)
This photo shows Seattle's Nihonmachi or Japantown in the winter.
Aiko photo studio (ddr-densho-35-296)
img Aiko photo studio (ddr-densho-35-296)
Aiko photo studio was located on Sixth and Jackson in Seattle's Nihonmachi or Japantown.
Nihonmachi (Japantown) (ddr-densho-36-47)
img Nihonmachi (Japantown) (ddr-densho-36-47)
South Jackson Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown. The museum's original identifying information dated this photo to circa 1910. Densho's later date, circa 1920s, is based on the clothing shown in the photograph.
Nihonmachi (Japantown) (ddr-densho-42-1)
img Nihonmachi (Japantown) (ddr-densho-42-1)
This area later developed into Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown.
George Hanada Interview Segment 16 (ddr-jamsj-2-5-16)
vh George Hanada Interview Segment 16 (ddr-jamsj-2-5-16)
Thoughts on Japanese American community, culture, identity

This interview was conducted by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and is part of a project entitled "Lasting Stories: The Resettlement of San Jose Japantown," a collaborative project between the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and Densho.

Richard Onishi Interview Segment 8 (ddr-jamsj-2-2-8)
vh Richard Onishi Interview Segment 8 (ddr-jamsj-2-2-8)
Being one of the first families to return to San Jose's Japantown after the war

This interview was conducted by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and is part of a project entitled "Lasting Stories: The Resettlement of San Jose Japantown," a collaborative project between the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and Densho.

James Sakamoto Interview Segment 17 (ddr-jamsj-2-1-17)
vh James Sakamoto Interview Segment 17 (ddr-jamsj-2-1-17)
Thoughts on running a business in Japantown

This interview was conducted by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and is part of a project entitled "Lasting Stories: The Resettlement of San Jose Japantown," a collaborative project between the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and Densho.

Four children in Nihonmachi, or Japantown (ddr-densho-117-1)
img Four children in Nihonmachi, or Japantown (ddr-densho-117-1)
This photo was taken next to the Osaka Hotel, which was located on 308 Fifth Avenue South. (L to R): Mits, Shiz and Kaz Murakami and Emio (friend).
Salt Lake City's Japantown (ddr-densho-162-8)
img Salt Lake City's Japantown (ddr-densho-162-8)
100 South between West Temple and 100 West. This photo was taken just before demolition and construction of Salt Palace convention center.
New Tokyo Bar (ddr-one-1-81)
img New Tokyo Bar (ddr-one-1-81)
Black and white photographic negative of two women behind the bar with the bartender at the New Tokyo Bar in Portland, Oregon. From left to right: unidentified, Rose Mae Hara and George Ninomiya.
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 66, No. 9 (March 1, 1968) (ddr-pc-40-9)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 66, No. 9 (March 1, 1968) (ddr-pc-40-9)
Selected article titles: "Nisei employers note on-the-job training program" (p. 1), "JACL placed on record in Sentate for rights bills" (p. 1), "Kido recounts his 40 years inside League" (p. 1), "Seattle newsletter survey made on central area school issue" (p. 1), "Civil Rights and the Senate" (p. 2), "San Francisco new Nihonmachi awaits formal dedication ...
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 81, No. 21 (November 21, 1975) (ddr-pc-47-46)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 81, No. 21 (November 21, 1975) (ddr-pc-47-46)
Selected article titles: "Wendy Bares Own Background" (pp. 1-2), "Sen. Inouye at Lone Mountain: Vigilance Key to Democracy, Equality" (p. 1), "Denver Testimonial to Salute Only Governor Who Welcomed Evacuees" (p. 1), and "From the Frying Pan: The Japanese Way" (p. 2).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 122, No. 4 (February 16-29, 1996) (ddr-pc-68-4)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 122, No. 4 (February 16-29, 1996) (ddr-pc-68-4)
Selected article titles: "JACL Convention: Host City San Jose Features Japantown Rich with History" (p. 1), "In Indiana, Immigration, Internment Exhibit Gets Good Reviews" (p. 4), "'Brick-Laying' Dedicates Japanese American Museum's Phase II Pavilion Site in Los Angeles" (p. 5), and "Books: Sugihara's Heroism in Saving Jews Chronicled by His Widow" (p. 7).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 74, No. 24 (June 23, 1972) (ddr-pc-44-24)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 74, No. 24 (June 23, 1972) (ddr-pc-44-24)
Selected article titles: "On Asian Americans: "Our Mellow Yellowness" (p.2-3), "L.A. Allows Romex, Little Tokyo 'Saved'" (p.3), "Bias in Private Clubs OK by High Tribunal" (p.3).
Bob Utsumi Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1013-8-7)
vh Bob Utsumi Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1013-8-7)
Moving to downtown Oakland, where father operated a photo studio
Interior of Higo Ten-Cent Store (ddr-densho-16-3)
img Interior of Higo Ten-Cent Store (ddr-densho-16-3)
The Higo Ten-Cent Store, established in the early 1900s by Sanzo Murakami and his wife Matsuyo, is one of the last prewar Japanese American businesses in Seattle's International District, formerly known as Nihonmachi. The store sold a wide variety of American- and Japanese-made goods to the surrounding Issei and Nisei community.
JACL Convention (ddr-densho-18-44)
img JACL Convention (ddr-densho-18-44)
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Convention outside the Jackson Building in Seattle's Nihonmachi.
Perry Dobashi Interview Segment 18 (ddr-jamsj-2-3-18)
vh Perry Dobashi Interview Segment 18 (ddr-jamsj-2-3-18)
Thoughts on running a business in the changing Japantown community

This interview was conducted by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and is part of a project entitled "Lasting Stories: The Resettlement of San Jose Japantown," a collaborative project between the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and Densho.

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