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.

Community activities (564)
Nihonmachi ("Japantowns") (107)

107 items
Dinner party (ddr-densho-124-27)
img Dinner party (ddr-densho-124-27)
These Issei are eating dinner at Maneki Restaurant in Seattle's Nihonmachi or Japantown. (L to R): Azuma (or Higashi), Eiji, unidentified, Tamura, unidentified, Azuma (or Higashi), Yoshizo (or Ryozo), Yamaguchi, Tadashi.
Three Issei men and child outside the Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-2)
img Three Issei men and child outside the Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-2)
Mitsuwado was located at 522 Main Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown. The store sold a variety of items including books, records, record players, and fishing tackle. Left to right: Kinzo Asaba (the store's owner), Mr. Osawa, unidentified, and unidentified.
Family in front of their store (ddr-densho-13-39)
img Family in front of their store (ddr-densho-13-39)
Left to right: Mr. Kawai, unidentified, Haruye (last name unknown) holding Teruo Shibata, Kinzo Asaba, and Nobujiro Shibata in front of Sagamiya, a Japanese confectionery, which was located at 524 Main in Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown. Sagamiya was an institution in Seattle's Nihonmachi, well known for its mochigashi (Japanese rice cakes). Founded in the ...
Sagamiya confectionery (ddr-densho-13-1)
img Sagamiya confectionery (ddr-densho-13-1)
The Sagamiya confectionery was located at 524 Main Street in the area previously known as Nihonmachi, now Seattle's International District. Sagamiya closed in the early 1970s. Left to right: Yoshi Mamiya, Shuzo Asaba, Nobujiro Shibata, Kinzo Asaba, and Rick Mamiya.
Nihonmachi covered in snow (ddr-densho-16-15)
img Nihonmachi covered in snow (ddr-densho-16-15)
This photo shows Seattle's Nihonmachi or Japantown in the winter.
Nihonmachi covered in snow (ddr-densho-16-14)
img Nihonmachi covered in snow (ddr-densho-16-14)
This photo shows Seattle's Nihonmachi or Japantown in the winter.
Interior of Higo Ten-Cent Store (ddr-densho-16-25)
img Interior of Higo Ten-Cent Store (ddr-densho-16-25)
This photo shows the store's original light fixtures.
Dai Nippon baseball team visiting from Japan (ddr-densho-18-14)
img Dai Nippon baseball team visiting from Japan (ddr-densho-18-14)
The Dai Nippon baseball team in front of the N-P Hotel in Seattle's Nihonmachi area.
Issei women at the Astor Hotel (ddr-densho-35-298)
img Issei women at the Astor Hotel (ddr-densho-35-298)
These women and children are standing outside of the historic Astor Hotel, which housed the Nippon Kan Theatre.
Aiko photo studio (ddr-densho-35-295)
img Aiko photo studio (ddr-densho-35-295)
Aiko photo studio was located on the second floor of this building on Sixth and Jackson in Seattle.
Richard Onishi Interview Segment 2 (ddr-jamsj-2-2-2)
vh Richard Onishi Interview Segment 2 (ddr-jamsj-2-2-2)
Memories of San Jose's prewar 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.

Yosh Nakagawa Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-172-9)
vh Yosh Nakagawa Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-172-9)
Description of childhood neighborhood: "the 'new suburbia' for Japanese Americans"
Jack Y. Kunitomi Interview I Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-355-3)
vh Jack Y. Kunitomi Interview I Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-355-3)
Description of prewar Yamato Hall: raided during Prohibition

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the ...

Pacific Citizen, Vol. 109, No. 15 (November 10, 1989) (ddr-pc-61-40)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 109, No. 15 (November 10, 1989) (ddr-pc-61-40)
Selected article titles: "Conference Report Shunted Back to House: Senate Delays Money Bill for Redress" (p. 1), "JACL, OCA, Etc.: Concerns Discussed at D.C. Anti-Asian Violence Confab" (p. 1), "For the Japanese American National Museum Collection: Artifacts Gathered from Basement of S.K. Uyeda (Taul) Building Being Torn Down in Little Tokyo" (p. 3), and ...
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
API