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") (189)

189 items
Nihonmachi Jackson Street (ddr-densho-353-73)
img Nihonmachi Jackson Street (ddr-densho-353-73)
Jackson Street, looking east from 5th Street. Note on back indicates Japanese stores in left foreground, and the Academy of Holy Names in background, built 1880. The photo was taken before the Jackson St. regrade of 1907-1909.
The Seattle Buddhist Church (ddr-densho-353-71)
img The Seattle Buddhist Church (ddr-densho-353-71)
Located at 624 Main Street. Note on back indicates the Seattle Betsuin's 75th anniversary (from 1901-1976), as well as identifying Rev. Gendo Nakai on the stairs.
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 76, No. 18, (May 11, 1973) (ddr-pc-45-18)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 76, No. 18, (May 11, 1973) (ddr-pc-45-18)
Select article titles: "New York to Host Next EDC Session May 19 with Inaugural" (p.1); "United Methodist Agency Steps Up Aid for Ethnic Projects, 2 in L.A. Cited" (p.1); "Manzanar Dust Swirling" (p.2); "Self Help Housing for Farm Workers Explained by Sac'to Nisei Recruiter" (p.5); "JARP Plans Issei Pictorial" (p ...
Ben Uyeno Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-100-6)
vh Ben Uyeno Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-100-6)
Prewar Japanese American community in Yakima, Washington
An Oral History with Katsuma Mukaeda - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-56-1)
vh An Oral History with Katsuma Mukaeda - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-56-1)
Chairman of Japanese American Cultural Center and former president of Japanese Chamber of Commerce recounts conditions of prewar Los Angeles's Little Tokyo, its wartime conversion into a black community, postwar reestablishment as a Japanese-American cultural and commercial center. Includes comments on discriminatory legislation, prewar Japan-American relations. World War II removal and incarceration, camp conditions, wartime ...
Family and friends in Nihonmachi (ddr-densho-13-38)
img Family and friends in Nihonmachi (ddr-densho-13-38)
Top to bottom: Yayeko Asaba, unidentified, Kimiko Asaba, and Yeichi Asaba in front of Sagamiya, a Japanese confectionery, located at 524 Main Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi.
Interior of Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-32)
img Interior of Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-32)
The Mitsuwado store, located at 522 Main Street, was owned by Kinzo Asaba (right). The store sold a variety of items including books, records, record players, and fishing tackle. Asaba's daughter, Chiyo, stands next to him.
Yokohama Tailor and Laundry (ddr-densho-12-10)
img Yokohama Tailor and Laundry (ddr-densho-12-10)
Fusa Kunitsugu (left) and her son, Teruo, inside the Yokohama Tailor and Laundry, located at 515 Yesler Way in Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown.
Two Issei men outside the Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-16)
img Two Issei men outside the Mitsuwado store (ddr-densho-13-16)
The Mitsuwado store 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. The store's owner, Kinzo Asaba, is on the left.
Nihonmachi covered in snow (ddr-densho-16-12)
img Nihonmachi covered in snow (ddr-densho-16-12)
This photo was taken on Jackson Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi or Japantown.
Aiko Studio (ddr-densho-20-11)
img Aiko Studio (ddr-densho-20-11)
Aiko Studio, located in Seattle's Nihonmachi area, was one of several photography studios that catered to the Japanese American community before World War II.
View of Nihonmachi (Japantown) (ddr-densho-24-15)
img View of Nihonmachi (Japantown) (ddr-densho-24-15)
Seattle's Nihonmachi (Japantown) was a vibrant and active community prior to World War II. This view of Nihonmachi was taken from 12th Avenue and Jackson Street.
Salt Lake City's Japantown (ddr-densho-162-10)
img Salt Lake City's Japantown (ddr-densho-162-10)
100 South between West Temple and 100 West. This photo was taken just before demolition and construction of Salt Palace convention center.
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 68, No. 15 (April 11, 1969) (ddr-pc-41-15)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 68, No. 15 (April 11, 1969) (ddr-pc-41-15)
Select article titles: "Hayakawa to address PSW" (p. 1); "Inouye Calls for Red China Sit In United Nations" (p.2); "UCLA Japanese History Project Studying Feasibility of Ethnic Study in Hawaii" (p. 2); "Jerry Enomoto: Telling Like It Is to the Youth" (p.3); "Little Tokyo Redevelopment Project Underway, Survey Starts" (p.3).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 79, No. 25 (December 20-27, 1974) (ddr-pc-46-50)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 79, No. 25 (December 20-27, 1974) (ddr-pc-46-50)
Holiday issue organized into sections A 1-12, B 1-12, C 1-12, and D 1-12. Selected article titles: "Sansei Returns to Tule Lake" (pp. A-1, A-3), "Fears in Tule Lake: Evacuees Remember Them" (pp. A-1, A-3-A-4), "Seattle Nihonmachi: Beat of the '20s and '30s" (pp. B-1, B-9-B-10), "Giri: Righteous Way: Inside Tanforan, Topaz" (pp. B-4, B-8-B-9), and ...
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 81, No. 11 (September 12, 1975) (ddr-pc-47-36)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 81, No. 11 (September 12, 1975) (ddr-pc-47-36)
Selected article titles: "EDC-MDC Airs 3 Issues: Vietnam Refugees, Budget, '74 Mandates" (p. 1), "EDC-MDC Workshops Stress 'Action'" (pp. 1-2), "Little Tokyo Redevelopment: Ground Broken for Higashi Hongwanji" (p. 1), and "Chiaroscuro: How Can We Not Get Involved in Community Affairs" (p. 2).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 81, No. 8 (August 22, 1975) (ddr-pc-47-33)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 81, No. 8 (August 22, 1975) (ddr-pc-47-33)
Selected article titles: "EXECOM Orders Cutbacks" (pp. 1-2), "CANE Unable to Secure NC-WNDC Support to Act on Nat'l Mandate" (pp. 1, 3), and "Ye Editor's Desk: Little Tokyo--My Hometown" (p. 2).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 89, No. 2068 (November 9, 1979) (ddr-pc-51-44)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 89, No. 2068 (November 9, 1979) (ddr-pc-51-44)
Selected article titles: "JACL to Develop TV Series on Japanese Americans" (p. 1), "Return Urged for Little Tokyo 'Northside'" (p. 1), "Asian American Music on 'Arista' Label: 'Hiroshima' Sounds Going Nationwide" (p. 3), and "A Background Report: Japan-U.S. Friendship Act" (p. 4).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 102, No. 4 (January 31, 1986) (ddr-pc-58-4)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 102, No. 4 (January 31, 1986) (ddr-pc-58-4)
Selected article titles: "Onizuka Killed in Space Shuttle Disaster" (p. 1), "Judges Overturn Dismissal of NCJAR Suit" (pp. 1, 5), and "Little Tokyo Tenants Protest Evictions" (p. 3).
Nihonmachi, or Japantown (ddr-densho-109-86)
img Nihonmachi, or Japantown (ddr-densho-109-86)
Center of Tacoma, Washington's Japantown at Thirteenth and Broadway.
Mollie Nakasaki Interview Segment 27 (ddr-jamsj-2-4-27)
vh Mollie Nakasaki Interview Segment 27 (ddr-jamsj-2-4-27)
Reflections on Japantown businesses

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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