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
Exterior of Higo Ten-Cent Store (ddr-densho-16-1)
img Exterior of Higo Ten-Cent Store (ddr-densho-16-1)
Sanzo and Matsuyo Murakami owned and operated the Higo Ten-Cent Store which was located on Weller Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown. The Higo Ten-Cent Store is currently called the Higo Variety Store and continues to be a landmark business in Seattle's International District which was known as Nihonmachi before World War II. The ...
Interior of Higo Ten-Cent Store (ddr-densho-16-2)
img Interior of Higo Ten-Cent Store (ddr-densho-16-2)
The Higo Ten-Cent Store, located in Seattle's Nihonmachi (Japantown), was owned and operated by Sanzo and Matsuyo Murakami. Established in the early 1900s, the store sold a wide variety of American- and Japanese-made goods to serve the surrounding Issei and Nisei community.
Hand-drawn map of Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown (ddr-densho-24-17)
doc Hand-drawn map of Seattle's Nihonmachi, or Japantown (ddr-densho-24-17)
This map of Nihonmachi, circa 1939, was drawn by Yukio Tazuma. Tazuma's parents owned the Tazuma Ten-Cent Store at 12th Avenue and Jackson Street before World War II. The map shows the many Japanese-owned businesses between 12th Avenue and Rainier Avenue South (upper Jackson Street).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 69, No. 4 (July 25,1969) (ddr-pc-41-30)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 69, No. 4 (July 25,1969) (ddr-pc-41-30)
Select article titles: "Rights of individual within nat'l organization clarified" (p. 1); "Berkeley delays ethnic studies plan; slate only limited seminars, courses" (p. 1); "Seattle's Nihonmachi not doomed by stadium plan but by apathy" (p. 3); "NC-WNDC civil rights workshop adopts tough 12-point program" (p. 4); "Center of Storm: Dr. Noguchi" (p. 6).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 78, No. 10 (March 15, 1974) (ddr-pc-46-10)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 78, No. 10 (March 15, 1974) (ddr-pc-46-10)
Selected article titles: "Little Tokyo Redevelopment: $4 Million Bunka Kaikan Planned" (p. 1), "Minnihon Arts Center: The Twins Cities' Newest" (p. 3), and "Chicago JACL: Kitano: Of 'A Middidle-Man Minority'" (p. 4).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 78, No. 2 (January 18, 1974) (ddr-pc-46-2)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 78, No. 2 (January 18, 1974) (ddr-pc-46-2)
Selected article titles: "Sansei Sought for National Capital Class" (p. 1), "Little Tokyo Redevelopment: Focus on Senior Citizen Housing" (p. 1), and "1970 U.S. Census: Who Is the 'Asian American'?" (pp. 1-2).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 79, No. 23 (December 6, 1974) (ddr-pc-46-48)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 79, No. 23 (December 6, 1974) (ddr-pc-46-48)
Selected article titles: "Attorneys Back Reparation Bid" (pp. 1-2), "Cleveland JACL: Am I Minority Always?" (p. 2), "San Francisco Nihonmachi: Destruction--Dispersal" (p. 2), and "Judge Invalidates UC Minority Admissions" (p. 3).
Frank Hirahara at New Tokyo Bar (ddr-one-1-80)
img Frank Hirahara at New Tokyo Bar (ddr-one-1-80)
Black and white photographic negative of Frank Hirahara and Rose Mae Hara at the New Tokyo Bar in Portland, Oregon. For original print please ONLC 2855 (ddr-one-1-79).
New Tokyo Bar (ddr-one-1-83)
img New Tokyo Bar (ddr-one-1-83)
Black and white photographic negative of an unidentified patron in the New Tokyo Bar sitting in a booth near two unidentified guitar players.
Nihonmachi hotel (ddr-densho-124-16)
img Nihonmachi hotel (ddr-densho-124-16)
An Issei man stands in the doorway of his hotel, located on Yesler Avenue in Seattle's Nihonmachi or Japantown.
Gidra, Vol. I, No. 8 (November 1969) (ddr-densho-297-8)
doc Gidra, Vol. I, No. 8 (November 1969) (ddr-densho-297-8)
Selected article titles: "Moratorium Day" (p. 2), "1969 Internal Security Act" (p. 2), "Pioneer Center Opens in Little Tokyo" (p. 3), "Yellow and Proud" (p. 5), "Revelance of Ethnic Studies" (p. 5), "The High Cost of Saving Face the American Way" (p. 8-9).
Two children at a Nihonmachi, or Japantown, market (ddr-densho-117-2)
img Two children at a Nihonmachi, or Japantown, market (ddr-densho-117-2)
This market was located on Fifth and Main Street. (Front to back): Kaz and Yosh.
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 84, No. 21 (June 3, 1977) (ddr-pc-49-21)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 84, No. 21 (June 3, 1977) (ddr-pc-49-21)
Selected article titles: "JACL's Reply to CRA Summons" 'Quash It!'" (p.1), "Traditional Issei Message of 'Benkyo, Benkyo' Still Effective" (p.2), "Completion of Japanese Village Plaza Project for July 1978" (p.3, 7), "Sansei Youth Not 'Turned Off' to JACL" (p.4), "Reconciliation 1977 Style" (p.5).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 85, No. 2 (July 8, 1977) (ddr-pc-49-26)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 85, No. 2 (July 8, 1977) (ddr-pc-49-26)
Selected article titles: "Angry Words Fly Over J-Town Housing: (p.1), "AMA Conference Tables Move to Aid Hibakusha" (p.1), "Asians Criticize Census Test Site" (p.1), "Hearing Off on Retirement Credit Bill" (p.2), "Law Denying College Aid to Aliens Invalidated" (p.3), "Nisei Marriages Evolving" (p.5).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 85, No. 8 (August 19, 1977) (ddr-pc-49-32)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 85, No. 8 (August 19, 1977) (ddr-pc-49-32)
Selected article titles: "Sumitomo Bank Denies Charge of Job Bias" (p.1-2), "School Board Official's Remark on Buddha Stirs Controversy" (p.1), "New Relief Laws Urged for Atomic Bomb Victims in Japan" (p.1, 5), "NC-WN Steps Up Community Meetings on Reparations Bill" (p.2, 5), "Nevada's 'Geisha'" (p.5), "Pioneer Issei Landscaper Retires ...
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 85, No. 1 (July 1, 1977) (ddr-pc-49-25)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 85, No. 1 (July 1, 1977) (ddr-pc-49-25)
Selected article titles: "JACL Joins 20 Other Nat'l Groups in Case Against Bakke" (p.1-2), "'Nondeportable' Status Likely to Relieve Longtime 'Illegals'" (p.1-2), "Gov. Ray Signs E-1 Visa Alien Tuition Law" (p.1-2), "The Pride at Seabrook" (p.4).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 66, No. 19 (May 10, 1968) (ddr-pc-40-19)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 66, No. 19 (May 10, 1968) (ddr-pc-40-19)
Selected article titles: "Help oppressed adopt JACL slogan seen as key to quell racial riots" (p. 1), "Hawaii's crack 29th Infantry Brigade to report without its Nisei general" (p. 1), "Nipponmachi property owners in Seattle in wait & see mood" (p. 3), "Li'l Tokio businesses surveyed - nomiya pace with 23, physicians next at 15" (p ...
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 66, No. 13 (March 29, 1968) (ddr-pc-40-13)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 66, No. 13 (March 29, 1968) (ddr-pc-40-13)
Selected article titles: "Role of mediator in civil rights pictured for JACL" (p. 1), "Fishing area name 'Japanese Point'" (p. 1), "Nisei a 'White' to Eyes of NAACP Man" (p. 1), "San Francisco to dedicate Japan cultural-trade center" (p. 1), "JACL Role in civil rights: interpret the problem" (p. 1), "New Nihonmachi to rise north of ...
Mollie Nakasaki Interview Segment 4 (ddr-jamsj-2-4-4)
vh Mollie Nakasaki Interview Segment 4 (ddr-jamsj-2-4-4)
Memories of Salinas's 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.

Richard Onishi Interview Segment 3 (ddr-jamsj-2-2-3)
vh Richard Onishi Interview Segment 3 (ddr-jamsj-2-2-3)
Description of prewar Japanese and Chinese communities

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.

Perry Dobashi Interview Segment 5 (ddr-jamsj-2-3-5)
vh Perry Dobashi Interview Segment 5 (ddr-jamsj-2-3-5)
Description of family's store in prewar San Jose 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.

Pacific Citizen, Vol. 55, No. 13 (September 28, 1962) (ddr-pc-34-39)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 55, No. 13 (September 28, 1962) (ddr-pc-34-39)
Selected article titles: "Dillingham-Inouye Senate Race Big Election Issue" (p.1), "Emancipation Proclamation" (p.1-2), "Li'l Tokio Urban Renewal Panel Topic" (p.1), "Perils Dogged Nisei G-2 Men" (p.2), "History Project Seeks Background Info, Clues" (p.4)/
Inside of Mitsuwado (ddr-densho-353-68)
img Inside of Mitsuwado (ddr-densho-353-68)
Mitsuwado was a large bookstore on Main Street.
A group gathers on a balcony (ddr-densho-353-75)
img A group gathers on a balcony (ddr-densho-353-75)
This photo was used as the cover for the 1985 reprint of S. Frank Miyamoto's "Social Solidarity among Japanese in Seattle," originally published in 1939.
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