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 (853)
Nihonmachi ("Japantowns") (204)

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204 items
Memorandum for Alien Enemy Information Bureau Office of the Provost Marshal General War Department, Washington D.C. (ddr-one-5-210)
av Memorandum for Alien Enemy Information Bureau Office of the Provost Marshal General War Department, Washington D.C. (ddr-one-5-210)
Photocopy of a declassified memorandum for the reclassification of Keizaburo Koyama as a detained Enemy Alien. Koyama is currently listed as interned at Santa Fe, New Mexico and in the custody of Immigration and Naturalization Services.
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.
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.
Nihonmachi restaurant (ddr-densho-140-2)
img Nihonmachi restaurant (ddr-densho-140-2)
Genji Mihara talks with the waiter at an Issei-operated cafe in Seattle's Nihonmachi or Japantown. (L to R): Genji Mihara, Sakae Ojima, unidentified.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 early 1900s …
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.
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.
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-16-15)
img Nihonmachi covered in snow (ddr-densho-16-15)
This photo shows Seattle's Nihonmachi or Japantown in the winter.
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.
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.
Nihonmachi covered in snow (ddr-densho-16-13)
img Nihonmachi covered in snow (ddr-densho-16-13)
This photo shows Seattle's Nihonmachi or Japantown in the winter.
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 store is …
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-16-3)
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.
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