Joy in Japangeles

A CULTURAL BLEND ­— Roy Kuroyanagi in his streetwear store Japangeles, located in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. courtesy of Japangeles

Japangeles, a Los Angeles Little Tokyo streetwear clothing shop, had to close its doors for more than half of 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Roy Kuroyanagi, a Sansei, established the store in 2010, its Website states. He had always been interested in clothing and streetwear and “wanted to find a way to express my culture,” the shop’s proprietor wrote in an e-mail to the Nichi Bei Weekly. The streetwear brand blends “Japanese culture and Los Angeles lifestyle,” its Website states.

“Having had no formal training in design or business, I had to wear many hats to figure out a lot of things, but with great help and supportive people along the way, I was able to build Japangeles to what it is today,” Kuroyanagi told the Nichi Bei Weekly. He said he taught himself about sales and operations.

Born and raised in Torrance, Calif., Kuroyanagi said the shop’s katakana design products, including its Coach jackets, hoodies and T-shirts, are his best sellers.

Kuroyanagi said while he takes pride in not having an online store, the shop temporarily offered online sales at the beginning of the year for spring and summer products, and later, for fall and winter items, both times for 24 hours each.

Japangeles has collaborated with various corporations, including the Los Angeles Clippers and Lexus. Kuroyanagi says the shop just finished their second collaboration with the luxury car company. The shop also has a “couple of exciting collabs in the works…”

Kuroyanagi expects to reel in more customers with the holidays approaching and more people getting vaccinated. He said Little Tokyo is busier than ever and his customers are “very good” about wearing masks inside the shop. He has been “seeing so many people feeling more comfortable being out and about ready for the holidays.”

He’ll continue to sell products online twice a year “so that customers from all over the world who have visited our store in the past can continue to shop with us,” he said.

Japangeles is located at 141 Japanese Village Plaza in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. The shop is open daily from noon to 7 p.m. For more information, visit, call (310)-920-2383 or e-mail

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