Salt Lake City’s historic Japantown plans for facelift

After more than a decade of fighting for preservation and conducting a planning process during a global pandemic, Salt Lake City’s historic Japantown community has secured plans and a commitment from public officials to preserve its place in the city’s downtown. With the city’s approval this past April of the Japantown Design Strategy and Guidelines, […]

S.F. J-Town’s redevelopment-era transformation

THE GATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC: JAPANESE AMERICANS AND THE REMAKING OF SAN FRANCISCO By Meredith Oda (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019, 304 pp., $35, paperback) My first visit to San Francisco’s Japantown occurred in May 1974. It came about when I, along with two colleagues in the Japanese American Project of the Oral History […]

Rec and Park Commission votes 4-2 to rename Justin Herman Plaza

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission voted 4-2 Nov. 16 to drop the name of former Redevelopment Agency head Justin Herman from a prominent city plaza at the foot of Market Street, but the question of who it will be named for instead remains unresolved. The commission’s vote Nov. 16 was its second take […]

LETTERS: In support of the Issei Commemorative Garden

Dear Editor, The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) joins others in support of the Issei Commemorative Garden. This garden, to be created at the site of the Cottage Row Mini-Park, would serve as a backdrop to a unique neighborhood story and experience. Prior to World War II, the Japantown community was a vibrant residential and […]

The story of the Little Tokyo that could … and will

Diversity in Los Angeles is a core value. The city has residents from more than 140 countries who speak 86 languages. It’s full of diverse ethnic enclaves, including the neighborhoods of Boyle Heights, Chinatown, Koreatown, Leimert Park, Little Tokyo, Thai Town, Little Armenia, Fairfax’s Jewish-Russian community, and Little Bangladesh — to name only a few. […]

‘Tex’ Nakamura, civil rights advocate who worked with Wayne Collins, dies

Tetsujiro “Tex” Nakamura, a civil rights advocate who became involved in redevelopment issues in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo after World War II and an attorney who worked closely with attorney Wayne Collins on the World War II Japanese American renunciation cases, the Tokyo Rose Iva Toguri d’Aquino case and the Japanese Latin American cases, passed […]

Developers meet with Sequoias to discuss condominium project

A New York-based developer wants to build a high-rise in San Francisco’s Japantown, but its proposal has fallen mostly on deaf ears, with one community leader likening the plan to the dark days of the redevelopment era. Dozens of residents living in the Sequoias, a senior housing complex, and several representatives from local community organizations […]

Reclaiming the history of Sacramento’s lost Japantown

SACRAMENTO’S HISTORIC JAPANTOWN: LEGACY OF A LOST NEIGHBORHOOD By Kevin Wildie. (Charlestown, S.C. : The History Press, 2013, 192 pp., $19.99, paperback) In this slim volume, Kevin Wildie transports us back to a disappeared community. With help from oral histories and numerous photographs, he tells the tale of Sacramento’s Fourth Street Japantown. Founded at the turn […]

Reduced bus service to ‘accelerate destruction’ of San Francisco’s Japantown

Editor’s Note: According to the San Francisco Unified School District, it has reduced its bus service for the 2012-13 school year, due to ongoing state budget cuts. For more information, visit or call (415) 695-5505. The combined effect of the elimination of SFUSD school bus routes to the Nihonmachi Little Friends stop is the […]

LETTERS: Article spans Sacramento’s redevelopment to Obon

Dear Editor, Congratulations, on a very nice article of Sacramento’s Obon and food festival in your Nichi Bei Weekly of June 14, 2012.  The Japanese American community did a great job of recovering after the relocation caused by the city redevelopment project. Tom Nakagawa Sacramento, Calif.

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