Before Pearl Harbor, L.A. was home to thriving Japanese communities. Here’s what they were like

LA Times

An image provided by the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles shows the 1938 Nisei Week closing parade. (Japanese American National Museum / Gift of Jack and Peggy Iwata)

You know the date — Dec. 7 — and what happened then, and what happened thereafter, to the United States and to the world.

But what was life like on Dec. 6, 1941, and in the years before then, closer to home, for one group of people for whom that date would alter their lives — the Japanese and Japanese Americans in Los Angeles?

For the many thousands of them living on the West Coast — among them U.S. citizens — Pearl Harbor’s “thereafter” meant being detained, dispossessed of property, and sent to incarceration camps.

In 1941, about 36,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were living in and around Los Angeles, most of them within about five miles of Little Tokyo, the growing nucleus of the community for more than half a century.

Publish : 2021-12-07 19:41:00

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