Little Tokyo Historical Society had a busy summer and will be just as active as the year winds down.

Our 2012 Tanabata Festival kazari entry, designed by member and local artist Nancy Uyemura, captured first prize again in the Community/Nonprofit Division.

During Nisei Week, we had an informational table, where visitors also learned about the LTHS-sponsored “Lil Tokyo Reporter” film. The narrative short film is about historic Issei newspaper publisher, legal counselor and Little Tokyo community leader Sei Fujii.  Successful showings were held in Pasadena in September and in Huntington Beach this month. For current and future showings, check the website at

The LTHS 2013 calendar, titled “Little Tokyo: The 1930s Golden Years,” will soon be available for sale. Our “Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo” book, which has over 200 historical photographs and descriptive captions, continues to sell well.

Little Tokyo has a new-found energy, as anyone who has ventured around the neighborhood in the evenings and weekends can attest. Many new residents, businesses and visitors are venturing into a vibrant downtown, but likely do not have a clue as to the nearly 130-year history of Little Tokyo, the historic buildings, and the stories of long-departed community and cultural leaders.

Following our mission, ongoing activities include recording and archiving stories of Little Tokyo by individuals who want to share their Little Tokyo connection, painstakingly digitizing and archiving our donated photo collections, researching interesting topics of long-ago Little Tokyo that would lead to a community presentation or exhibit, and researching new naming sites.

LTHS took the lead on getting bronze plaques recently placed to honor Toyo Miyatake on Toyo Miyatake Way at Sakura Crossing apartments, the Aoyama Tree in the plaza between the Japanese American National Museum and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, and Rev. Howard Toriumi at Rev. Toriumi Plaza atop the Aiso Street Parking Garage.

Established in 2006 as an all-volunteer organization, LTHS recently received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Its officers are Michael Okamura, president; Jayson Yamaguchi, vice president; David Nagano, treasurer; and Christy Ishimine, secretary.  Membership is open to anyone interested in helping to document the history of Little Tokyo.

Everyone is welcome to attend general meetings on the first Saturday of the month at 9 to 11 a.m. The locations of the meetings in Little Tokyo vary.

We are always seeking photographs on Little Tokyo from any time period for the archival collection. For more information, please visit or our Facebook or email Year-end tax-deductible donations are welcome to help support LTHS projects and programs.

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