Sawtelle Japantown Celebration (SJC) was established in 2018 as an annual not-for-profit grassroots community event to honor the anniversary of Feb. 25, 2015, when the Los Angeles City Council voted to grant the petition request from the West Los Angeles community to rename the area Sawtelle Japantown — to join Little Tokyo, San Francisco and San Jose as one of four remaining Japantowns in the U.S.

After a hiatus in 2021 due to COVID, SJC came back strong in 2022 to continue its tradition to remember and celebrate the history and legacy of Sawtelle Japantown — vital during these times of COVID.

Since its establishment in 2018, SJC witnessed a phenomenal growth of community friends in 2022 to celebrate community—from Sawtelle, Little Tokyo, Santa Monica, Westwood, Culver City, Del Rey, Alhambra and Gardena.

Students from Nora Sterry Elementary School and the Los Angeles Unified School District’s first Japanese Dual Immersion Program in Region West contributed to the design of the SJC 2023 banner that will be displayed on the school fence along Sawtelle Boulevard.

SJC 2023 continues community appreciation and celebration of our front-line workers — firefighters, police and police staff, and medical workers.

This year’s 10-day celebration includes The Spin for giveaway prizes to be held on Sawtelle Japantown’s eighth anniversary, Saturday, Feb. 25, at Nijiya Market Sawtelle and at Marukai West Los Angeles.

Attendees are asked to practice social distancing and observe local mask mandates.

Feb. 17-26: SJC 2023 Merchant promotions at multiple locations. Merchant promotions require a paper or digital version of SJC 2023’s The List that can be accessed at Special front-liner promotions for police, firefighters and medical workers also require uniform/ID and The List.

Feb. 25: SJC 2023 The Spin at Nijiya Market Sawtelle (storefront), 2130 Sawtelle Blvd., at 11 a.m. and at Marukai West Los Angeles (storefront), 12121 Pico Blvd., at 1 p.m. Only while prizes last. Present a SJC 2023 merchant/community friend receipt for a purchase dated Feb. 17-25 for a giveaway prize. Security present and no cash prizes.

For further information and program updates, visit:



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