Little Tokyo Historical Society's Time Has Come

A wide-ranging group of persons interested in preserving Little Tokyo as an historic resource have come together to announce the formation of the Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS). The inaugural meeting of the Little Tokyo Historical Society will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2006 from 10 am to noon at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM).

The goal of the historical society is to collect stories, photographs, documents, and other historic materials related to the history of Los Angeles's Little Tokyo neighborhood in order to preserve as well as share those stories and materials to a greater community in innovative and creative ways. 

According to Bill Watanabe, Executive Director of the Little Tokyo Service Center, who is acting as the convener for this group, "There are many people who are interested in doing something to help preserve our historic ethnic neighborhood. We are inviting all interested persons to come to the inaugural meeting of the Little Tokyo Historical Society. If you would like to join and participate, please contact us and let us know you are coming."

People are welcome to bring photos and stories (the older the better!) of Little Tokyo to share with the group.

There are currently several other historical societies around the nation that focus on Japanese American history. Many of these work on collection, preservation, authentic interpretation, and sharing of historical information about various Japanese American experiences. However, the goal of the Little Tokyo Historical Society would be to specifically focus on the JA community located in Little Tokyo.

With the materials gathered by the historical society, many possibilities lie on the horizon. Many of the proposed activities will be discussed at the first planning meeting, including the possibility of publishing a book on the history of Little Tokyo. Other ideas include a digital compilation of the material to be placed on a comprehensive public website. In addition, the collection, preservation and sharing of the history of Little Tokyo is also a key factor in the preservation of Little Tokyo itself.

Deanna Matsumoto, a professionally trained historic preservationist, remarked that "It is important to research and document the historic sites, buildings, and stories that make up our ethnic community heritage, and how our forefathers helped to build up this city over 100 years ago. I hope we can get a good number of interested people to come and join us, and it should be fun to learn about how real historic preservation work can be done by volunteers!"

With that said, the Historical Society would cordially invite you to attend their first meeting. In addition, there will be a photo taken of the first historic meeting of the Little Tokyo Historical Society!
Those interested in attending, please RSVP to Craig Ishii (email: or phone: 213-473-3022). 

There are several parking options for the meeting: Joe's Parking Lot on San Pedro between 2nd and 3rd is $3, Lot 7 next to the Museum of Contemporary Art behind JANM is $4 and the lot directly across from JANM is $5. 

Hope to see you there!!