Friday, January 21, 2011

History and heritage reside in California's Japan Towns

I will write PEACE on your wings and you will fly all over the world” ~ Sadako Sasaki (A young Japanese girl on the threshold of adolescence developed leukemia in 1955 from the effects of radiation caused by the bombing of Hiroshima), (1943-1955)

Beautiful bunches of Bougainvillea in Japan Town. Bougainvillea is also known as "Paper Flowers" because the bracts are thin and papery

Japan Town is also known as "Nihonmachi". It is also called "J Town" in short.Japan Town was originally formed around the existing "Heinlenville" ~ China Town settlement. During the Second World War, the Japanese American population was forcibly removed from Japan Town and interned in camps. After the war, many Japanese Americans resettled in the area. Many Japanese left the area due to the expansion of Silicon Valley. But the town still remains home for thousands of Japanese Americans.

California State Legislation designated this area as one of the last three remaining historical Japan Towns in the United States of America. They are in San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles. The Japanese community in these three areas (San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles) survived the urban renewal in 1950s and 1960s. It is believed that more than 40 Japan Towns existed in the United States of America before the World War II.

Japan Town has many authentic and ethnic Japanese restaurants.Churches, Buddhist temples, community halls, restaurants and landscape contribute a lot to the history and identity of Japan.Walking down on Japan Town gives a real experience of Japan. It is a rare feeling of a neighbourhood, where history and heritage reside in the keepers of the shops and the people walking along the streets. San Jose Japan Town is a rare treasure.

It is reported that 1,20,000 Japanese Americans were forced to leave and put into internment camps during the World War II (1942~1946)
A walk in Japan Town engages, educates and enriches the visitors

The term "Japan Town" encompasses a wide range of communities from large Nihonmachi in metropolitan areas
The stories and memories of people who lived and experienced California
Japan Towns were created because of the widespread of immigration of Japanese to America in the Meiji Period (1868~1912)
History Walk in San Jose
Preserving California's Japan Towns helps to assist American community to recognise their local heritage
Japan Town is a place of discovery
The place showcases the history and contemporary features of a vibrant community
Stone monument in Japan Town
Plaque on the pathway
Gorgeous view of Japan Town
Buildings highlight the points of historical and cultural significance of Japanese American community


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