HomeCommunity IssuesSacramento Bee: The Racism that Bulldozed Sacramento's Japantown

Sacramento Bee: The Racism that Bulldozed Sacramento’s Japantown

Osaka-YaSacramento’s Capitol Mall was once the home of a thriving Japantown.

But the city’s Redevelopment Agency in the 1950’s ignored the pleas of the Japanese American community and approved  the bulldozing of Japantown to make way for the shopping complex.

The Sacramento Bee reports the area was once the home of 200 successful Japanese American businesses. Many of them survived even though their owners were sent to incarceration camps during World War II.

Many of those who lost their businesses to redevelopment tried to relocate to Sacramento’s McKinley Park neighborhood, but were basically told Japanese were now allowed there.

“Japanese Americans had historically been outside of politics, and civic authorities expected them not to fight city hall,”  said Kevin Wildie, author of  Sacramento’s Historic Japantown, Legacy of a Lost Neighborhood. “The Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans) were seeking assistance in relocating businesses or compensation for lost assets and help in creating a small Japantown,” he said, but all they got was great frustration. “They really weren’t being heard, and their suggestions were ignored.”

 You can read about what has happened to the Japanese American community since in the Sacramento Bee.



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