Japanese American Naomi Hirahara chronicled her own personal experience living in West LA’s newly recognized Sawtelle Japantown.
Located on L.A.’s West Side near the UCLA campus, the Sawtelle community was formed in 1910, as many Japanese American gardeners continued to settle there, according to Zocalo Public Square (Photo by John Sequeira).
According to Hirahara, maintaining the presence of LA’s Sawtelle Japantown is important to keep the memory of the Japanese American immigrant experience alive.
“Just because the past is past doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Like the sedimentary layers under our feet, layers of past experiences and people influence the present,” Hirahara said.
Sawtelle is the second Japantown formally recognized by the Los Angeles City Council. The first, of course, is Little Tokyo.
For more information about Los Angeles’ 2nd Japantown, visit Zocalo Public Square.