Yukikazu Nagashima

Born in Chiba City and graduated from Waseda University. In 1979, he moved the U.S. He worked at California Daily Newspaper and joined the Japanese editorial team at The Rafu Shimpo in 1984. In 1991, he became Editor of the Japanese department. He left the company in August, 2007. In September of the same year, he received an award by the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles. He has published a series of articles titled “Profile of Nikkei Contemporary History” in TV Fan introducing the Japanese and nikkei in America. Currently he works as an editor of “J-Town Guide Little Tokyo,” a community magazine in English which introduces Little Tokyo.

Updated August 2014

community en ja

Sawtelle Stories: On the Naming of “Sawtelle Japantown”

The rise and fall of Kobayakawa Boarding House — Mr. Ishioka recognizes the value in the naming of Japantown

Today, in the open area on the east side of Sawtelle Boulevard, from La Grange Avenue to Missouri Avenue, stand big complex facilities and apartment buildings. In that block, there used to be a boarding house where many gardeners lived. It was called “Kobayakawa Boarding House.” It was a large boarding house with six big premises and simple frame houses that once held 60 people at its peak. Riichi Ishioka, an immigrant from Hiroshima started the business in a solitary house in 1926. It was extended in the early 1930s, shut down temporarily during the war and closed in 1979 ...

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food en ja

Sawtelle Stories: On the Naming of “Sawtelle Japantown”

To “Chinchikurin”

“I want Caucasians to eat it.”

Chinchikurin—Hiroshima okonomiyaki restaurant on Sawtelle Boulevard

Finding a parking spot on a street in Sawtelle on a Friday night is such a hassle. After going around the place twice in search for a spot, I was finally able to find one on La Grange Avenue, two blocks west of Sawtelle Boulevard. I parked my car there and walked to Sawtelle Boulevard.

Heading south from Sawtelle Boulevard, I saw neon lights on a variety of stores on both sides of the street. Especially the west side seemed busy. There were quite a few stores ...

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community en ja

Sawtelle Stories: On the Naming of “Sawtelle Japantown”

Hashimoto Nursery: Yotaro Hashimoto Keeps His Business Going

The Sawtelle district is located in West Los Angeles. In 2015, it was officially named “Sawtelle Japantown” by the Los Angeles City Council, and a sign was placed at the corner of Sawtelle and Olympic. For a long time the area had been known as Little Osaka, due to the large number of shops and restaurants owned by Japanese Americans. Local residents and shop owners established an advocacy organization and worked hard to get their neighborhood recognized. They are overjoyed by their victory.

For establishments like Hashimoto Nursery, however, which has been in existence for 88 years and is the ...

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culture en ja

I Want to Spread Traditional Tattoos: Horitomo – The Japanese Tattooist in America - Part 2

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To America

About four years later, as he had gained more experience and his training seemed to be going smoothly, Horitomo thought about what he would be doing in the future: then he imagined himself in 15 years. As he worked as a tattooist, he came to understand more deeply about how tattoos are seen in Japan and how the Japanese society had dealt with tattoos. And in such a society, he would be working as a tattooist. It was such a vivid sight.

“To tell you the truth, what I envisioned in 15 years was not ...

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culture en ja

I Want to Spread Traditional Tattoos: Horitomo – The Japanese Tattooist in America - Part 1

I have a book here. It’s an English book titled Monmon Cats. Readers can find pictures of cats tattooed with a variety of Japanese designs throughout the 118 pages of this book. The writer is a tattoo artist by the name of Horitomo, originally from Mie Prefecture, Japan, who now works in San Jose, California. For those who don’t know that the word “Monmon” is another name for tattoo, perhaps the book title would sound completely unfamiliar. However, in this book we can find the deep beliefs of Horitomo as a tattooist. It was published by his current ...

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