James Toma

James Toma is a former mayor of the City of West Covina and a supervising attorney at the California Department of Justice.

Married with two young children, James enjoys reading and sports. He coaches his son’s basketball team at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center. His exposure to Japanese American basketball inspired him to write a short story for the Little Tokyo Historical Society contest.

James was born in Okinawa, but grew up in the California Central Valley. He graduated from Yale and the University of California, Berkeley. He is a past president of the Friends of the West Covina Library and the Japanese American Bar Association.

Updated April 2019

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Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest V

Life at the (Little Tokyo) Budokan

Jeff maneuvered his sleek black Audi off the freeway. He peered in either direction, unable to get his bearings. “This is just great,” he mumbled. He hadn’t been to Little Tokyo in years but had figured it would come back by memory once he got downtown.

“You know how to get there, right?” asked his son Craig, slouched next to him, his blue and gold Sabers uniform draped loosely over his wiry frame, a pair of black headphones wrapped around his neck.

“I know where we’re at,” Jeff lied.

“Sure,” Craig deadpanned and went back to gazing out ...

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