Stephanie Varela

Stephanie Varela is a senior English and Comparative Literary Studies major at Occidental College and a native Angelino who specializes in Nabokov studies. Although she hasn’t had previous experience with Asian Studies, she has thoroughly enjoyed her experiences working with the Japanese American National Museum and the businesses of Little Tokyo.

Updated April 2010

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Little Tokyo Community Profiles - 2010

Mitsuru Grill, 316 First Street

Mamoru Hanamura sips his tall water glass full of hot, red tea, exhales slowly and says, “They used to teach me so many things. When I had a problem, I always had somebody.” Speaking of past friends, mentors and fellow members of the Issei generation, his gaze shifts towards the window that faces out onto First street as he mentions that many of his past customers and neighbors have passed away now. Yet Hanamura remains optimistic. After 34 years running the Mitsuru Grill, he can now be the one giving advice and support to his fellow Little Tokyo business owners ...

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