Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest II

The Little Tokyo Historical Society conducted its second annual short story (fiction) writing contest which concluded on April 22, 2015 at a reception in Little Tokyo in which the winners and finalists were announced. Last year's contest was entirely in English whereas this year's contest also had a youth category and a Japanese-language category, with cash prizes awarded for each category. The only requirement (other than the story could not exceed 2,500 words or 5,000 Japanese characters) was that the story had to involve Little Tokyo in some creative manner.

Winners (First Place)

Some of the Finalists to be featured are:

      English:

      Youth:

      Japanese (Japanese only)


*Read stories from other Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contests:

Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest I >>
Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest III >>
Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest IV >>
Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest V >>
Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest VI >> 

culture en

The Tempura King

They called Nozomi the Tempura King of Little Tokyo. He manned the tempura bar at the Tokyo Kaikan restaurant, holding court each night and delighting guests with his wizardry. People came from all over Los Angeles to enjoy Nozomi’s perfectly crisp and flavorful tempura. A lot went into making it perfect, but the real secret was in the oil. Not too hot or the outside would burn and leave the inside raw. Not too cold or the batter would soak up the oil and leave a greasy mess. Nozomi never used a thermometer to determine the best moment for ...

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culture en

Both Alike in Dignity

It wasn’t like Mr. Muncznik to get lost. Then again, his mind wasn’t what it used to be.

Every Sunday, he would take the bus to visit his old friend, Berek, in Pasadena. On this particular Sunday, however, his mind had slipped, causing him to get off far earlier than he anticipated. Now, he found himself wandering the streets of Little Tokyo.

Despite the fact that he was lost, Mr. Muncznik delighted in the sights with a kind of fascination. In the nearly sixty years he’d lived in Los Angeles, it was seldom that he ever ventured ...

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culture en

All Along This Road

Kenji saw her, or at least, he thought he saw her shoes cross East Second Street. They were silver Oxfords that looked like they had been spray-painted metallic silver. It wasn’t the oddest article of clothing he saw around the Japanese Village Plaza though, which was packed with tourists and women dressed in out-of-season kimonos, twirling neon pink paper parasols, and wearing rainbow shades of eye shadow. It was also full of Cosplay people that looked like androgynous anime characters and video game protagonists—pink hair, hand sewn outfits, and plenty of spandex—posing for pictures. To top it ...

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culture en

Midori’s Magic

I shivered as I squinted my eyes, intensely focused on the many windows of the Miyako Hotel. There were dimly-lit rooms, rooms where I could distinguish animated silhouettes, rooms that were dark as the sky, but I still couldn’t figure out which window belonged to our room. Despite my concentration, this did little to diminish the cold that was creeping through my body and making my poor teeth chatter. No one had thought it fitting to warn me that a short sleeved t-shirt, capris, and a pair of beat-up slippers might not be the best wardrobe selection for our ...

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culture en

Alice and the Bear

One splendid, breezy weekend in Los Angeles, a great-grandmother by the name of Alice Miyamoto and her family took a trip down to Little Tokyo. The joys, demands, and rigors of life had kept her away for more than 30 years, and so the trip was much needed.

As Alice walked by shops and restaurants she was reminded of times past, when she was but a young girl—no older than her great-granddaughter—when she too walked these sidewalks long ago.

There were myriad shops and restaurants, just like there had been when she was small, but they were a ...

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