Bunkado: Gifts and Music


Bunkado, meaning “House of Culture” was founded in 1945 by Tokio Ueyama and his wife Suye. Suye and Tokio had just been released from the internment camps, meaning that Tokio could finally pursue his dream of owning a business. Tokio was an artist and envisioned his store as a hub of artistic talent, dialogue and for artistic rarities and materials that can only be found in Japan. Since its opening the store has passed through the family, from relation to relation, and is now owned by Tokio’s niece Irene Tsukuda-Germain, who took it over form her parents. Bunkado gifts and music is a unique store specializing in authentic Japanese imports. Clients include members from the community, tourists, and many professional buyers from the Los Angeles and New York theater and film community. Members from the Little Tokyo community who have been coming to Bunkado since its opening call it a “retro store” because it hasn’t changed in character. Many of the store items are still the same as in 1945, such as Buddhist incense, bells, and beads, and materials for flower arranging, but there are also some obvious additions since its inception. They now sell CD’s, DVD’s, and toys such as sculpted erasers and Obama coloring books. They are hailed as being very friendly and knowledgeable about their items, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the United States.

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avam — Last modified Jun 28 2021 1:49 a.m.

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