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Formerly the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, the building was the Japanese American National Museum's first work and exhibit space.

Built by Japanese immigrants in 1925, the Nishi Hongwanji was the first Buddhist Temple constructed in Los Angeles. The ornate structure incorporates elements of a temple in Kyoto, mixing Japanese and Middle Eastern influences in its striking facade. The Temple served as a practical mix of house of worship, social hall and rental office space. A hub of life in thriving Little Tokyo, the structure was later used to store the belongings of Japanese Americans ordered to World War II internment camps. The Temple eventually fell into serious disrepair and, in 1969, was sold to the City of Los Angeles. Destined to be torn down for future development, the building was rescued when the CRA and the City of Los Angeles supported its use as the Museum site. (from www.janm.org)

vkraus — Last modified Mar 30 2011 8:02 p.m.

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