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:



      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 >> 

community en

Fish Market In Little Tokyo

The white noise of the ocean washed over the shore and reached for the cloudless sky.

Wave after wave.

The surf rolled slowly onto the beach.

Wave after wave.

The foam met the sand, and the sand met the foam.

The wind—

Yukio woke to the sound of his alarm. A monotone digital beep rang out three times before he turned it off and moved to the side of his bed. Half covered, he reached for his bedside lamp and took a moment.

In the dim light, he rubbed his eyes: the clock read “2 a.m.”

He showered quickly ...

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war ja




案の定、引き出しが出てこない。ぐっと手前に引っ張ると、開くには開いたけれど、何かが変だ。中段を開けてみる。中段と下段では引き出しの高さが違っていた ...

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culture en

Kazuo Alone

Kazuo embraced Mondays like no other, and that was because of its silence. Mondays were sweet, a sweep of semi-peace in the streets of Los Angeles. The typical street-crawlers were in school and the typical tourists at their nine to five jobs, and so Kazuo chose Monday to roam, map, conquer his neighborhoods unperturbed. Mondays were a convenience only when eighty-five of your years had passed and your company along with it. It was nice timing for those who desired solace. The old man had fit this criteria to a tee.

People talked about him, of course; no one who ...

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community ja




やす子が何度も泊まるホテルは、入り口のガラスのドアを開けると、幅の狭い階段だけがあった。二階以上が客室だった。エレベーターがないから、その狭い急な階段をスーツケースを引きずりあげるのに、喘いだものだが、二回目からは下から声をかけると若いフロントの手伝いが飛んできてくれた。「あ、きたきた。ほいほい ...

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Masao and the Bronze Nightingale

Boyle Heights, 1940

“Hey Masao, where did you score those fine drapes, ese?”

“Over on Brooklyn and Soto. Manny Garcia’s uncle has a tailor shop there.”

“Órale pues, you’re lookin’ sharp, vato!”

Thanks, Lil’ Joe, ay te watcho, catch you later, carnal!”

Yeah, Masao Imoto knew how to dress sharp alright. He was a Japanese American nisei zoot suitor, a pachuke, Japanese slang for pachuco. The older generation called them yógore “those that get dirty drinking and gambling hanging out at pool halls and picking up prostitutes.” Yeah, they were the bad boys of Boyle Heights and ...

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