World War II Exclusion
Little Tokyo is a major historic, cultural and civic center for Japanese Americans living in
Southern California, located in downtown Los Angeles, with its roots dating back into the 1880s.
One of the three remaining Japantowns in California (including San Francisco’s Nihonmachi and
San Jose’s Japantown), Little Tokyo has survived overt discrimination, the Great Depression, the
forced removal of all persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II, various redevelopment
projects and the general geographic dispersion of Japanese Americans. It persists today,
anchored by its multi-generational family businesses, churches and temples, and non-profit
community organizations. With its new businesses and new visitors, Little Tokyo continues to
evolve with designs to maintain its links to its cultural and historic heritage.