Little Tokyo forms

Little Tokyo traces its origins to the first business started by a Japanese seaman named Kame who opened a restaurant on Los Angeles Street, near First Street. The Japanese population grew slowly until the immigrants, known as Issei, decided they want to settle in Los Angeles and raise families. A population surge (over 30,000 Japanese came to America in 1907 alone), fueled by arranged marriages, changed Little Tokyo from a bachelor enclave into a community. Many of the local Japanese were involved in agriculture and that led to the establishment of wholesale produce markets near Little Tokyo. Despite discrimination, the Japanese built their own churches, temples and hospitals and established many business and community organizations. On the left is a view of Weller Street in Little Tokyo, looking towards City Hall, in 1938.