National Park Service

The Great American Landmarks Adventure
Little Tokyo Historic District
We took our language and customs with us wherever we moved.

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Little Tokyo Historic District
Los Angeles, California

Many Japanese immigrants settled in California's rural areas in the early 1900s. Not allowed to own land under State law, they moved to the cities, especially to the downtown Los Angteles area, because of opportunities for work and business. Soon, Little Tokyo became the center of the cut-flower and retail produce industries in the city. Today, the historic Little Tokyo section is just a small part of the larger Japanese community that thrived here before World War II (1941-1945). At that time, many Japanese-Americans in Los Angeles, like those of other communities along the West Coast, were put into government camps until the war was over. In 1988, the government publicly apologized for this war-time action.

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