To the Editor,
In International Examiner Volume 37, No. 11 (June 2, 2010) issue, in Michael Yee’s column, “What’s in a Name?”, he refers to Nihonmachi or Japantown as one of the names used for Seattle’s Asian ethnic neighborhood. Who refers to this district as if it exists today?
There was a Japantown prior to Dec, 7, 1941. Japanese shops and business saturated the area door-to-door from 1st Ave. to 14th Ave. between King St. to Yesler Way. This is clearly indicated in K. Ito’s “Issei” and the photos on file at the State Archives or the Central Library.
The incarceration of Japanese Americans on Feb.19, 1942, led to the demise of Japantown, not only in Seattle, but elsewhere. The current existence of Japanese restaurants, plus Uwajimaya and Kobo at Higos are a poor description of a Japantown. International District or Chinatown? Yes.