More Little Tokyo Redevelopment, 1969

I went to visit my mother, and she had this old copy of the Nisei Week 1969 program. She was in it!  She, my grandma, and I were in a photo. You couldn’t see me, because I was swaddled in a blanket.  They weren’t even captioned, because it was a photo of someone else.


Anyway, I’m reading about redevelopment, because it sometimes feels like the current gentrification push, and found  yet another article pushing Little Tokyo redevelopment.  In the previous article, I posted a couple links and photos promoting redevelopment, and linked to the KCET article that mentions the Little Tokyo People’s Rights Organization.  If it’s not already obvious, I know nothing about what happened there. I only experienced it as a child, and a patron of businesses. We weren’t living there or even there on a regular basis.

Here is the article in the Nisei Week program:

It’s interesting. The construction of Parker Center was a big deal – it destroyed 1/4 of LT.  The rest of the article is promoting LT redevelopment, and it really did “sell” it. Fifty years later, I wonder if the redevelopment and urban renewal really worked out. I have my doubts.  The fact is, a lot of low income people were displaced.

I have to also wonder if people were thinking that going along with urban renewal was a way to hold off the encroachment of City Hall.  They would try to take over old buildings, but a new building would be harder to label as “blighted” and targeted for takeover. It sounds like “destroying it to save it.”

One thing to notice is that the second photo has the leader of the Lil Tokyo Redevelopment Community, Kango Kunitsugu. He was the husband of Kats Kunitsugo, who edited the Kashu Mainichi, paper which I photographed in the old article.  So, there was an alignment there; that’s not unusual in the least, but is a link to know.








Leave a Reply