California Japantowns - Exploring the preservation of history, culture, and community...


Beginning in the 1890s, Issei immigrants replaced Chinese laborers in the fields around Florin, which had been established along the railroad line about eight miles southwest of Sacramento. As farmers shifted from growing wheat and hay to more intensely cultivated strawberry fields and vineyards, the small town of Florin became one of the largest Nikkei agricultural settlements in California. By the 1910s, Japanese immigrants leased or owned over one thousand acres and Florin’s Nihonmachi overshadowed other areas of town. Their prominence became so pronounced that the small community drew national attention and emerged as a target for anti-Japanese political campaigns. Politicians journeyed the short distance from the state capital to see the "Japanese problem" first hand in Florin before passing the Alien Land Act of 1913, which restricted land ownership for "aliens ineligible for citizenship." A few years later the local school board segregated Florin’s elementary school. Despite these assaults, Florin’s Nihonmachi grew and served as the cultural, social and commercial center for Japanese farm families throughout the area.


Takeoka Farm

Methodist Church - 8294 Florin Road

YBA Gymnasium and Hall

Fish Market

Florin East Grammar School - 8383 Florin Road

Buddhist Church - 8320 Florin Road

Ogata Store - 8401-8403 Florin Road

Strawberry packing




Berkeley | Florin | Fresno | Guadalupe
Lodi | Long Beach | Marysville | Monterey
Oakland | Orange County | Oxnard
Pasadena | Petaluma | Placer County
Riverside | Santa Barbara | San Diego
Sawtelle | Terminal Island | Vacaville
Walnut Grove | Watsonville