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


Abundant marine resources were the economic engine for many of the Monterey peninsula’s diverse communities, including Japantowns in the area. Japanese presence in the Monterey area dates to the 1890s and quickly centered on maritime activities. Japanese immigrants entered local fishing and packing industries, as well as fresh fish markets. By the late 1930s, eight Nikkei-owned fishing companies occupied key spaces on Fisherman’s Wharf and Sea Pride Cannery operated on Cannery Row. Some Japanese immigrants took to truck farms that supplied vegetables to markets throughout the peninsula, while others established small businesses that served fellow immigrants and non-Nikkei. By 1920, a concentrated Japanese community appeared in downtown Monterey and a smaller second enclave had settled in the "New Monterey" neighborhood near the canneries.


Issei on Point Lobos, 1909

Japanese American Citizens League Event

Owl Cleaner - 153 Webster Street

Pacific Grove Cleaners - 222 Grand Avenue, Pacific Grove

Pt. Lobos Canning Co.

JACL Hall - 424 Adams Street

El Estero Church - 490 Camino El Estero

Shinto Kai - 557 Hawthorne Street




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