Little Tokyo (aka J-Town)
Los Angeles has long had one of the largest populations of Japanese outside of Japan. The first Japanese restaurant in the area of what was to become Little Tokyo opened in 1885, just off 1st Street, at a time when USC itself occupied a handful of buildings at the southern edge of town. By the 1920s, it had become the economic and cultural center for Japanese Americans. The relocation trauma of World War II dealt a heavy blow to the community and, despite its postwar resusitation, Little Tokyo has never regained the dominant position it once held. Even so, it remains as one of the city's most enduring ethnic neighborhoods and continues to claim its place as the cultural center for Japanese Americans in Southern California.