The Japanese started to arrive in San Jose, California, around 1890 in the Heinlenville area, which was once on the outskirts of the city. Many of the businesses that the Japanese opened would serve the needs of the growing Japanese population, who came to the Santa Clara Valley to take advantage of opportunities in the agricultural industry. Out of 46 Japantowns, only three remain in California. San Jose's Japantown is unique in that it is the only surviving Japantown that has remained in its original location. Today, San Jose's Japantown is a thriving and evolving mix of traditional and contemporary arts, culture, and lifestyle.
About the Author
Author and local photographer James Nagareda grew up near San Jose’s Japantown. His family has owned businesses in the area for over 50 years. Nagareda opened his photography studio in 1990 and is very active in the local community. Recently, Nagareda was involved in a 15-year project documenting the history of San Jose’s Japantown, which resulted in a comprehensive book. Through this research, along with working with the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and the local community, Nagareda has gathered a captivating perspective of San Jose’s Japantown.