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Seattle’s Hai! Japantown Celebration

August 25, 2017 - 11:27 am

The International District, or I-D is sometimes referred to as Chinatown. But how familiar are you with Seattle’s Japantown?
From the late 1880’s through 1942, This International District neighborhood bustled with grocers, laundries, and variety stores – and had a professional class of doctors, lawyers, and architects.
But according to King County, Federal Executive Order 9066 labeled 10,000 King County residents of Japanese descent as enemies of the state after the Japanese military attack on Pearl Harbor.
Most of the 10,000 local Japanese Americans were shipped to and incarcerated in the deserts of Minidoka, Idaho after transitional detention at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. Along the west coast, 120,000 people of Japanese descent were locked up in concentration or internment camps.

The Seattle Japantown neighborhood recently celebrated its identity with an event hosted in downtown Seattle. KBCS caught up with one of the organizers of the event and co-owner of Momo Store, Lei Ann Shiramizu over the phone to talk about the Hai! Japantown event. Highlights included a makers market, cosplay competition, children’s activities and entertainment. Check out Japantown Seattle’s Facebook Page for more information.