Mapping the Treasures of Little Tokyo, LA

Flower arranging? Sipping cocktails made from the juice of an old tree? Dancing in big circles? Telling jokes at a gathering called, "Asian AF?" It's all part of anti-displacement community organizing in the Los Angeles neighborhood called, "Little Tokyo."

In this episode of the CreativePlace podcast we had a conversation with Scott Oshima, Lead Community Organizer at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. We caught up with them at the 2019 Pacific Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit in Los Angeles in June, where they taught two breakout sessions and led Summit goers on a field workshop through Little Tokyo.

Oshima teaching a breakout session at the 2019 Pacific Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

The JACCC is one of a coalition of organizations and neighborhood residents who have banded together to fight for control of First Street North in the historic neighborhood. Little Tokyo is one of three historic Japantowns left in the United States, and Oshima describes some of the art-filled strategies they are using to map cultural assets, keep community members motivated, and call attention to the unique value of neighborhood treasures.

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