Merchants to Speak at Sawtelle Stories V

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Sawtelle Stories Forum V features several merchants who created the infrastructure for the enterprise-minded Sawtelle JapanTown in West Los Angeles during the early postwar period (1950s and 1960s).

The forum is scheduled on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Social Hall of the West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple, 2003 Corinth Ave., Los Angeles.

Featured speakers include Henry Yamaguchi, scion of the historic Yamaguchi’s Variety Store, along with his brothers, Jack and Jimmy. Yamaguchi’s was a scene on the Sawtelle map until recently when it was sold to become a combination of eateries, small enterprises and loft apartments. In blending in with the early JapanTown motif, the new buyer/builder has retained the Yamaguchi name on the premises.

Other speakers include Yuki Toya Sakurai, who will discuss her father and his Sawtelle Food Market, the hub of fish merchandising.

Hank Iwamoto will discuss his father’s founding of Safe and Save Market along with the family’s settling in Sawtelle from Lompoc and the war years in Utah.

Ben Toshiyuki is a pharmacist whose father, John Toshiyuki, established Tensho Do Drug Store in Sawtelle postwar. The four generations of Toshiyuki family members are a highlight.

Admission is free and there is ample parking. For information, contact Jack Fujimoto at (310) 612-1711 or [email protected]

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