Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Field Trip...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to saving the life's work of Ichiro Ninomiya.  If this is your first time joining the blog, please scroll down and catch up on my adventures!

Having never been there before, in all the time I have lived in LA, I decided to take a trip down to Little Tokyo this morning.

Its a small area and just getting smaller due to development in the area.   I was pleased to see that a lot of the places I have been looking at in decades old photographs, are still there.

A few entries back, I posted this photo of Mr Ninomiya in front of his shop:

Happily, the space is still there and from the outside anyway, looks very much the same:

It now houses the DISKovery Program.  A great technology access and learning resource for the community.  Check them out at

Other things are not there any longer.   Here is a great shot from atop the building where the New Japanese American News paper worked.

I am not certain, but I believe that building is now gone and is being developed for another project here:

Some things are still there, but just change names.  The Sumitomo Bank Building...

Is now the California Bank & Trust...

But other things are the same..  like The Far East Cafe with its very distinctive CHOP SUEY sign that your parents, or grandparents saw...

Little Tokyo is also home to many community groups and facilities. One of them is The Japanese American National Museum. I recommend a visit.

Another distinctive landmark is the Fire Tower at the Japanese Village shopping area.  I have seen this tower in many of Mr Ninomiya's photographs.  It is literally across the street from where his studio is.  I suspect that, like a lot of photographers do, when there are no paying customers, you go outside and shoot whatever is handy.  Many of the street scenes he shot are, I have discovered, shot right in front of his shop.

There is still more to see in Little Tokyo and more I will show you in later entries.  

As always, this is also a plea for help in saving this work.  I estimate that I have between 13,000 and 15,000 files stacked in my living room.   Most of that is still in the plastic bags in which it was delivered. Right now, my most immediate need is funding, and a space to work on these photographs to sort them.  

Won't you help?  Even a little will go towards the greater goal of getting these photographs restored, saved, and ready to display and be seen again.   Many of them have been sitting in file envelopes for over 60 years.

Click the DONATE button to the right and offer your hand in saving this work.   Any amount is appreciated and will be put to immediate use!

Until the next update,


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