Mitsuwa Little Tokyo’s Last Day

In yet another unfortunate step towards the Korean-izing of Little Tokyo, Rich Alossi over at Angelenic reports that gigantonormous Japanese one-stop market shop, Mitsuwa, will close on January 25th.  Mitsuwa sadly confirms this in awesome mistranslated English: “As of the 25th of January, Little Tokyo Store will close a business. We greatly appreciate your business and support for 24 years since 1985.”  A 50% clearance sale is scheduled for the week before the closing, from Monday, January 19 to (sniff) Sunday, January 25.

Mitsuwa’s closing comes as an increasing number of Koreans are moving in, and immediately around, Little Tokyo.  Capitalizing on this influx, Korean investors last year bought the Little Tokyo Shopping Center (which Mitsuwa anchors) with plans to turn it into a Korean-themed shopping center and mall.  As Rich points out, “[W]ith changing demographics, increased outside investment and an aging population, the neighborhood that for decades had been the center of [Japanese-American] culture is now facing perhaps the biggest challenge to its identity in years.”

There is, of course, Mitsuwa over on Centinela (home of one of the best bowls of ramen this side of town, Santouka), but the loss of the Little Tokyo location sucks symbolically.  The beginning of the end of Little Tokyo?  I hope not.

8 Replies to “Mitsuwa Little Tokyo’s Last Day”

  1. You know, we (the JP-inclined) should just let it go. Torrance, Sawtelle, Costa Mesa are the new centers of Japanese culture. We don’t want this to be another Liancourt Rocks thing!

  2. You know, we (the JP-inclined) should just let it go. Torrance, Sawtelle, Costa Mesa are the new centers of Japanese culture.

    Unfortunately, unlike Little Tokyo, Torrance, Sawtelle and Costa Mesa are significantly more than 5 minutes away from my house. This could effectively put an end to me making sushi at home, unless there’s another place to buy fresh fish in Little Tokyo that I don’t know about.

  3. It really sucks on a symbolic level, but outside of going to Bun-Ka-Do and Kinokuniya once in a long while, I haven’t had a reason to visit LT in several years. It just isn’t the same as it used to be back in the 80s, when I used to bug my parents to take me on my monthly pilgrimage to Pony Toy-Go-Round in Honda Plaza to geek out over all the toys and models (which even might have been pre-Mitsuwa/Yaohan). The closure of Mitsuwa doesn’t surprise me that much – the mall has been dead for years – but I hope Little Tokyo endures.

  4. Yeah, I dunno. Hasn’t that plaza only been open since like ’85 anyway? Is that history? I gave up when the movie theater and bowling alley closed down.

    Plus they could never get around to fixing that crazy giant clock. Time to move on.

  5. Man, that sucks. There’s a lot of stuff they have there that, well, I just don’t really know where else to go to get it…

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