California Japantowns - Exploring the preservation of history, culture, and community...


From the early 1900s, Watsonville filled with over a thousand Japanese immigrants who thrived in the fields and orchards of Santa Cruz county. The close-knit community swelled with over 300 residential listings and 80 businesses and community organizations by 1941. With the closing of Yagi Bait & Tackle and Oda's Barber Shop in the early 2000s, the few remnants of pre-war businesses are gone. Yet a steadfast community core remained to celebrate the centennial of the Buddhist Church in 2006 and 75th Anniversary of the JACL in 2009.


Rester Hotel

Main and W Lake Ave, Watsonville

Rinverside School

Rt. 3, Box 385-A, Watsonville

Roache School

Rt. 3, Box 412, Watsonville

Star Grill

108 1/2 Main St, Watsonville

Sugiyama Grocery

115 Van Ness Ave, Watsonville

Suyezaki Co.

217 Sudden St, Watsonville

Tatsumi Ryoin

15 San Juan Road, Watsonville

Torigoye Co.

161 Main St, Watsonville

Yagi Barber

16 Porter Drive, Watsonville

Yagi Co.

16 Porter Drive, Watsonville