Created By: Japanese Arts Network
In the wake of WWII during the 1940’s, following the closing of America’s incarceration camps, the area surrounding and within the historic Five Points neighborhood in Denver, Colorado saw a surge of Japanese-American culture and business in the “Larimer Corridor” downtown. Japanese businesses were concentrated during this time in the Five Points area due to oppressive redlining which did not allow them to open in other parts of the city. Japanese arrivals joined other communities of color who also inhabited and owned businesses in this stretch of neighborhood.
Today, we remember this vibrant and cross-cultural neighborhood thorugh the voices of lived experiences- and we celebrate the today's Japanese Americans and Five Points residents who are creating history for future generations in Denver's Five Points.
*** Please also join us at our in-person exhibit at The Savoy located at 2700 Arapahoe Street to see more artifacts and hear more from our interview participants.***
The Japanese Arts Network (JA-NE) partners with artists to cultivate opportunities for deeper connections with Japanese artists in America. JA-NE recognizes that voices of Japanese artists are often marginalized or placed into “cultural arts” stereotypes in order to check proverbial boxes instead of being recognized for their value/artistic merit. We provide pathways for audiences to connect with Japanese heritage and culture while supporting artists whose Japanese identities inform their work. We envision an ecosystem of mutual support between artists, stakeholders and intergenerational community members through intersectional collaboration.
The Mile High JACL chapter represents the state of Colorado. Founded in 1929, the National JACL (Japanese American Citzens League) is the largest civil rights organization in the country focused on Americans of Japanese ancestry. The JACL mission is to uphold and secure the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all Americans, while preserving the cultural heritage of our people.
CREDITS + THANK YOU'S:
This project is made possible with the generous support of Arts in Society and the JACL Legacy Fund.
Japanese Arts Network + Mile High JACL
Shannon Geis - Oral Historian + Audio Editor + Interviewer
Matthew Ryan Durgin - Sound Designer
Richard Hamai - Treasurer
Joshua Mattison - Sound Designer + Composer of Original Music
Dylan Mori - Producer + Interviewer
Courtney Ozaki - Producer + Interviewer
Akemi Tsutsui-Kunitake - Research and Documentation
Allison Yaguchi - Transcriptions
Milton Domoto, Nancy Domoto, Mabel Googins, Hiroko Hansen, Leandra Marin-Cruz, Jaida Masud, Melissa Meza, Terry Nelson, Mary Jane Okamatsu, Charles Ozaki, Joe Ozaki, Teri Ozaki, Carolyn Plummer, Marge Taniwaki, Richard Yoshida.
Blaire Caldwell African American Research Library
Nikkeijin Kai Office at Sakura Square
Sonny Lawson Park "Five Points Merchants" Artwork:
Lauren Iida - Artist
Mary Jane Okamatsu - Photo provider
Denver Theatre District + David Moke
Denver Parks & Recreation
Research and information resourced from DENSHO.org, Pacific Mercantile and Joli Noguchi, Gil Asakawa and Nikkeiview, The Denver Post, Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple, Rex Aoki, the Ozaki Family photo albums.