Japantown Atlas - Southern California - Gardena
Overview Map: Gardena's Japanese American Businesses
Gardena was one of the first places I intended to map but it took more than a year to get to. Luckily I learned from earlier maps that it is helpful to plot out businesses on an overview map (here a combination of AAA's West LA street map and the 1929 Sanborn index page for Gardena) rather than start from the mole-hill view. There are a couple blocks that appear worth going back and looking up the specific Sanborn pages. But the basic map came together in about a day.
There are a number of businesses listed only by PO box or RFD address, but a good 2/3 of businesses have street addresses. Tracking down sites on Google reveals most or all of the nurseries were replaced by industrial uses and subdivisions (perhaps as early as during WWII, or in the early '50s). Gardena had a large Japanese American population after WWII and still has a handful of small businesses along Western Ave.
Gardena resident Cory Shinozaki helped me get my bearings and suggested a couple notable modern landmarks. I also found a few addresses thanks to the online version of the Arcadia book of historic Gardena photos.
1st draft 3/12/08