Clark & Division: Japanese Americans on Chicago’s Near North Side, 1940s-1960s

Clark Division Subway Sign

Photo courtesy of Erik Matsunaga

Discover Nikkei, an online resource of the Japanese American National Museum, has published Erik Matsunaga’s research into a WWII-era Japanese American enclave in the Clark & Division neighborhood of Chicago’s Near North Side.

Ravenswood Dojo advisor Art Ishii from Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu of Little Tokyo was born in this neighborhood upon his parents’ resettlement from Heart Mountain War Relocation Center, and it was the first Chicago stop for Matsunaga’s family out Gila River War Relocation Center.

Many who would later go on to establish our dojo’s host church, Ravenswood Fellowship UMC, also initially resettled in this neighborhood out of various camps as they got their bearings for a new life in a new city.

Part 1/3:

Part 2/3:

Part 3/3:


Map courtesy of Erik Matsunaga

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