Japanese American National Museum
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Rafu Shimpo

The Rafu Shimpo began as a posted newssheet in 1903, published out of an office on Main Street downtown and serving the Little Tokyo area of Los Angeles. As the Japanese American population continued to grow, so did the newspaper, becoming an important resource not just for news, but also for job and housing information for new immigrants. In 1926, it added an English language section and became bilingual, a reflection of changes within the community itself. Publication continued until the breakout of World War II and the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans from the West Coast in 1942. After the war, publication resumed and circulation boomed from 500 in 1946 to over 20,000 through the following thirty years. The Rafu Shimpo has been under the management of the Komai family for three generations and remains the most widely circulated and read Japanese American newspaper in the United States.



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