Page 1

origami press

to all the wanderlusters

ありがとう thank you

Thank you to my passionate professors, my life-saving classmates, and my loving family.

TABLE OF CONTENTS _ introduction history artifacts haiku colors events

INTRODUCTION This book was a longterm project for my typography 2 class at California College of the Arts. The assignment was to choose a block and create a book and i chose post st between webster and laguna. This is the heart of Japantown. This book aims to be a deeper look inside this historical town located within beautiful san francisco.


歴史 history

NIHONMACHI _ Japantown is a little further west of the

and had stores of various kinds beneath

infamous Union Square, San Fran-

the homes. Along these house and store

cisco. It’s a section of the city that was

combos additional commercial build-

born with the writing of the Van Ness

ings were constructed. Soon after the

Ordinance in 1855. It didn’t always

town started seeing restaurants, the-

look the way it looks today, it was dry

atres, saloons, and hotels to the area.

and uncivilized. Starting in the 1870s,

Japanese started showing up in San

San Franciscans began to move to this

Francisco in the early 1860s. They

area. People started populating the area

initially lived in Chinatown and in the

and constructed homes in many styles.

residential areas south of Market Street.

This included South Park and the area

During the great Earthquake of

1906, the Western Addition remained

near what is now the San Francisco

untouched by the fire and provided a

Shopping Center. It was only after

haven for a big portion of San Fran-

the devastating 1906 earthquake and

cisco’s population that had lost homes.

fire drove many of them from their

These people that were taking shelter

homes that they began fleeting to the

in the area later went on to settle there

Western Addition. As they started to

in small apartments built all over town.

settle in those areas, they also begin

Soon after property owners raised their

constructing churches and shrines.

houses and places stores beneath them

Next to building these monuments,


they also built typical Japanese shops and restaurants. The community took on a very traditional Japanese character and it wasn’t long before it was infamously come to known as “Japantown”. This historically rich town is where the pillars of San Francisco’s Japanese American community took root. Japantown is home to Japanese cuisine (and some Korean and Chinese) restaurants, supermarkets, indoor shopping malls, hotels, banks and other shops, including one of the few U.S. branches of the large Kinokuniya bookstore chain. Most of these businesses are located in the commercial Japan Center of the neighborhood, in a large shopping mall built in the 1960s as part of urban renewal efforts and is run by Japanese retailer Kintetsu.


“It didn’t always look the way it looks today, it was dry and uncivilized.”

アーティファクト artifacts

POTTERY _ Japanese pottery and porcelain is one of the country’s oldest art forms, dating back to the Neolithic period. Kilns have produced earthenware, pottery, stoneware, glazed pottery, glazed stoneware, porcelain, and blue-and-white ware. Japan has an exceptionally long and successful history of ceramic production. Earthenwares were created as early as the Jomon period (10,000-300 BCE), giving Japan one of the oldest ceramic traditions in the world. Japan is further distinguished by the unusual esteem that ceramics holds within its artistic tradition, owing to the enduring popularity of the tea ceremony. Japanese pottery is distinguished by two polarized aesthetic traditions. greatest masters were priests, especially in early periods.


MANEKI-NEKO _ The Maneki-neko is a common Japanese figurine which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner. In modern times, they are usually made of ceramic or plastic. The figurine depicts a cat beckoning with an upright paw, and is usually displayed in—often at the entrance of—shops, restaurants, pachinko parlors, and other businesses. Some of the sculptures are electric or battery-powered and have a slow-moving paw beckoning. The Maneki-neko is sometimes also called the welcoming cat, lucky cat, money cat, happy cat, raging cat, beckoning cat, or fortune cat in English. Maneki-neko comes in different colors, styles and degrees of ornateness. Common colors are white, black, gold and sometimes red. In addition to ceramic figurines, Maneki-neko can be found as key chains, piggy banks, air fresheners, house-plant pots, and miscellaneous ornaments, as well as large statues.


SUSHI _ Japanese pottery and porcelain is one of the country’s oldest art forms, dating back to the Neolithic period. Kilns have produced earthenware, pottery, stoneware, glazed pottery, glazed stoneware, porcelain, and blue-and-white ware. Japan has an exceptionally long and successful history of ceramic production. Earthenwares were created as early as the Jomon period (10,000-300 BCE), giving Japan one of the oldest ceramic traditions in the world. Japan is further distinguished by the unusual esteem that ceramics holds within its artistic tradition, owing to the enduring popularity of the tea ceremony.


LANTERNS _ In Japan a toro is a traditional lantern made of stone, wood, or metal. Like many other elements of Japanese traditional architecture, it originated in China; however, extant specimens in that country are very rare, and in Korea they are not as common as in Japan. In Japan, toro were originally used only in Buddhist temples, where they lined and illuminated paths. Lit lanterns were then considered an offering to Buddha. During the Heian period (794–1185), however, they started being used also in Shinto shrines and private homes. The oldest extant bronze and stone lanterns can be found in Nara. Taima-dera has a stone lantern built during the Nara period, while Kasuga-taisha has one of the following Heian period. During the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568–1600) stone lanterns were popularized by tea masters, who used them as a decoration in their gardens. Soon they started to develop new types according to the need. In modern gardens they have a purely ornamental function and are laid along paths, near water, or next to a building.


HAND FANS _ A handheld fan is an implement used to induce an airflow for the purpose of cooling or refreshing oneself. Any broad, flat surface waved back-and-forth will create a small airflow and therefore can be considered a rudimentary fan. Generally, purpose-made handheld fans are shaped like a sector of a circle and made of a thin material (such as paper or feathers) mounted on slats which revolve around a pivot so that it can be closed when not in use. The movement of a handheld fan provides cooling by increasing the airflow over the skin, which in turn increases the evaporation rate of sweat droplets on the skin. It also increases heat convection by displacing the warmer air produced by body heat that surrounds the skin. This evaporation has a cooling effect due to the latent heat of evaporation of water. Fans are convenient to carry around, especially folding fans.


RAMEN _ Ramen is a Japanese dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or (occasionally) fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork, dried seaweed, menma, and green onions. Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation of ramen, from the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen of Kyushu to the miso ramen of Hokkaido.The origin of ramen is unclear. Some sources say it is of Chinese origin. Other sources say it was invented in Japan in the early 20th century. The name ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese lamian. Until the 1950s, ramen was called shina soba but today chuka soba or just Ramen are more common.


TEA _ The history of tea in Japan has its earliest known references in a text written by a Buddhist monk in the 9th century. Tea became a drink of the religious classes in Japan when Japanese priests and envoys sent to China to learn about its culture brought tea to Japan. The first form of tea brought from China was probably brick tea. Ancient recordings indicate the first batch of tea seeds were brought by a priest named Saicho in 805 and then by another named Kukai in 806. It became a drink of the royal classes when Emperor Saga, the Japanese emperor, encouraged the growth of tea plants. Seeds were imported from China, and cultivation in Japan began.


JEWELRY BOX _ The history of decorative Japanese jewelry boxes includes everything from small music boxes to huge lacquer jewelry containers with many drawers; some are even embellished with remarkable cloisonnĂŠ in the designs. Although most historians will state that lacquering techniques are thought to have first originated in main land China, and cloisonnĂŠ is considered first to appear as an artwork in the country is now known as Turkey back when it was in the Roman and Byzantine Empires. But most cultural people of the world with tell you both art forms were elevated to the highest level of refinement in Japan, and are now considered very remarkably purely Japanese.


CHOPSTICKS _ Chopsticks are shaped pairs of equal-length sticks that have been used as the traditional ancient kitchen and eating utensils in virtually all of East Asia for over 6000 years. First used by the Chinese, use of the chopsticks later spread to other countries either through cultural influence or through Chinese immigrant communities, such as Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as California, New York, Hawaii of the United States, and cities in Canada and Australia with Chinese communities. Chopsticks are smoothed and frequently tapered and are commonly made of bamboo, plastic, wood, or stainless steel. They are less commonly made from gold, silver, porcelain, jade, or ivory. Chopsticks are held in the dominant hand, between the thumb and fingers, and used to pick up pieces of food.


GEISHA _ Geisha, geiko, or geigi are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various arts such as classical music, dance, games and conversation, mainly to entertain not only male customers but also female customers today. Geisha like all Japanese nouns, has no distinct singular or plural variants. The word consists of two kanji,”gei” meaning “art” and “sha” meaning “person” or “doer”. The most literal translation of geisha into English would be “artist”, “performing artist”, or “artisan.” Another name for geisha is geiko, which is usually used to refer to geisha from western Japan, which includes Kyoto. Apprentice geisha are called maiko, (literally “dance child”) or hangyoku, “half-jewel” (meaning that they were paid half of the wage of a full geisha), or by the more generic term o-shaku, literally “one who pours (alcohol).”


俳句 haiku

The lamp once out Cool stars enter The window frame. Natsume Soseki

An old silent pond... A frog jumps into the pond, splash! Silence again. Matsuo Basho

Summer night even the stars are whispering to each other. Isaa

Wake, butterfly it’s latewe’ve miles to go together. Matsuo Bash

Don’t imitate me; it’s as boring as the two halves of a melon. Matsuo Basho

Night; and once again, the while I wait for you, cold wind turns into rain. Masaoka Shiki

俳句 colors

青 blue

ゴールド gold

赤 red

オレンジ orange

ブラック black



イベント events

Cherry Blossom Festival _ The Japantown neighborhood comes

events are held on Post Street between

to life in the spring when the cherry

Laguna and Fillmore Streets.

blossoms start to bloom. This is also

“ of the largest cherry blossom festivals in the US.”

when more than 200,000 people flock to this little district for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival started in 1967. Since then, it’s grown to be one of the largest cherry blossom festivals in the US. This celebration includes traditional music, dance, and other cultural activities. During the festival, you can sample a variety of Japanese and Japanese-American culinary treats. These include popular dishes such as fresh sushi, tempura, and chicken or beef teriyaki. Another highlight of this SF event is the Grand Parade. Most of the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival


Sumo Wrestling Competition _ One of the most popular events that

was used in the Shinto religion. Life

take place in San Francisco’s Japantown

as a wrestler is highly regimented, with

is the annual sumo wrestling compe-

rules regulated by the Japan Sumo

tition. Sumo or sumo wrestling is a

Association. Many people gather at the

competitive full-contact wrestling sport

free event to watch real matches and

where a rikishi (wrestler) attempts to

also be able to meet and greet.

force another wrestler out of a circular

“ annual event in Japantown.�

ring or into touching the ground with anything other than the soles of his feet. The sport originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally. It is generally considered a gendai budo (a modern Japanese martial art), but this definition is misleading, as the sport has a history spanning many centuries. Many ancient traditions have been preserved in sumo, and even today the sport includes many ritual elements, such as the use of salt purification, from the days when sumo


BIBLIOGRAPHY _ ”Discover San Francisco Japantown!” SF Japantown Header. City of San Francisco, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. Google Translate. Google, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. “Main Page.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Apr. 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. Myers, A. Paul. “Famous Haiku.” Famous Haiku. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.

COLOPHON _ This book was written using the typeface ‘Hiraginu Kaku Gothic Std’ and in ‘Orator Std’. Orator was designed by john scheppler. Hiraginu Kaku Gothic Std was designed by Jiyukobo Ltd.

Nihonmachi (resized) 5  
Nihonmachi (resized) 5