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Memories of Nihonmachi Songs

78RPM record player is set up at the Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House. Photo by Hiromi Shirahase/ The North American Post

By The North American Post Staff

Local Nikkei musician Paul Kikuchi’s recent project, “Songs of Nihonmachi,” is a tribute to the thriving old Nihonmachi (Japantown) in Seattle before World War II. A 78RPM record player is set up at the Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House for patrons to enjoy old songs from the 1920s and 1930s that the local Japanese community likely listened to, as well as contemporary numbers that Kikuchi developed from them.

He was featured at Kay Hirai’s book event at the Nagomi Tea House on Dec. 15, and shared his goal of setting record players up at as many locations as possible to preserve the these good memories of Nihomachi for the future.

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Discover Nikkei is a community website about Nikkei identity, history and experiences. The goal of this project is to provide an inviting space for the community to share, explore, and connect with each other through diverse Nikkei experiences, culture, and history. The DiscoverNikkei.org site is a cornerstone program of the Nikkei Legacy Project, a project of the Japanese American National Museum, with major funding by The Nippon Foundation.