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The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

A Moment in the Life of Little Tokyo

Supriya Thapa
This series was inspired by UCLA’s “A Moment in the Life of UCLA.”
At 2 p.m. in the core of Little Tokyo, 22 photographers of The Arcadia Quill were ready to reveal the soul of its dynamic neighborhood. From bustling streets to picturesque gardens, the lenses observed the existence of Little Tokyo and brought to us all its diversity as they captured the people and culture.


Tokyo Fiddler | Lauryn Chao

A talented musician plays the Turkish spike fiddle as pedestrians cross the streets of Little Tokyo.


Whispers of Tradition | Caitlyn Chau

Stretchy, squishy, and chewy, mochi is handcrafted in this 120-year-old mochi and manju shop in the heart of Little Tokyo.


The Umbrella Haven | Colette Chen

Beneath the canopy of towering umbrellas, amidst the charm of Little Tokyo, people pause to savor the gentle caress of perfect weather.


Little Boxed Wonders | Hongji (Richard) Dai

The boxy stores and abundance of logos and signs inside Little Tokyo are reminiscent of the crowded and dazzling shopping districts in Japan.


Tradition Meets Trend | Eleanor Gladson-Pang

Mainstream Japanese culture, like popular character-themed merchandise sold at the Sanrio Store, coexists with more traditional cultural elements in Little Tokyo.


Legacy in Pixels | Michael Hum

With newer aspects of Japanese culture entering the American cultural canon, some older aspects like video games still live on.


Echoes of Tradition | Tongyu (Annie) Jiang

Enthusiastic visitors pause to immerse themselves in the timeless allure of traditional Japanese artifacts at the stands.


Crafted Charms | Rachel Lee

On the edge of the Japanese Village Plaza, many crochet plushies ranging from Pokemon to plants for people to purchase.


Retro Revival | Caroline Li

Classics abound in a retro video game store hidden among Little Tokyo’s mochi stores and stationary shops.


Hand in Hand | Sophia Li

A mother holds her child’s hand as he runs around the block in the streets of Little Tokyo.


Still Life in the Marketplace | Lucia Lim

Life fills the air in the Little Tokyo Marketplace as people come together and make cherishable memories. Laughter lingers throughout the streets even as moments pass by.


A Taste of Authenticity | Yijia (Justina) Liu

At Little Tokyo, Japanese Village Plaza, there is a Japanese grocery store called Niyija Market where locals and tourists can buy traditional, authentic Japanese sushi and deli.


The Bandit | Breeanna Pham

In the busy streets of Little Tokyo, there is a refreshing sight of cars, just simply existing; allowing other cars, and life to pass them by, without a worry in the world.


Urban Canvas | Sohana Sahni

The graffitied traffic light is representative of the unique and artistic culture which dominates Little Tokyo, morphing even the most mundane objects into eccentric street art.


Guardians and Companions | Michelle So

Like cats, dogs also hold significant roles in Japanese culture, namely as hunting partners, companions, and defenders. Here, a former Japanese temple dog (right) looks attentively toward its owner while its newfound companion, a miniature poodle (left), stares blankly ahead.


Sweet Temptations | Clarissa Suryapranata

Drinks and pastries lie in store for tourists at the pastel-themed cafe in Little Tokyo.


Gleaming Treasures | Qianyi (Lea) Wang

An eye-catching array of meticulously crafted earrings dazzle in a vibrant display at a vendor stand in Little Tokyo.


Nourishing Bonds | Rachelle Witarno

Families enjoying their lunch at a Japanese restaurant, Ramen Yamada, in Little Tokyo, LA.


Tea Master’s Haven | Kathy Wong

Matcha tea leaves and rice tea leaves along with ceramic teapots are pictured here at Tea Master Match Cafe and Green Tea Shop.


A Kaleidoscope of Creativity | Madison Yee

An inside look through the doors of a colorful store, Mokuyobi, that captures the creative essence of Little Tokyo. Through geometric shapes, vibrant hues, and fun designs, it reflects a lively, open environment while promoting a new take on artistic expression.

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