A 1.48-square-mile piece of unincorporated Los Angeles County when it was annexed by the City of Los Angeles in 1922, tiny Sawtelle has lived very large in the hearts and minds of Japanese Americans. Their homes, livelihoods, religions, businesses, language, and other ethnocentric and social involvements are rooted in the area, with the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle as the cultural nexus. Bisected by Sawtelle Boulevard, this particular Japantown flourished through a close-knit network of immigrants who were denied citizenship until 1952 and were excluded by law from land ownership. Only through second-generation, American-born children could they buy real property.
(From the book, Sawtelle: West Los Angeles’s Japantown)