the Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute was established as the
Hollywood Japanese Community Center in 1947, many of its affiliated
organizations were in existence prior to World War II.
The Isseis in the Hollywood community established
the roots for the present Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute.
On April 2, 1915, the Hollywood Japanese School was established
at Carter Court near the southwest corner of Hollywood Blvd. and
Vine Street. Another group of parents from the Buddhist Church
wanted to establish their own school; so, led by Mr.Yoshitaro
Hirai, they raised funds and constructed a three-room school building.
In March 1919, they moved to the new locaion at 1423 Cahuenga
Blvd. near Sunset Blvd. The Hollywood Buddhist church also moved
to this location and conducted Sunday School classes. In 1935,
due to the traffic situation on Cahuenga Blvd. and the changing
environment, the Board of Directors decided to move the school
to the Virgil area, where there was a larger population of Japanese.
The newly purchased land on Middleburry Street
was on a slope and was covered with many eucalyptus trees. Through
the efforts of Mr.Tominosuke Ozamoto and many volunteers, the
lot was leveled and cleared. A modern three-room building which
could also be used as an assembly hall was built. In November
1936 the dedication celebration for the new building was held.
Envisioning a central place where Japanese in
the community could gather, the Hollywood Buddhist Church and
Hollywood Judo Dojo purchased the lots adjacent to the school.
However, before any further plans could develop, the school was
closed due to World War II. There were many problems during the
post war period, but the school building was finally returned
to the Japanese in the community.
In 1947, the school assets that the Issei pioneers
had established were transferred to the Niseis and the Hollywood
Japanese Community Center was formed.