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Tokio & Suye Ueyama 
around the 1950s  

We are still at our original location pictured here during Nisei Week festivities in the 1950s. Bunkado means "house of culture".  It opened in 1946 and is located in the heart of historic Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles, at the site of the first Japanese  owned business in 1880s Los Angeles.  Bunkado was founded by artist Tokio Ueyama and his beloved wife Suye and is now the oldest gift store in LTLA. 
Tokio & Suye inside Bunkado


Nisei Week queen and court in front of Bunkado in the 1950's
Nisei Week queen and court
Bunkado in the 1950's

Suye's brother Masao and his wife Kayoko owned a gift shop called Tsukada Company down the street, but were forced to close to make way for the Japanese Village Plaza.  The two stores were combined in 1970. 

Daughter Irene took over the reins in 2007.  Irene and her husband, retired police chief Steve Simonian are delighted to be able to continue the family trade.  After over 70 years in business we have become a popular destination for Japanese gifts, books, tableware, decor, material for traditional crafts and other unique items from all over Asia. Our large selection and deep inventory also attracts professional buyers for film, television and stage, as well as restaurants and interior design. If you are ever in Los Angeles, please come to the store to enjoy the full experience, and for a fun and memorable time. 

 Masao Tsukada & his sister Suye


"The Evacuee"
Tokio Ueyama oil painting of Suye in WWII Santa Anita Assembly  Center
    Kayoko Tsukada

Irene Tsukada Simonian 

Family members running the booth at the Tanabata Festival
The Tsukada-Simonian family hard at work at the Tanabata Festival

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