Little Tokyo has two 150-year-old grapefruit trees that have witnessed the entire history of our historic Japantown. Saved from demolition during the 1980s redevelopment, these trees still bear fruit to this day, and every year, we pick their fruit and make cocktails as a community benefit!
SAVE THE DATE!
5th Annual Historic Grapefruit Cocktail Night
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 from 5pm–closing
Wolf & Crane, 366 E 2nd Street
Sip the 1884 Cocktail and taste 150 years of Little Tokyo history. Celebrate our two historic grapefruit trees, remnants of the Wolfskill grapefruit orchard, and our historic Japantown.
There are two remaining Little Tokyo grapefruit trees from the Wolfskill Orchard, which stretched into downtown from the late 1800s to early 1900s and popularized citrus in California. Faced with new developments in 1982, JACCC and the SoCal Gardeners Association helped save and relocate our 150-year old tree from its original location behind the Amerasia bookstore (near what is now Pinkberrys) to the JACCC Noguchi Plaza. These trees have lived with us through the founding of Little Tokyo, the WWII Japanese American incarceration camps, and the many waves of displacement and redevelopment. They continue with us in the struggle to sustain our community amidst the many cultural, environmental, and economic changes.
Since 2016, SLT hosts an annual Historic Grapefruit Cocktail Night as a celebration of our history and a fundraiser for local community organizations. Wolf & Crane created "The 1884" cocktail, featuring the essence of 150 years of grapefruit history! Our past events have supported Rafu Shimpo with a subscriber drive, and Little Tokyo Community Council. We hope to see you at our next one, as soon as the grapefruits are ripe for the drinking!
In 2015, JACCC held our first art happening to honor the two historic grapefruit trees and the Aoyama tree! Featured artists included: Mme. Ikuta, Mr. Kitajima, Ms. Palter, Ikenobo, and Urasenke. Each event included Kado, Sado, and Shodo (Ikebana, Tea, and Calligraphy), celebrating the longevity and sustainable livelihood of these trees in Little Tokyo.