Heinlenville Chinatown Print
- Fine Art Print on Archival Matte Paper
- Signed and dated
A little known fact about San Jose's Japantown is that it was once also Chinatown. Named after German immigrant John Heinlen, the block between Jackson and Taylor Streets from North 6th to North 7th Street ("Heinlenville") was home to Chinese Americans prior to 1900.
Facing adversity and death threats, Heinlen bucked social norms of the time to provide a home for Chinese immigrants who had been burned out of a prior Chinatown settlement in Downtown San Jose by arsonists.
Celebrating the Chinese New Year was a spectacle in Chinatown, where the event was celebrated with a parade featuring a Chinese dragon and sparklers. The original Chinese dragon from Heinlenville can still be viewed at the Ng Shing Gung temple in San Jose's History Park.
Tamiko Rast's watercolor painting of Heinlenville Chinatown was for the Japantown Mural Project. Learn more about the Japantown Mural Project here.