Panama Hotel And
World War II Japanese Internment
605 S Main St
The Panama Hotel was and remains important to Seattle's Japanese community. It was built as a Seattle Japantown hotel in 1910 by the city's first Japanese-American architect, and provided sleeping quarters, restaurants and a Japanese-style bathhouse (sento; now the last surviving sento in the country) for members of the community.
During World War II, Executive Order 9066 forced Japanese citizens and non-citizen residents to leave their west coast homes and businesses, and to relocate into internment camps spread across the western United States. Some of the Japanese-Americans forced out of Seattle left their belongings in the care of the hotel. Many of those belongings were never retrieved by their owners after the war. These are now on display at the hotel, a reminder of when prejudice overrode the rights of these loyal American citizens.
Panama Hotel (Z15A0012)