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When Hiroshi Watanabe went looking for traces of the disappearing Japantown in San Jose, California, the Los Angeles-based photographer was not drawn to the neighborhood’s old storefronts but to a flower brooch made with tiny shells.

The brooch was sitting inside one of the dusty cardboard boxes at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, together with other memorabilia, such as Japanese textbooks and dishes used at the World War II internment camps for Japanese-Americans.

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PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)