MONTEREY, Calif. — Old Fisherman's Wharf was transformed this weekend as people stepped back in time to remember and honor the first Japanese fisherman who came to the Monterey Bay.
"In fact, one gentleman wrote a letter back in Japan in the 1890s describing the abalone in Monterey as being a carpet of abalone," said fisheries historian Tim Thomas.
Historians said this "abalone carpet" is what brought Japanese fishermen to the area and they built fish markets and abalone processors.
"My father worked in abalone processing on the wharf, my grandfather in 1906 worked in fish processing on Cannery Row," Larry Oda of the Japanese Americans Citizens League said.
"What most people don't know about this wharf is prior to World War II, a majority of the businesses on this wharf were Japanese-owned," Thomas said.