Open Doors Project

374 Powell Street

SUN ROOMS 1913-1941 | S. SHIBUYA & CO. CLOTHING 1919-1941 | AKI RESTAURANT 1963-1999

S. Shibuya & Co. sold both men’s and women’s clothing. Owner Sono Nakazawa catered to the many customers from middle-class
backgrounds, and provided styling services for newly arrived picture brides. She would help dress these women in western clothing (as many arrived from Japan in kimono) while also offering these young hopefuls cultural guidance.
In the 1960s, the building became Aki Restaurant, one of the few businesses to return to post-war Powell Street. Today, H.A.V.E (Hope Action Values Ethics) Café offers a sustainable culinary program.

Artist Comments and Additional Information

The panel plays with the imagery of four multi-coloured dress patterns.In the foreground one pattern opens up to reveal a black and white photograph of hopeful brides arriving by boat. There were many seamstresses and clothing shops along Powell Street, like S. Shibuya Co. (which sold both men's and women's clothing) or Maikawa Deptartment Store.

Two paper latterns appear at the edge of the panel as a visual reminder of a favorite local spot for Japanese Canadians, Aki’s Restaurant, one of the few businesses that returned to post-war Powell Street.