Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fuji Folk at Japanese Village Deer Park October 1972

A quiet competitor to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm in the Orange County Theme Park world was Japanese Village Deer Park. The park was a quiet park modeled after the famous Nara Deer Park in Japan. The grounds featured Japanese landscaping, a large tea house, deer you could feed out of your hands, koi ponds, Karate shows (Steven Seagall worked there in his early years), Basketball playing bears and for a while costumed characters called the Fuji Folk. The park closed down not too long after the photos were taken and is now an industrial park.

This shot shows the kid at home showing off his souvenir T-shirt while riding his toy motorcycle somewhere in Orange County.

For more information on the Japanese Village Theme Park and its successor Enchanted Village as well as the current status, visit the Orange County Memories site.

7 comments:

Dan Goodsell said...

great post and pics. I have a sticker with the Fuji Folk but never thought that they might have been characters in the park.

I grew up in OC but we never went to Deer Park.

Major Pepperidge said...

The Fuji Folk were some of the strangest costumed characters ever! Even the old Trolls at Magic Mountain weren't as creepy.

Geoff said...

Were there also pearl divers here? I have memories of going to a place called Japanese Village and seeing pearl divers. You paid money and they went and grabbed an oyster and you got to keep the pearl that was in it. Sort of a "grab bag". I also seem to remember a jewelry stand where you could have the pearl set in jewelry right there.

Victor Stapf said...

Great old pics. Check out my site at
http://65.254.59.194/%7Evstapf/JV/jv01.html
to see more great J.V. pics.

The one of the kid looks like it was taken at some project housing, but not in the O.C.

Anonymous said...

There are housing projects in Fountain Valley and Costa Mesa that look very much like this one.

blusilva said...

Geoff, yes, there was a big pearl diving "stadium" where you could sit and watch them dive for pearls. After Disneyland, my favorite thing when I was little was to go to the Japanese Deer Park. I wish my little nephew could experience it.

Matterhorn1959 said...

Some people also combine Japanese Village memories with the Pearl Divers at Sea World in their Japanese Pavilion.