There is history and tradition in the store itself. Rafu Bussan is a combination of the words "Rashogiri" an old name for Los Angeles, from which came "ra" and "fu" meaning prefecture. The word "bussan" means product. The store found its beginnings before World War II when Yuko Tanaka and Junichi Onishi founded Rafu Bussan in Gardena, California.
During World War II, Mr. Tanaka was sent to an internment camp and after the war, they started the business up again delivering items such as rice, tea, rice bowls and chopsticks to the Japanese in Orange County and the South Bay communities. In 1958, the late Kiyoshi "Skip" Kawaratani and his wife purchased Mr. Onishi's share of the business and later, Mr. Tanaka's interest as well. Rafu Bussan continues to perpetuate Japanese housewares and gift items today.