Are you familiar with the monument on the N.W. corner of Venice Blvd. and Lincoln Blvd.?  Do you know what it is?  It is called the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM), and it was installed about a year ago, on April 27, 2017 to commemorate the internment of Japanese Americans as a result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

On April 19, 2018 there will be a commemoration starting at 10:00 a.m., followed by a fund raising lunch at Hama Sushi at 12:00 p.m.  View event details below!

Photo from VJAMM

About VJAMM:  The Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) Committee, an ad hoc group comprised of former internees and concerned citizens, has been working together since 2010 to build a permanent memorial to honor the Americans of Japanese descent forcibly removed from Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu and incarcerated at the War Relocation Authority camp at Manzanar for the duration of World War II.  The inspiration for this project goes back to the attacks against the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Virginia, and one that crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.  Hate crimes against persons perceived to be Middle Easterners or Muslims flared, amid calls for their removal and imprisonment.  Artists and activists of Venice drew comparisons with this prejudice and that which followed Imperial Japan’s attack on the U. S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941.  They sought to remind people that what happened to persons of Japanese ancestry in 1942 should never happen again to any minority group solely based on ethnicity or religion. For more info on Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker (VJAMM), visit

Here is a message from VJAMM’s Phyllis Hayashibara,

The Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) Committee will hold its 2018 commemoration and 7th annual fundraiser at Hama Sushi on Thursday, April 19.  Commemoration begins at 10 am and ends at 11:30 am on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards.  Invited speakers will connect the Japanese American community with the African American community during the World War II forced removal and incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry, including discussions of Bronzeville of Little Tokyo.  Speakers will also pay tribute to the 76th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, and the 30th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

The 7th annual VJAMM fundraiser at Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice follows the Commemoration.  Special bento lunch includes chicken teriyaki, cucumber salad, edamame, spicy tuna and California rolls, shrimp and vegetable tempura, plus water or soda for $20 each.


VJAMM’s Phyllis Hayashibara

Please contact Phyllis Hayashibara at [email protected], or call 310-390-1576 to place your bento order.  You may pick up your pre-ordered bento at Hama Sushi from 12 pm to 2 pm for eating in or taking out.  For curbside pick-up, please call 310-717-3393 about one minute before you pull up to Hama Sushi, and your order will be bagged and ready to hand over to you so you needn’t leave your car. 

Right:   Hama Sushi’s Esther Chaing

Esther Chaing of Hama Sushi generously donates 100% of all bento profits to the VJAMM Committee, and 10% of all dinner sales from 6 pm to 10:30 pm.   Please call Hama Sushi at 310-396-8783 fohttpr dinner reservations.   Since 2010, Esther Chaing has donated over $18,000 towards the completion of the VJAMM, and remains the largest individual donor of all the major donors.  Wow!

About Hama Sushi:  Established in 1979, Hama Sushi can be traced back in time to being one of the first sushi restaurants on the westside. Known for it’s unique ambience and casual setting, Hama brings the freshest and friendliest service. Locals, tourists and newcomers can all enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine with unique fusion dishes.  Located on the circle of Windward/Main street, a block from the famous Venice Boardwalk, Hama has been a part of Venice Beach’s history for the past thirty years.


The Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee thanks everyone for supporting the VJAMM over the years, and will celebrate the one year anniversary of the  VJAMM dedication which took place on April 27, 2017.    Funds raised now will be earmarked for maintenance of the VJAMM, educational outreach, and contingencies for possible repair, replacement, or relocation of the VJAMM if such a necessity should ever arise. 

The VJAMM Committee acknowledges and deeply appreciates the major donation made in December, 2017 “IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOHNNY KATSUI SAKIOKA,” with part of the donation intended to support the ongoing maintenance of the VJAMM.   Engraving on the VJAMM will be scheduled with David Williams of the Williams Monument Company, who will prepare the stencil in Arvin, and sandblast the VJAMM on site.  

Venice Paparazzi was on the scene at the 2016 VJAMM at Hama Sushi.  View some of the major VJAMM players here. 

For more information about the VJAMM, please visit

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