Greetings readers! Do you know about the monument on the north west corner of Venice Blvd. and Lincoln Blvd.?
It is called the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM), and was installed April 27, 2017, to commemorate the internment of Japanese Americans as a result of the bombing or Pearl Harbor. View message from the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Commitee.
The Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) Committee has planned a Virtual VJAMM Commemoration on Zoom for the second year in a row due to pandemic precautions.
The Commemoration will be on Thursday, April 21, 2022 from 11 am to 12 pm. Featured speakers include Bobby Ideishi, who survived the 9/11/2001 attack on the World Trade Center skyscrapers while on a business trip to New York City. The VJAMM’s genesis traces back to the post 9/11 alarm, amid calls for the rounding up, arresting, or deportation of persons of Middle Eastern ancestry or of the Muslim faith. “We did this already,” recalled Venice Peace and Freedom Party activist Alice Stek, “to the Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor. We can’t let this happen again.” Stek became a founding member of the VJAMM Committee in 2011, which realized its ambition of installing a permanent memorial to recall the forced removal and incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II. The VJAMM has been standing at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln in Venice, California since its dedication on April 27, 2017.
Visit venicejamm.org for more information.
On this eightieth anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which set in motion the unconstitutional imprisonment of west coast Japanese and Japanese Americans, Mary Uyematsu Kao will tell the story of how EO 9066 affected her grandfather’s Star Nursery, which included 120 acres in Manhattan Beach.
Francis Miyosaku Uyematsu became known as the “Camellia King” for his importation and cultivation of not only camellias from Japan, but also cherry trees, both of which he sold throughout Southern California. He gradually sold off pieces of his property to maintain his business while imprisoned in what would become the War Relocation Authority camp at Manzanar. Uyematsu donated 1,000 cherry trees to the Manzanar camp for a park there. After the war, Uyematsu sold the last 40 acres of his Manhattan Beach property to the Redondo Union High School District for $60,000.00. On this land, the District built Mira Costa High School. Students and faculty discovered the history of their high school construction and in 2017 proposed the Mira Costa History Project to the school board, to remember and honor F. M. Uyematsu. In October, 2021, retired Mira Costa high school instructor Chuck Currier, Mira Costa graduate Dennis Keen, and various city and school district officials dedicated the plaque to F.M. Uyematsu in front of an audience that included three generations of the Uyematsu family, including Mary Kao.
Confirmed speakers will also include Manzanar Committee co-President Bruce Embrey; recipients of the VJAMM and Manzanar Committees’ co-sponsored Second Annual Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant, Charlene Tonai Din and Terumi Tanisha Garcia; Mike Bonin, Los Angeles City Councilmember, District 11; Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, District 3; California State Senator Ben Allen, District 26; Becky Dennison, Executive Director of Venice Community Housing (VCH); Marisol Perez, Program Manager of VCH’s Westside Youth Academy (formerly Venice YouthBuild); Dan Kwong, playwright and co-author of the play, “Masao and the Bronze Nightingale” (casa0101.org/?shows=masao-and-the-bronze-nightingale); and Brian Maeda, founding member of the VJAMM Committee, and director of his newest film, “We Said NO! NO! A Story of Civil Disobedience” (wesaidnono.com).
To join the Virtual VJAMM Commemoration on Zoom, please link to: shorturl.at/cjmG5 or
Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice will host its tenth annual VJAMM fundraiser from 4 pm to 9 pm.
Proprietor Esther Chaing will donate 10% of the evening’s dinner sales to the VJAMM Committee, for educational outreach, continuing maintenance of the VJAMM, and funding the annual Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant. Over the past nine years, Ms. Chaing’s donations have totaled over $25,000 for the VJAMM’s construction and installation. Her contribution is surpassed only by the $50,000 grant awarded to the VJAMM Committee by the National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program in 2012.
Hama Sushi is located at 213 Windward Avenue “on the circle” in Venice, California. For reservations to dine in, or to order take out to pick up, please contact Hama Sushi in Venice at 310-396-8783 or hamasushi.com/menus