Article by Alex Stowell.
Hama Sushi‘s Esther Chaing hosted the 5th Annual Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) fundraiser on April 27, 2016 at Hama Sushi. 100% of the profits from their famous lunch bento boxes, and 10% of all sales at dinner went to VJAMM. Over the past 5 years, Esther has raised $14,536.43 for VJAMM. Hama Sushi’s donations help make it possible for VJAMM, a nine foot six inch tall solid black granite obelisk with a three foot by three foot base, to be installed on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards. This marks the spot where some 1,000 persons of Japanese ancestry from Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu, lined up with only what they could carry to an unknown destination for an unknown duration of time, over several days in April, 1942.
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.
VJAMM would like to thank the following:
- Hama Sushi’s Tony Kim, Naoko Matsumura, Esther Chaing, Masayo Onuk, and Miguel Esquivel.
- VJAMM committee members: Kay Brown, Nikki Gilbert, Phyllis Hayashibara, Mae Kakehashi, Arnold Maeda, Brian Maeda, Alice Stek, Suzanne Thompson, Yosh Tomita, Emily Winters.
- Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Sheile Kuehl, who pledged $500 towards the VJAMM thanks to a request by VJAMM Committee member Suzanne Thompson.
- Volunteers: Joyce Enomoto, June Fujioka, Shinobu Koda, Aya Masada, Judy Nawa, Cyndy Uehara, Lauren Wolpert; Eugene, Edd, and Pauline Hayashibara; June Tomita; Zed Aquarian.
VIEW VJAMM EVENT HIGHLIGHTS.
Hama Sushi’s Esther Chaing, and Venice Arts Council/VJAMM committee member Suzanne Thompson
Becky Dennison, Executive Director of Venice Community Housing Corporation
Bruce Embrey, Manzanar Committee
Hama Sushi’s Bento Box lunch included chicken teriyaki, cucumber salad, edamame, vegetable tempura, plus water or salad.
Thank you Esther and Hama Sushi for everything you do for VJAMM, and the Venice community! Stop by Hama Sushi, and say hit Hama Mama’s Esther!
About Hama Sushi: Located on the former Grand Canal in historic Venice Beach, California Hama was founded in 1979 and was one of the first authentic Japanese sushi restaurants in the United States. A decade ahead of the sushi craze, many Southern California residents can trace their first sushi experience to a table in our restaurant. Today people from all over the country travel back to Hama to eat at our sushi bar once again.
From our nightly last call theme song, to our birthday traditions, both regulars and first-time guests feel right at home the second they sit down. Attracting a large and diverse clientele, at Hama you are as likely to have an A-list celebrity seated next to you as you are a local surfer right off the beach.
Hama is also about more than great food and fast and friendly service; it is about treating you, our customers, as honored guests and making your dining experience a cherished memory for years to come.
For regular menu, catering, special events and/or to book a reservation, visit www.hamasushi.com
For more info on Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker (VJAMM), visit VeniceJamm.org