November 19, 2019 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Never Forget

Remembering the Japanese American experience in Venice during WWII.      

By Sam Catanzaro

In April of 1942, Arnold Maeda was 15 years old when he and his father Takeda were forcibly removed from their home and lined up on the northwest corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Venice Boulevard to be taken to the War Relocation Authority camp at Manzanar as prisoners.

“Instead of being worried about where we were going, I was obsessed with the fact that I had parted with my constant companion, my pet dog Boy. For a 15-year-old, that was unforgettably traumatic,” reads Arnold Maeda’s quote inscribed on a monument at the very corner where he and thousands of other people of Japanese ancestry were forced to report to in 1942. 

76 years later, On Thursday, April 19, 2018, Arnold Maeda and his brother Brian Maeda – who was born in Manzanar – were in attendance, alongside other former internees, at the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) Commemoration on the northwest corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Venice Boulevard. The event was celebrating the one-year anniversary of the completion of the monument and the 30-year anniversary of the passage of the Civil Liberties Act, while remembering the 76-years since the signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the removal of American citizens of Japanese ancestry from their homes.

Brian Maeda (left), who was born in the Manzanar internment camp, introduces former internee Mae Kakehashi. Photo by Sam Catanzaro. 

“Why here? Well about 1,000 people of Japanese ancestry from Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu reported to this corner for the transport to Manzanar in April 1942,” said VJAMM Committee Member Phyllis Hayashibara. “And why now? So that such a violation of civil rights would never happen again to any identifiable minority group based solely on a group characteristic.”

VJAMM is an ad hoc group comprised of former internees and concerned citizens and has been working on this memorial since 2010. The idea for the memorial, however, originated amongst the Venice community of activists and artists after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which prompted some people in the United States to call for the roundup of anyone who fit the description of a terrorist.

“In the months after 9/11, many Venetians, including members of our party, were very alarmed by all the flag-waving around us,” said Alice Stek of the VJAMM Committee and as a member of the Venice Peace and Freedom Party. “It made us worry that something similar to the Japanese American incarceration could happen again.”

Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks of Loyola Marymount University speaks about the “shared peoplehood” between African American and Japanese American communities in Los Angeles following WWII. Photo by Sam Catanzaro.

In attendance alongside VJAMM Committee members at the ceremony were various lawmakers, musicians and local activists, who spoke about the significance of memorials like the VJAMM to ensure an accurate account of history is told and passed down through generations.

“We do this because otherwise the stories of the oppressed are told by the oppressors, and they lie, and we don’t know what happened,” said Becky Dennison, Executive Director of Venice Community Housing. “Oppression changes over time and hopefully we make progress and things get better.”

Phyllis Hayashibara has been at the forefront of the VJAMM Committee’s effort to bring awareness to the Japanese American experience during WWII. Photo by Sam Catanzaro.

More information about the VJAMM can be found at http://venicejamm.org, or by visiting the memorial itself on the northwest corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Venice Boulevard. 

Related Posts

Yo! Broker: Is the real estate market softening? Who’s got the Crystal Ball?

November 18, 2019

November 18, 2019

Dear Yo! Broker, Every year, my agent has been telling me “buy now, Danny the market is going up. ”...

Windward farms to stay afloat with community support? Yo! Venice Westside Local Show November 15, 2019

November 15, 2019

November 15, 2019

Yo! Venice Westside Local Show – November, 15, 2019 – All your local news, events and happenings in under 5...

Time For Realistic Housing Goals

November 15, 2019

November 15, 2019

By Tom Elias, Yo! Venice Columnist Build 3.5 million new dwelling units across California by 2025 and this state’s housing...

Trio of Residential and Commercial Building Demolished for Mixed-Use Development

November 14, 2019

November 14, 2019

24 apartments plus retail space coming to Del Rey By Sam Catanzaro A laundromat, a single, family home and a...

Edify TV: Market Report $10 challenge

November 14, 2019

November 14, 2019

Market Report $10 challenge is back, Jacki Karsh gives us the details, this video brought to you by Alexander Audiology, Inc.

Despite Saftey Concerns, Source of Needles That Washed up on Venice Beach Still Unknown

November 14, 2019

November 14, 2019

LA County lifeguards, Public Health still investigating incident By Sam Catanzaro Last Sunday a “large amount” of medical supplies, including...

$10M to Protect Renters From Eviction?

November 13, 2019

November 13, 2019

Councilmember Paul Koretz calling for the creation of emergency renters relief program By Sam Catanzaro A Los Angeles elected official...

Abbot Kinney Fantastic Film Festival, Bonin Wants Metro to be Prioritized Over Cars: Yo! Venice Westside Local Show November 11, 2019

November 12, 2019

November 12, 2019

Yo! Venice Westside Local Show – November 11, 2019 – All your local news, events and happenings in under 5...

Police Officer in Stable Condition After Knocked Unconscious by Homeless Man

November 11, 2019

November 11, 2019

LAPD officer taken to hospital after encounter with burglary suspect near Boardwalk By Sam Catanzaro A Los Angeles Police Department...

Needles, Medical Supplies Close Part of Venice Beach

November 10, 2019

November 10, 2019

Area south of Venice Beach Pier cordoned off By Sam Catanzaro Authorities closed off a part of Venice Beach after...

City Officials, Airbnb Come to Agreement for Home-Sharing Compliance

November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019

Enforcing new regulations that went into effect Nov. 1 By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles City Council has approved an...

Windward Farms is closing after 120% rent increase: Yo! Venice Westside Local Show November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019

Yo! Venice Westside Local Show – November 8th, 2019 – all your local news and events in under 5 minutes.*...

Fresh Meals for the Elderly With Chefs for Seniors

November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

By Keldine Hull Chefs for Seniors offers a unique and tailored dining experience for senior citizens in the comfort of...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Farmers Market Squashes

November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

Reporter Jacki Karsh heads down to the Santa Monica Farmers Market to hear all about what to do with Autumn...

Restoring Ballona Creek With Autonomous System

November 6, 2019

November 6, 2019

LA County and The Ocean Cleanup to announce new innovative tech to clean Ballona Creek By Chad Winthrop Chair of...