May 20, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Commemoration 2019

By Phyllis Hayashibara

The Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee is very pleased to announce three prominent speakers for the VJAMM Commemoration on Thursday, April 18, 2019:  Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum; Warren Furutani, community activist and Manzanar Pilgrimage pioneer; and Ken Seino Kataoka.  Kataoka channels his maternal grandfather, Charles Kozo Kataoka, in his trademark black suit with numbered tag on a string, fedora, and set of small, green suitcases, as if on his way to the train station in 1942 that would transport him from the Assembly Center at Santa Anita racetrack to the American concentration camp at Rohwer, Arkansas.  

Warren Furutani returns to the VJAMM after he delivered the keynote address on April 27, 2017 at the VJAMM Dedication.  In addition to his grass roots community activism, Furutani has held numerous elected political offices.  He became the first Asian American/Pacific Islander to be elected to the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education in 1987, and while on the Board, became the first to secure belated high school diplomas for Nisei who left their high schools for camps. Furutani won election to the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees in 1999, and election to the California State Assembly to represent the 55th District in 2007.  He authored two bills signed into California law: AB 37, conferring honorary college degrees to Nisei who had been incarcerated in the camps, and AB 1775, making California the first state to declare January 30 the Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution.  

Ann Burroughs at Manzanar Pilgrimage in 2018. Photo: Phyllis Hayashibara

The VJAMM Committee is proud of the greater Venice community’s respect and support for the presence of the monument, and its theme of historical awareness and affirmation of Constitutional rights.  Thanks to several youth groups, the VJAMM has been regularly polished, with volunteers sweeping up debris from the sidewalk, planter, and street curbs, and even scraping the gum residue from the sidewalk.  Most recently, on Friday, March 15, 2019, after a months’ long hiatus due to the heavy rains, Venice YouthBuild returned for the fourth time to polish the black granite obelisk known as the VJAMM.    YouthBuild volunteers Moises Avalos, Keiveon Owens, Gage Fontana, Kendale Martinez, and Justice Harrison accompanied YouthBuild Associate Director Tijana Quilici. 

The YouthBuild volunteers read the text on the VJAMM that describes: the forced removal of some 1,000 persons of Japanese ancestry from Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu, their gathering at this very corner on Venice and Lincoln Boulevards, for their transport to and incarceration in Manzanar; the historical context of Executive Order 9066 which led to the “relocation” and imprisonment of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of whom were U. S. citizens, from California, Oregon, and Washington based simply on the ethnicity they shared with America’s WWII enemy, Japan; and finally, the need to be vigilant about our Constitutional rights to due process and the writ of habeas corpus, to ensure that “the powers of government  must never again perpetrate an injustice against  any group based solely on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion.”

Rutt’s Café in West Los Angeles donated delicious Kalua pork sliders to the youth volunteers for lunch.

Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM since 2016, delivered the keynote address at the 49th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 28, 2018.  She grew up in South Africa, and told of being imprisoned for her stance against apartheid.  More than most, Burroughs knows the consequences of racial prejudice and official suspension of civil rights.  She has devoted her career to promoting social justice and human rights; in 2018 Amnesty International’s Global Council named her Chair of the organization’s highest decision-making body that convenes human rights leaders from over 70 countries.  In fact, it was through the efforts of Amnesty International that she secured her release from prison in South Africa.

Ken Seino Kataoka

The VJAMM Commemoration will begin at 10 am and conclude at 11:30 am on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards.  2019 marks 77 years after Executive Order 9066 led to the 1942 forced removal and the beginning of incarceration; 50 years after the first Manzanar Pilgrimage; 31 years after the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988; and two years since the VJAMM Dedication on April 27, 2017.  Street parking is limited, so please arrive early enough to find a parking space and walk back to the corner before 10 am. 

Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, will once again host the VJAMM fundraiser for lunch and dinner from 12:00 noon through 9:00 pm.  No special bento will offered this year, but any items may be ordered from the menu Esther Chaing, proprietor of Hama Sushi in Venice, has pledged that 10% of all lunch and dinner sales will be donated to the VJAMM Committee for continuing maintenance of the VJAMM and for educational outreach.  For reservations at Hama Sushi Restaurant, 213 Windward Avenue, “on the circle” in Venice, please call 310-396-8783.  To take a look at the menu, visit www.hamasushi.com/menu/html.  Sorry, no curbside pick-up this year. 

For more information about the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument, please visit www.venicejamm.org or Facebook@venicejamm.

Related Posts

California: Pioneering the Future of Online and Digital Payments

January 11, 2024

January 11, 2024

In the fast-paced digital economy of the 21st century, California has emerged as a powerhouse in the realm of online...

A Guide to the Current Gambling Situation in Canada

January 1, 2024

January 1, 2024

For centuries, gambling has woven itself into the fabric of human culture; in recent years–marking an era where evolution pervades...

Smart Strategies to Save Money in Your Entertainment Budget

December 30, 2023

December 30, 2023

Many individuals and families in today’s fast-paced world share a common goal: finding ways to save money. The entertainment budget...

California’s top sports teams.

December 1, 2023

December 1, 2023

California is known worldwide for a multitude of exciting things. They’re known for their incredible beaches, glorious sunshine, and fabulous...

Your Lucky Numbers: Six Tips Towards Lottery Success

November 30, 2023

November 30, 2023

Have you ever wondered how people win money from the lottery? They may not always hit the jackpot, but they...

Five different ways to unwind.

October 1, 2023

October 1, 2023

Modern life is always busy and it can feel like your to-do list is never ending. When you’re not working,...

Over Half of Short-Term Rentals Advertised in LA Don’t Comply With City’s Home Sharing Ordinance

April 4, 2023

April 4, 2023

Better Neighbors LA report highlights the inadequacies of enforcement measures for short-term rentals in Los Angeles, calling for increased regulation...

Venice Beach Attempted Murder Suspect Arrested in West Virginia

December 22, 2022

December 22, 2022 1

Brandon Manyo Dixon arrest in West Virginia By Sam Catanzaro A man has been arrested for the attempted murder of...

The Current Gambling Situation in California

December 1, 2022

December 1, 2022

Here’s what to know about everything from online casinos to betting in the state. In the U.S., gambling is a...

Cancer Cartel Provides Financial Help To Cancer Patients

November 16, 2022

November 16, 2022 2

Cancer Cartel is helping cancer patients focus on their treatment, not the financial stress of living with a diagnosis. Learn...

100 Miles of Bus-Only Lanes Within Five Years on City Council Plans

October 17, 2022

October 17, 2022

L.A’s public transportation network is known for being slow due to traffic congestion. A new motion by L.A. City Council...

What Is the Most Effective Way to Sell a Used Car?

October 6, 2022

October 6, 2022

It’s no secret that selling a used car can be difficult. You have to find the right buyer, negotiate a...

How Do I Know What Types of Commercial Trucking Insurance Coverage I Need?

October 1, 2022

October 1, 2022

Running a small trucking company is expensive. You must comply with many rules set forth by the Federal Motor Carriers...

Best Ways To Show Your LA Baseball Love

August 10, 2022

August 10, 2022

Los Angeles is a sports lover’s paradise. In every sport except for the NHL, locals have two teams to choose...