April 4, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Intersection to Commemorate Japanese Americans

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 an intersection in Venice. Now this intersection may be designated as a commemorative square by lawmakers.

“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 of Lincoln Boulevard and Venice Boulevard where he and thousands of other people of Japanese ancestry were forced to report to in 1942 to be taken to the War Relocation Authority camp at Manzanar as prisoners.

In 2017, the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) was installed on this corner. Now in 2020, a bill going through Los Angeles City Council would rename the intersection where the monument stands as the “Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) Square”.

The motion, submitted by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, would instruct the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, in consultation with Council District 11, to fabricate, install and maintain four permanent ceremonial signs at the location reading: “Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM).”

“As 2019 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Manzanar Pilgrimage, VJAMM is a prescient reminder for us, as a people, to be vigilant about defending our rights—including those of our friends and neighbors. Let us remember their sacrifice by heeding the words etched on this monument ‘that the powers of government shall never again perpetrate an injustice against any group based solely on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, race or religion’,” reads the motion.

The VJAMM Committee, an ad hoc group comprised of former internees and concerned citizens, has been working on this memorial since 2010. The idea for the memorial, however, originated over a decade ago with students from the New Media Academy at Venice High School. Their teacher, Phyllis Hayashibara, took up the cause and formed the VJAMM Committee, with already involved artists and activists in the Venice community. 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

Venice Beach Farmers Market Back On

April 2, 2020

April 2, 2020

New measures in place to prevent spread of COVID-19 By Kerry Slater No samples, no touching! The Venice Beach Farmers...

Edify TV: The Westside Without Us

April 2, 2020

April 2, 2020

In normal times, traffic and crowds are a constant on the Westside but stay at home orders have changed all...

Petition Asks Health Officials to Reopen Bacari’s Grocery Section

April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

Playa Del Rey’s Bacari PDR told by county health department that people cannot come into restaurant to buy groceries By...

Two Big Blue Bus Operators Test Positive for COVID-19

March 31, 2020

March 31, 2020

By Sam Catanzaro Two Big Blue Bus drivers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Santa Monica bus...

Garcetti Shuts Down Farmers Markets

March 30, 2020

March 30, 2020

All City of Los Angeles farmers markets temporarily closed By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is suspending farmers...

Costco Employee Tests Positive for Coronavirus

March 29, 2020

March 29, 2020

Over 1,800 cases of COVID-19 in LA County By Sam Catanzaro An employee for the Costco on Washington Boulevard has...

Venice Beach Closes

March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

County orders all beaches, trailheads to close By Sam Catanzaro County officials have closed Venice Beach to help slow the...

LA Coronavirus Cases Over 1,000 as County Says Prepare for Possibility Quarantine

March 26, 2020

March 26, 2020 1

“We are asking every single resident in LA County to be prepared to isolate and or to quarantine” By Sam...

Edify TV: Westside Farmers Markets During COVID-19

March 26, 2020

March 26, 2020

Many Westside farmers markets remain open for business during the COVID-19 outbreak. Hear from vendors and patrons in this video...

Venice Beach Pier Closes

March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

Los Angeles County COVID-19 count over 1,000 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles police have closed the Venice Fishing Pier to...

Venice Getting Emergency Homeless Shelter

March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020

Garcetti orders 13 city recreation centers to be used to house the homeless COVID-19 crisis. By Sam Catanzaro An emergency...

Video: Puff Puff, Don’t Pass

March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020

“People are buying [it] like they are buying toilet paper.” While the economy has been hit hard by COVID-19, one...

Los Angeles Beach Parking Lots Close

March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020

Los Angeles County COVID-19 count surpasses 400 By Sam Catanzaro Following a weekend that saw a large number of park...

Community Heroes: Delivery Workers

March 20, 2020

March 20, 2020

“Everyone is working 12 hours shifts to keep up with demand.” Hear from delivery workers, true community heroes during the...

Los Angeles Residents Told to Stay Home

March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

2nd COVID-19 death confirmed By Sam Catanzaro As public health officials confirmed the second death resulting from COVID-19, Los Angeles...