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Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Commemoration and Hama Sushi Fundraiser Set for Next Week

Thursday, April 21, 2022 virtual event followed by evening fundraiser at Hama Sushi

By Sam Catanzaro 

In April of 1942, Arnold Maeda was 15 years old when he and his father Norman Toyoshige Maeda, 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 Maeda’s quote inscribed on the Venice Japanese American American 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 on April 21, 1942. 

On Thursday, April 21, 2022, 80 years after the passage of Executive Order 9066 that lead to this forced relocation, join the Venice Japanese American American Monument Committee (VJAMM) for their annual commemoration of the monument. 

The event will take place virtually from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at venicejamm.org/zoom. The meeting ID is 83532308517. 

Featured speakers include Bobby Ideishi, who survived the 9/11/2001 attack on the World Trade Center; 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).

Later that evening, there will be a VJAMM Fundraiser at Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice, located at 213 Windward Avenue, from 4 pm to 9 pm. Hama Sushi will donate 10 percent of all dinner sales to the VJAMM Committee for educational outreach, regular maintenance of the Monument and funding the Annual Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant. Over the years proprietor Esther Chaing has donated over $25,000 to VJAMM. 

This year’s Pilgrimage Grant recipients are Terumi Tanisha Garcia of Cal Poly Pomona and Charlene Tonai Din of UCLA. Click on the names below to read their winning essays. Terumi Garcia
Charlene Tonai Din

For more information on the event, visit venicejamm.org or check out Venice Paparazzi’s write up HERE.

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