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 May 29, 2009: Venice High School New Media Academy students at Los Angeles City Council meeting in City Hall

Felix Barron reads his letter to Rosendahl urging support for a permanent memorial marker at the corner of Venice and Lincoln.

Felix Barron presents


September 11, 2010: Community Meeting at Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple

Arnold Maeda, VJAMM Committee Member, speaks of the significance of the VJAMM.

20100911_2407 Sept 11, 2010 at VHBT


December 10 – 11: “May Sky” Haiku reading and Panel Discussion at Beyond Baroque

Bruce Kaji, Japanese American National Museum; Patricia Wakida, JANM; Phyllis Hayashibara, VJAMM; Doug Messerli, Sun and Moon Press, discuss “May Sky: There is Always Tomorrow,” haiku written by internees at Rohwer and Jerome in Arkansas.



April 25, 2011:  Symbolic “ground breaking” ceremony at Venice and Lincoln Boulevards followed by fundraiser at Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice

Aya Masada, Yosh Tomita, Brian Maeda Reverend John Iwohara, and Arnold Maeda attend the Press Event marking the site of the proposed VJAMM.


LA City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, 11th District lends political and financial support for the VJAMM.

VJAMM Committee members and supporters and former Manzanar internees pose with Mrs. Hayashibara’s United States History students from Venice High School displaying their Japanese American internment haiku posters.


June 25 – 26, 2011: VJAMM sponsors info booth at Venice High School Centennial Celebration

Former Manzanar internees Yosh and Arnold, and Venice HS graduates Akemi and Cindy staff VJAMM booth.



October 29, 2011: VJAMM benefit at Beyond Baroque

VIP Reception guests enjoy Sushi Girl ® sushi, Feast from the East chicken salad, and Sakura cupcakes; with music from the Shoo Flies and the Songbird of Venice Suzy Williams and the Songbird of Manzanar Mary Nomura.



2012 February 24:  VJAMM model steel frame at Joe Belli’s workshop

Joe Belli and Eric Schmid construct VJAMM model’s steel framework on wheels.



2012 March: VJAMM model plywood exterior at Joe Belli’s workshop

Apprentices Emily and Phyllis help Joe attach plywood to steel frame of VJAMM model.




2012 March 14 – 17: VJAMM model primed white at Joe Belli’s workshop

Dustin and Darren Noriyuki sand and prime the VJAMM model plywood.

Noriyuki Dustin & Darin 2012 March 17


2012 March 24: VJAMM model painted black at Joe Belli’s workshop

Dustin, Darren, Phyllis, Kay, and Emily sand and paint under Joe’s supervision.



2012 April 23: VJAMM model lettering applied by Jose of Fast Signs

Jose expertly adheres lettering and images from Fast Signs on the VJAMM model.



2012 April 25: VJAMM commemorates 70th anniversary of forced removal from corner, followed by VJAMM fundraiser at Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice

Former Manzanar internees and VJAMM Committee members pose with LA City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, 11th District, and Manzanar National Historic Site Superintendent Les Inafuku with full-scale model of the VJAMM.


Esther Chaing donates 100% of the profits from the special bento lunch and 10% of all dinner sales to the VJAMM Committee.


2012 April 27 Forty-third Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage at Manzanar National Historic Site

Cheryl, Phyllis, Arnold, Mae, Alice, and Emily meet Brian at the Manzanar Pilgrimage.



2012 August 13: Nisei Week Foundation Awards Dinner at Hilton Double Tree in Little Tokyo

VJAMM Committee congratulates Mary Nomura, Songbird of Manzanar, as Parade Marshal at 72nd Annual Nisei Week Awards Dinner



2013 April 25: Second annual VJAMM bento fundraiser at Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice

VJAMM thanks Naoko Matsumura, Kat Stewart, Esther and Jung Chaing, Tony Kim, and chefs Kinya Aota and Masayo Onuki for donating their expertise, and 100% of lunch profits and 10% of dinner sales!



2013 May 26: Mae Kakehashi’s 90th birthday party at the Venice Japanese Community Center

Marc Antonio Grant, Special Deputy to 11th District Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, presents Los Angeles City Resolution to Mae Kakehashi.



2013 September 7: Ninth Annual Constitution Day Conference for Educators at Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley

Kathy Masaoka and Suzy Katsuda of the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress present “Stand Up  for Justice: the Ralph Lazo Story.”



2013 September 2: VJAMM in Venice Arts Council and Beyond Baroque booth at Abbott Kinney Festival

Richard Modiano of Beyond Baroque, Phyllis Hayashibara of VJAMM, and Regina Barton of Venice Arts Council staff the shared booth.

DSCN8216 Richard Modiano, Phyllis, Regina Barton


2013 November 20: Soils Test and DigAlert on northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards

Yosh, Emily, and Arnold oversee taking soil samples with permission of Beach Cities Carwash operator Steve Spunt and property owner John Scherrer.

P1000340 Yosh with crew


2014 March 2: “Exile” Panel Presents at Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple

Arnold Maeda, Bill Nishimura, Hank Iwamoto, and Brian Maeda share their stories of being exiled to Manzanar, Tule Lake, and Colorado and Oklahoma, after screening of “Of Civil Rights and Wrongs: The Fred Korematsu Story.”

FOCUSED Panel Arnold Maeda, Bill Nishimura, Brian Maeda photo 5


2014 April 23: Third Annual Fundraiser at Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice

Emily, Suzanne, Esther, Phyllis, Judy, Aya, Edd, and June pose with the full-scale model of the VJAMM.

DSCN0991 cropped Emily, Suzanne, Esther, Phyllis, Judy, Aya, Edd, June

Len Nguyen, Senior Field Deputy to L A City Councilmember Mike Bonin, 11th District, presents donation pledge to VJAMM Committee members.


Melissa Ramoso, Senior Representative to California State Senator Ted Lieu, 28th District, calls the next day with news of Senator Lieu’s $5000 donation pledge to VJAMM Committee.


2014 September 28: VJAMM at Abbott Kinney Festival

VJAMM displays posters, flyers, and postcards at the Abbott Kinney Festival booth shared by Beyond Baroque and the Venice Arts Council.



2015 March 29: Sawtelle Japantown sign on northeast corner of Sawtelle and Olympic

VJAMM Committee congratulates the community on the dedication of the signage, and Committe members help sponsor the reception of appreciation at the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle.

DSCN6121 affixing the sign


2015 April 23: Fourth Annual VJAMM Fundraiser at Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice

Esther Chaing, Bill Rosendahl, Len Nguyen continue their support of the VJAMM.

DSCN6668 Esther Chaing, Bill Rosendahl, Len Nguyen


2015 May 30: Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGo) Opening Celebration at 12th and Michigan

Arnold Maeda joins speakers James MAC McPherson and Paulina Sahagan who share their experiences growing up in their ethnically diverse Santa Monica neighborhood.

DSCN7280 Arnold Maeda


2015 June 23: “We Said NO NO” Presentation at Terasaki Nibei Foundation on Wilshire

Brian Maeda presents, with video interviews of Tule Lake Segregation Center internees Bill Nishimura and Jimmy Yamaichi.


2015 September 20: Eleventh Annual Constitution Day Conference for Educators at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley

Janice Iwanaga Yen, Kathy Masaoka, (Phyllis Hayashibara of the VJAMM C0mmittee), and Patty Nagano of the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress Education Committee present “Stand Up for Justice: The Ralph Lazo Story.”

RSCN8956 Janice Iwanaga Yen, Kathy Masaoka, Phyllis Hayashibara, Patty Nagano


2015 September 27: VJAMM and VAC share a booth at the Abbott Kinney Festival

Suzanne Thompson and Regina Barton staff the informational booth.

DSCN8978 Suzanne Thompson, Regina Barton


2015 December 4: VJAMM and VAC table at the 4th annual Venice Holiday Sign Lighting at Windward and Pacific

Phyllis Hayashibara and Zed Aquarian staff the information table.

Phyllis and Zed


2016 March 15: Williams Monument Company in Arvin

VJAMM Committee members Phyllis, Alice, and Suzanne hand-deliver the deposit check to David Williams.



2016 April 27: Fifth Annual VJAMM Fundraiser at Hama Sushi

The Williams Family joins the fun at Hama Sushi, and David Williams speaks to the audience about his appreciation for history, and the importance of the VJAMM.

DSCN0612 Christie, Hannah, David Williams


2016 April 30: 47th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

Suzanne, Mae, and Alice meet with Brian and Valerie for the weekend at Dow Villa in Lone Pine.

0430161915 Suzanne, Mae, Alice


2016 July 26: Arnold’s 90th birthday celebration at Hama Sushi

Nikki baked a chocolate cake with banana and cream filling, and presented it to Arnold at the VJAMM Committee meeting at Emily’s.  Committee members met at Esther Chaing’s Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice for dinner.



2016 August 26: VJAMM obelisk in India

Workers in India shape, polish, drill, crate, and load the VJAMM obelisk into a shipping container, bound for port in the Bay Area. ETA first week of October, 2016.

g IMG_2145


2016 September 25: Abbot Kinney Festival

Abbot Kinney Festival Association Community Grants Program awards $1,700.00 to the VJAMM Committee to fund the development, layout, printing, advertisement, distribution, and website maintenance of the 5th 8th, 11th, and 12th grade curricula on the Japanese American internment and the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument.



2016 September 27: Santa Monica City Council awards $5,000 to VJAMM

Dolores Sloan, Arnold Maeda, Phyllis Hayashibara, and Suzanne Thompson spoke for the VJAMM before Santa Monica City Council Members     Gleam Davis, Sue Himmelrich, Kevin McKeown, Mayor Tony Vazquez, Mayor Pro Tem Ted Winterer, Council Members Terry O’Day and Pam O’Connor.



2017 April 22: Installation of the VJAMM on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln

VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Arnold Maeda Alice Stek, and Emily Winters witness the historic installation of the VJAMM obelisk from 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  Bruce Baird, Femy, Jimmy Fukuhara, Ron Gee (thank you, Ron, for posting your album!), and Vincent Ramos join the spectators and photographers.  Thank you to Emily and David Williams of the Williams Monument Company; Tony, John, and Ruben of United Riggers & Erectors; Todd and Eric of The Permit Company; Hal of Anglemyer Crane; and David Perka of Los Angeles GSD  Construction Forces Division for the amazing coordination of your professional efforts in the installation of the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument!


2017 April 27: Dedication of the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument

VJAMM Dedication on the northwest Corner of Venice and Lincoln from 10 am – 11:30 am draws 200 participants, including former Manzanar internees who provided quotes for the VJAMM: Brian Maeda, Mae Kakehashi, Arnold Maeda, and Amy Ioki.


VJAMM Dedication speakers include: Jim Smith (Free Venice Beachhead), Ruth Galanter (former LA City Councilmember, District 6), Joel Jacinto (Board of Public Works Commissioner), Zev Yaroslavsky (former Los Angeles County Supervisor, District 3), Rachel Zaiden (Senior Field Deputy for LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, District 3), Len Nguyen (Senior Field Deputy for LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin, District 11), Kevin McKeown (former Santa Monica City Mayor and current Councilmember), Jeff Burton (Manzanar National Historic Site), Dr. Jimmy Hara (born in Gila River, Arizona), and Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa (former Manzanar internee).  Warren Furutani, community activist and Manzanar Pilgrimage pioneer, delivers the VJAMM Dedication keynote address.


2017 April 29 Forty-eighth annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

Warren Furutani mentions the VJAMM  in his keynote address at the Manzanar Pilgrimage! The 48th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage commemorates the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 and draws over 2,000 participants.


2017 May 26 Los Angeles City Board of Public Works

The VJAMM Committee receives a Certificate of Recognition from the Los Angeles City Board of Public Works for successfully building and installing the VJAMM, in partnership with the Board of Public Works and its Adopt-a- Median Program of the Office of Community Beautification.

Los Angeles City Council 11th District Senior Field Deputy Len Nguyen, Suzanne Thompson, Commission President Pro Tempore Michael Davis, Jennifer Tomita (kneeling with poster), Commissioner Joel Jacinto, Mae Kakehashi, Commission President Kevin James, Phyllis Hayashibara (with Certificate), Office of Community Beautification Director Paul Racs, Kay Brown, Arnold Maeda, Brian Maeda, Colleen Hoff (Mae’s daughter), Emily Winters, Commission VP Heather Repenning. 


2017 June 15 Girl Scout Troop 5325 Seniors and Junior First to maintain VJAMM

Senior and Junior Girls Scouts of Troop 5324 clean the VJAMM with Windex and sweep up sidewalk debris between the two bus shelters on Venice and Lincoln.  Esther Chaing of Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice donates 100 pieces of sushi for lunch.


2017 June 20 VJAMM thanks Venice Neighborhood Council

VJAMM Committee members Suzanne Thompson, Phyllis Hayashibara,  Emily Winters, and Alice Stek thank the Venice Neighborhood Council at its meeting at Westminster School, for VNC’s unanimous support for the VJAMM on June 15, 2010, and for Ira Koslow’s motion for increasing funding for VJAMM’s Community Improvement Project to $1,300.00 on May 24, 2011.  VJAMM distribute copies of the VJAMM Dedication Program, April 27, 2017.


2017 June 29 Venice Historical Society features former internees Arnold Maeda, Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa, and Dr. Jimmy Hara

The Venice Historical Society organizes one of their quarterly lectures on the lives of Japanese Americans, before, during, and after World War II, and invited the former Manzanar incarcees to the Oakwood Recreation Center for a panel discussion.  Over 70 people attend, and the Venice Historcial Society signs up 5 new members, which VHS President Jill Prestup considers a rousing success.


2017 July 15 Junior Young Buddhist Association members from the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple maintain the VJAMM


2017 July 25 VJAMM thanks the Santa Monica City Council

Emily Winters, Suzanne Thompson, Alice Stek, Phyllis Hayashibara, and Fehmi Yildirim present copies of the VJAMM Dedication Program to the Santa Monica City Council members.  Council was in closed session, however, so Dedication programs were left with the City Clerk.


2017 July 28 LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin presents framed Certificate of Appreciation to the VJAMM Committee

With 11th District Senior Field Deputy Len Nguyen, VJAMM Commitee members Emily Winters, Phyllis Hayashibara, Suzanne Thompson, Jennifer Tomita, and Kay Brown accept the framed Certificate of Appreciation and the Manzanar baseball from Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin.  The VJAMM Committee presented the framed Certificate of Appreciation to Jennifer Tomita, in memory of her late father and VJAMM Commitee member Yosh Tomita.


2017 September 9 VJAMM Major Donors Appreciation Reception

Alice Stek, Brian Maeda, Esther Chaing, Gail Rodgers, Ira Koslow, and Lucia Maeda attend the VJAMM Major Donors Appreciation Reception at Tomiko Yamato’s Craftsman home in Venice.  Speakers include Alice Stek, Betsy Butler, Ira Koslow, Dr. THomas Yoshikawa, Kay Brown, Tomiko Yamato, and Phyllis Hayashibara.  The Shoo Flies provided live music, Emily Wong played the koto, Amy Uyematsu read from her published collections of poetry; Mary Nomura, the Songbird of Manzanar, sang;  Brian Maeda screened his newest trailer for his film, We Said NO NO.  Refreshments courtesy of Sushi Girl, Feast from the East, Angel Maid, Rutt’s Hawaiian Cafe, and VJAMM Committee members.  Tables and chairs courtesy of Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin of the 11th District, coordinated by Senior Field Deputy Len Nguyen.


2017 September 10 Venice – West LA JACL “1,000 Cranes: Solidarity, Vigilance, and Peace” commemoration at the VJAMM

9/11 commemoration includes presentation of 1,000 cranes made by Camp Musubi (Tony Osumi, advisor) from Venice-West Los Angeles Japanese American Citizens League to Mohammed Abdul Aleem and his wife, Maleeha, of the King Fahad Mosque in Culver City.

Venice-WLA JACL organizers: Amy Watanabe and Annia Yoshizumi; V-WLA JACL President John Saito and JACL Board members Ken Ota and Carole Yamakoshi.    Taiko performance by Nakama Daiko led by Tomomi Hongo, flag salute by Girl Scout Troop 5325 (leader Victoria Yamashita), appearances by former camp incarcerees Jimmy Hara, Mae Kakehashi, Arnold Maeda, Jean Shigematsu, James Yamamoto.  Greetings by V-WLA JACL President John Saito, Phyllis Hayashibara, VJAMM Committee; Len Nguyen, LA City Council District 11 Mike Bonin’s office; Stephanie Nitahara, National JACL Associate Director.   Keynote addresses delivered by Warren Furutani and Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed.


2017 September 24 Abbot Kinney Festival

Fehmi Yildirim, Arnold Maeda, Mae Kakehashi, and Alice Stek at the Abbot Kinney Festival Booth shared by the VJAMM Committee and the Venice Arts Council.

  Emily Winters, Suzanne Thompson, and Regina Barton in Venice Arts Council T-shirts.



2017 October 20 Presentation of 1,000 cranes to the King Fahad Mosque

Mohammed Abdul Aleem and his family present to the King Fahad Mosque the framed 1,000 cranes from the Venice-West Los Angeles JACL.

Amy Watanabe, Annia Yoshizumi, Phyllis Hayashibara, Suzanne Thompson, Joanne Tsuichika, Rie Watanabe, and Nabika Aleem kneel on the carpet in the men’s prayer room after 1 pm prayer service.  Dr. Jimmy Hara, standing between the framed cranes, shared the story of Sadako and the 1,000 cranes, and the world peace that the 1,000 cranes came to symbolize.