View Photos with VJAMM

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

Felix Barron presents

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

2010 September 11: Community Meeting at Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple

20100911_2407 Sept 11, 2010 at VHBT

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

2010 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 assembly centers and American concentration camps.

2011 April 25:  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.

A2385-079  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.

2011 June 25 – 26: 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.

2011 October 29: 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

photo(23)  Eric Schmid welds the steel frame together and attaches casters for ease of movement.

2012 March 10: VJAMM model plywood exterior at Joe Belli’s workshop

DSCN0573  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

Noriyuki Dustin & Darin 2012 March 17

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

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


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.

2012 April 25: VJAMM’s first special bento and dinner fundraiser at Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice

Esther Chaing of Hama Sushi in Venice 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

DSCN8216 Richard Modiano, Phyllis, Regina Barton

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

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

P1000340 Yosh with crew

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

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.”

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

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

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


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 Abbot 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

DSCN6121 affixing the sign

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

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

DSCN6668 Esther Chaing, Bill Rosendahl, Len Nguyen

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

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

DSCN7280 Arnold Maeda

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

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.”

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

DSCN8978 Suzanne Thompson, Regina Barton  Suzanne Thompson and Regina Barton staff the Venice Arts Council and Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Commiteee information booth.

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

Phyllis and Zed  Phyllis Hayashibara and Zed Aquarian staff the VAC and VJAMM Committee information table.

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

DSCN0612 Christie, Hannah, David Williams

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.

2016 April 30: 47th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

0430161915 Suzanne, Mae, Alice   Suzanne, Mae, and Alice meet with Brian and Valerie for the weekend at Dow Villa in Lone Pine.

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.


Kay, Esther, Arnold celebrate Arnold’s 90th birthday at Hama Sushi

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 The VJAMM obelisk weighs 12,500 pounds.

2016 September 25: Abbot Kinney Festival and VJAMM Educational Outreach Grant

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.

dscn1935-phyllis-regina-alice-emily  Phyllis, Regina, Alice, Emily staff the VAC-VJAMM booth.

2016 September 27: Santa Monica City Council donates $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.

rscn1962-santa-monica-city-council-dolores-sloan-arnold-maeda-phyllis-hayashibara-suzanne-thompson-300-dpi VJAMM Committee members pose in appreciation of the City Council’s understanding of the historic significance of the VJAMM and of their generous donation to the VJAMM.

2017 January 25: Manzanar Committee New Year’s Party with Warren Furutani and Bruce Embrey

   Suzanne, Emily, Warren, Alice, Brian party with the Manzanar Committee.

2017 February 8: LA City Construction Forces saw cut and break up sidewalk on northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln

  Benjamin Rizo, Jose Salas, Doug Fukuda, David Perka start sawcutting the concrete for the VJAMM foundation.

2017 February 22: LA City GEO Engineer takes soil sample and wood for new ad fencing arrives

  LA City GEO Engineer Shannon takes soil samples with David Perka’s assistance.

2017 February 24: David Williams of Williams Monument Company in Arvin stencils the VJAMM before sandblasting

  David Williams of Williams Monument Company in Arvin works on the stencils that will guide his sandblasting.

2017 February 27: Malibu City Council donates $5,000 to the VJAMM

  Brian, Suzanne Arnold, Emily thank the Malibu City Council for their generous donation (one photo)

2017 March 2 – 7: LA City pours slurry, installs rebar, and pours concrete foundation 

  LA City’s David Perka supervises all phases of the VJAMM foundation.

2017 April 19: Pick up of the VJAMM from Williams Monument Company in Arvin

  United Riggers and Erectors crane-lift the 12,500 pound solid granite VJAMM onto a flat bed truck for transport to Walnut until installation in Venice.

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!

  Emily and David Williams, Phyllis, Arnold, Alice, Emily Winters pose with the just-installed VJAMM.

United Riggers and Erectors: Ruben, Tony, and John, with LA City’s David Perka, pose with the just-installed VJAMM.

2017 April 23: Sawtelle Stories Forum 14 includes VJAMM presentation on process for approvals and permits

  Jack Fujimoto (far right) presents appreciation plaques to speakers at Forum 14, including Phyllis Murakawa,  Angie Berhns, Phyllis Hayashibara, Arnold Maeda, Victor Naramura, and Bobby Ideishi (one photo)

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.   The late Yosh Tomita provided the fifth quote.

  Brian Maeda, Mae Kakehashi, Arnold Maeda, Amy Ioki contributed poignant quotes for the VJAMM.

  Len Nguyen addresses the audience of 200 on behalf of Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, District 11. 

Warren Furutani delivers the keynote address.

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 27: 6th Annual VJAMM fundraiser at Hama Sushi in Venice 

  Thank you to Naoko Matsumura, Esther Chaing, and Tony Kim of Hama Sushi in Venice (one photo)

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 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, and Commission VP Heather Repenning pose with Certificate of Recognition and VJAMM poster.

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 (one photo).

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

  Arnold Maeda, Thomas Yoshikawa, Jimmy Hara tell of life before, during, and after their internment.

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

Jr YBA youth pose with just-cleaned VJAMM (one photo)

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 (one photo)

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

 Councilmember Mike Bonin presents 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

 VJAMM Major donors and supporters include Alice Stek, Brian and Lucia Maeda, Esther Chaing; Ira Koslow with Gail Rogers.

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: JACL Venice – West Los Angeles Chapter’s “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 booth shared by VAC and VJAMM

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

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

2017 October 20: JACL Venice-West LA Chapter Presents 1,000 cranes to the King Fahad Mosque

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.

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

2017 November 4: J-Town/Bronzeville Suite at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute

  Yuki Yasuda, Dave Iwataki, Rumi Patterson, Henry Franklin, Don Littleton, Louis Van Taylor entertain and educate the appreciative audience.

Dave Iwataki’s J-Town Bronzeville Suite brings traditional Japanese instruments to a jazz quartet, in commemoration of the Bronzeville era of J-Town, when African Americans moved into business and residential spaces in Little Tokyo after the forced removal and incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II.

2017 November 19: “Behind Barbed Wire” performance at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica

  Saxophonist Chika Inouye and pianist Mary Au pose with VJAMM Committee members Alice Stek and Arnold Maeda, and Fehmi Yildirim after “Behind Barbed Wire” performance written by Deon Price, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica

2017 November 29: Los Angeles premiere of “And Then They Came For Us” screening with panel at Downtown Independent

Emily Winters and Phyllis Hayashibara attend the Los Angeles premiere of the 50-minute documentary by Abby Ginzburg and Ken Schneider, and determine to hold a screening on the westside, too (one photo).

2017 November 30: Michael Christian of Paris helps clean the VJAMM

 Phyllis thanks Michael, who got off the bus and offered to help clean the top of the obelisk (one photo)

2018 January 25: Fehmi Yildirim of Turkey helps cleans the VJAMM

 Phyllis thanks Fehmi, who volunteered to help clean the VJAMM on a regular basis (one photo)

2018 February 15: VJAMM panel speaks at Venice High School World Languages and Global Studies Magnet

  Arnold Maeda, Susumu Ioki, Mae Kakehashi, Mary Nomura speak of their impressions of Manzanar. Mary, the Songbird of Manzanar, sang, “When I can.”

 150 juniors in the Global Studies World Language Magnet assemble in the Venice High school Library, and hold up the April 27, 2017 VJAMM Dedication program 

 Standing: Al Nomura, Brian Maeda, Caroline Gill, Trasey Nomachi, Tim Liang, Jennifer Barnhill, Bonnie Roche Blair, Cris Vicente-Aguilar. Seated: Mary Nomura, Mae Kakehashi, Susumu Ioki, Arnold Maeda, Phyllis Hayashibara

2018 March 16: Beyond Baroque reprises “May Sky” Internment Haiku Reading

 Alice Stek, Phyllis Hayashibara, Brian Maeda, Emily Winters, Amy Uyematsu, Laurel Ann Bogan, Richard Modiano, the Reverend John Iwohara, and Emily Kariya give voice to the haiku written by Japanese internees of assembly centers and American concentration camps.

2018 April 15: Venice Dolphins and Girl Scout Troop 5325 maintain the VJAMM

 Venice Dolphins and Girls Scouts, with Girl Scout Troop Leader Victoria Yamashita, help polish the VJAMM and sweep up sidewalk debris.

2018 April 19:  VJAMM Commemoration and 7th annual Fundraiser at Hama Sushi in Venice

VJAMM Commemoration at the VJAMM Site: first anniversary after the VJAMM Dedication on April 27, 2017; thirty years after the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988; seventy-six years after the signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942.  Morning rains may have kept away a larger audience.  Guest speakers include: Emily Winters, Alice Stek, Becky Dennison for Venice Community Housing, Len Nguyen for Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, District 11; Stephanie Cohen for Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, District 3; Daisy Paniagua-Uribe for U.S. Representative Ted Lieu, CA 33; Dave Iwataki on his “J-town/Bronzeville Suite”; Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks of Loyola Marymount University on “Shared Peoplehood”; Nikki Gilbert, Brian Maeda, Bruce Embrey of the Manzanar Committee on the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and the 49th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and Suzanne Thompson.

Brian Maeda, Suzann Brian Maeda, Suzanne Thompson, Jenny Tomita, Daisy Paniagua-Uribe (for Congressmember Ted Lieu), Phyllis Hayashibara, Stephanie Cohen (for Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Mae Kakehashi, Becky Dennison for Venice Community Housing, Alice Stek, Emily Winters, Arnold Maeda, Curtiss Takada Rooks of Loyola Marymount University, Bruce Embrey of the Manzanar Committee, Nikki Gilbert, Dave Iwataki (composer of J-Town/Bronzeville Suite)

VJAMM 7th annual fundraiser at Hama Sushi

VJAMM 7th annual fundraiser at Hama Sushi sells out 264 bento orders at lunch!  Esther Chaing donates 100% of the bento profits and 10% of all dinner sales to VJAMM.  Thank you to Esther and Jung Chaing, Tony Kim, Naoko Matsumura, and Kenny Moon at Hama Sushi.

Thank you to Pauline Hayashibara, and the Fujinkai ladies of Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple for helping to assemble, pack, and distribute bento: Joyce Enomoto, June Fujioka, Shinobu Koda, Aya Masada, Judy Nawa, Alice Ogawa, Sandy Saeki, Karen Tokuda.

Thank you to the  Hama Sushi staff in Venice: Kenny Moon, Naoko Matsumura, Esther Chaing, and Tony Kim! (one photo)

2018 April 24: LA DWP illuminates the VJAMM!

LA DWP sends out a night rider to check on installation of directional illumination on VJAMM, and reports that the night light works well.  Thank you, LA DWP!  VJAMM will pay VCH the $10.50/month billed at their 200 Lincoln property.

LED lighting on existing pole illuminates the VJAMM at night

2018 April 28 Forty-Ninth Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

I REI TOH: Monument to Commemorate the Dead, erected in 1943 by Manzanar internees

CEO and President of the Japanese American National Museum, Ann Burroughs, delivers a powerful keynote address about being arrested in her native South Africa, charged with treason for speaking against apartheid, and facing up to twenty years in prison.   

2018 May 26: “Behind Barbed Wire,” “And Then They Came for Us” at Beyond Baroque

 Brian Maeda moderates audience Q&A.  Deon Nielsen Price composed “Behind Barbed Wire,” for pianist Mary Au and saxophonist Chika Inoue.

2018 June 9 “We Said No NO” screening at Santa Monica Public Library, Main Branch

 Brian screens preview of We Said NO NO, after Phyllis gives a brief history of the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument.  Audience sings Happy Birthday to Mae in celebration of her 95th.

2018 July and August: Girl Scout Gold Award candidate, Lindsey, creates VJAMM Patch, model craft for kids, and interviews former Manzanar internees who contributed quotes for the VJAMM for a planned book and video.

  Lindsey creates a model VJAMM craft for Kizuna summer camp youngsters

 Girl Scout Gold Award candidate Lindsey interviews Mae Kageyama Kakehashi, 2018 July 23

Lindsey interviews Brian Tadashi Maeda, 2018 July 24

 Lindsey interviews Arnold Tadao Maeda. 2018 July 27

 Lindsey interviews June Tomita, widow of Yoshinori Tomita, 2018 July 27

 Lindsey interviews Amy Takahashi Ioki, 2018 August 16

To see the video interviews, please go to

2018 August 24: Venice YouthBuild maintains the VJAMM

Nine young adults and two Youth Build Directors help polish the VJAMM and sweep up sidewalk and curbside debris.  James Evans of James’ Beach donates grilled veggie sandwiches and tuna salad sandwiches for the volunteers.

2018 August 28: “We Said No NO!” screening at Terasaki Nibei Foundation on Olympic Boulevard

  Nancy Oda, daughter of  judo sensei Tatsuo Ryusei Inouye, unjustly imprisoned in the military stockade at Tule Lake Segregation Center; supports filmmaker and VJAMM Committee member Brian Maeda.

2018 September 21: Venice YouthBuild maintains the VJAMM for the second time

Venice Youth Build students jump for joy after cleaning the VJAMM and the surrounding sidewalk and street curbs.  Janis Toya of Sakura Japanese Restaurant donates chicken teriyaki lunches with extra sauce, rice, and salad garnish. 

2018 September 30: Abbot Kinney Festival booth #576 shared by VJAMM and VAC

 John Mooney, Emily Winters, Zed Aquarian, Phyllis Hayashibara set up at 8 am.

2018 October 19: Venice Community Housing YouthBuild Maintains VJAMM

YouthBuild volunteers with VHC YB Staffers Orlanda Nava and Tijana Quilici

2018 December 21: VCH YouthBuild pressure washes the sidewalk

VHC’s Clarence Dorsey shows Durant, Nate, and Justice how to use the gas-powered pressure washer.

Thank you to Gustavo of Beach Cities Carwash for providing the water.

2019 January 6: Gold Award Girl Scout Lindsey presents VJAMM patches and previews her book, The Corner of Venice and Lincoln.

  Girls Scouts Lindsey, Emery, and Lucy with VJAMM models and VJAMM patch

2019 February 10: Gold Award Girl Scout Lindsey presents VJAMM patches to Dharma School students, parents, and adult Temple members at the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple.

 Lindsey and Reverend Kory Quon

2019 April 4: Lindsey presents her VJAMM book, model VJAMM, and patch to pre-schoolers at Ecole Claire Fontaine.  They call the model VJAMM “rockets.”

Lindsey at Ecole Claire Fontaine with other Girl Scouts.


2019 April 8: David Williams adds final two major donors to the VJAMM: Sakioka and Yoshikawa

Arnold and Mae depart after David Williams completes the final major donor inscriptions on the VJAMM.

2019 April 13: Japanese American National Museum Gala at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Los Angeles

Guests of Los Angeles County Mark Ridley-Thomas’ Gold Sponsor table #48: Kristin Sakoda, LAC Arts Commission; Jennifer Fukutomi-Jones, Arts for LA; Phyllis Hayashibara, VJAMM Committee; Kiara Brown, Natural History Museum; Randi Tahara, Chief Deputy Office of MRT; Iku Kiriyama, activist; traci kiriyama, activist; Diane Ujiye, LA Voice; Ron Wakabayashi, US DOJ; Nancy Sekizawa aka Atomic Nancy, singer (one photo)

2019 April 17: Girl Scout Troop 5325 clean up!

2019 April 18: VJAMM Commemoration with speakers Ken Seino Kataoka; Bruce Embrey of the Manzanar Committee; Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum; Warren Furutani of the Manzanar Committee; Mitch Maki, President and CEO of the Go For Broke National Education Center 

2019 April 20: JANM presents “Gambare: Legacy of a Enduring Spirit,” of photographs by Paul Kitagaki, Jr.  of former incarcerees once photographed in the 1940s.   Kitagaki signs his book, Behind Barbed Wire.

2019 April 23: JANM screens “Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story” at the Takeuchi Democracy Forum with Mineta himself answering questions from SoCal PBS’ Val Zavala and the audience.

2019 April 27: Fiftieth Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage draws 2,500 participants. Warren Furutani and traci kato-kiriyama co-emcce.  Karen Korematsu and Dale Minami give keynote addresses.  

Jenny Chomori, Manzanar Superintendent Bernadette Johnson, Bruce Embrey with sign from LA City Council District 11, Japan Consul General Akira Chiba, Len Nguyen

Jimmy Kai and Sage Romero of Akimya Cultural Group

Karen Korematsu keynotes at the 50th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

 American Sutra book signing by Reverend Duncan Ryugen Williams

2019 May 16: Fourth-grader Connor Yang interview Arnold Maeda

Fourth-grader Connor Yang interviews Arnold Maeda about his experiences as a fifteen- and sixteen-year old during his family’s forced removal from Santa Monica and incarceration in Manzanar for over three years.   Connor’s father, Steven Yang, accompanies his son.  Alan Nishio, prominent Japanese American activist, arranged the interview referral via his daughter, Angela Nishio.

 Connor and Arnold

2019 July 13: The Get Around features DeeJay D. Max Maxey and Aaron Mendoza’s Westside Revival of bands, flanking the VJAMM.

 Gustavo of Beach Cities Carwash gives Westside Revival thumbs up.

2019 September 4: CSU Dominguez Hills’ Gerth Archives and Alan Nakagawa’s “Unfinished Proof Ninomiya” at University Art Gallery, curated by Aandrea Stang

Artist Alan Nakagawa;          Gregory Williams, Gerth Archives Director, CSUDH

 Aandrea Stang, University Gallery Director, CSUDH; artist Alan Nakagawa; Assistant Professor Studio Art Devon Tsuno

2019 September 5: Storytelling at Beyond Baroque for “A History of Venice”

  Arnold Maeda tells his story to a full house at Beyond Baroque after Phyllis narrates a slide presentation of the forced removal and incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II. 

2019 September 14: Opening Reception at Beyond Baroque for “A History of Venice”


Dave Peet, Venice artist Marty Katon, VHF Board Member Marty Schatz,    VHF Volunteer Takara Tomeoni Adair, Jeremy Topper, curator Kristina      Von Hoffman 
2019 September 22 Terminal Island Memorial Monument and Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro
Emily, Alice, Linden, Fehmi
Alice and Emily
2019 September 29: Abbot Kinney Festival, VAC/VJAMM booth 566
Fehmi Yildirim, Emily Winters, and John Mooney help set up Booth 566.

2019 November 9: Hama Sushi’s 40th Anniversary Block Party


The VJAMM Committee congratulates Esther and Jung Chaing and thanks them for their early and continuing support of the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument.

2020 January 4: Kristina von Hoffman and crew interview Arnold Maeda for a documentary film on Venice

 Arnold Maeda at age 93.

2020 January 24 VJAMM maintenance by Venice Community Housing YouthBuild

2020 February 5: VJAMM lunch at Azay in LIttle Tokyo before LA CIty Council Public Works Committee unanimously agrees to name intersection of Venice and Lincoln “Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Square”

 Brian and Emily in front of Azay Restaurant 

2022 April 16: The Open Temple visits the VJAMM as part of the Passover Seder Crawl

Rabbi Lori Shapiro includes the VJAMM on the Passover Seder Crawl

2022 May 19: Grand Opening of Venice Community Housing apartments/offices on Rose and Lincoln

VCH Executive Director Becky Dennison speaks

2022 May 20: AAPI Day at Mark Twain with Nikki’s Sushi and VJAMM Info

Parent, student, Nikki, niece Emery

2022 May 28: Mae’s 99th birthday at Hama Sushi Restaurant

Emily, Kay, Phyllis, Suzanne, Alice, Fehmi, Reilly, Michael, Robert, Mae, Sandy

2022 October 15: Japanese American National Museum screens Brian’s film, We Said NO! NO!

Brian, Phyllis, Suzanne, Alice, Emily, Susan, Mae, Robert, Kim

2023 September 24: VJAMM Committee, Venice Arts Council, and Beyond Baroque share a booth at the 36th annual Abbot Kinney Festival.

Alvin, Tawny, Genesis, Suzanne, Tammy