VJAMM Historical Timeline in Reverse (click on images to enlarge, or visit the Gallery page for more photos)
2022 August 12
Westside Youth Academy volunteers, Nathan and Gabi, sweep up debris from the VJAMM adjacent sidewalks and street curbs, and Windex the granite sides and tops of the VJAMM. Phyllis brings cleaning supplies, and lunch from Rutt’s Hawaiian Café, thanks to a generous donation from Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa.
2022 August 12
New ad fence advertising features “Maria Felix, La Dona,” the authorized biographical series streaming exclusively on Vix+
2022 July 4
VJAMM participates in the Santa Monica Fourth of July parade! Mae Kakehashi and her son, Robert; and Terumi Tanisha Garcia, one of the recipients of the 2022 Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant, ride in the convertible paid for by a generous donor. Suzanne drives the parade route, while John Mooney, Judy Branfman, and Fehmi Yildirim carry the VJAMM banner. Alvin Ho and Tawny Vannatim of the City of Santa Monica; and Terumi’s mother Nancy Yoshiko Garcia also join the parade. Thank you to Suzanne for coordinating the VJAMM’s application, arranging for the convertible rental, and preparing the narration for Mae and Terumi.
2022 June 17
Suzanne and Emily bring refreshments to Reese Davidson Park (formerly Oakwood Park) for a monthly staff meeting of Venice Community Housing. Suzanne serves sushi and edamame from Hama Sushi and canned green tea from Mitsuwa; Phyllis donates boba mochi sweets from Costco (but could not attend).
2022 June 17
Westside Youth Academy volunteers Tommy and Elana Windex off the long streams of drips and soot from the VJAMM, and sweep up debris from the surrounding sidewalks. Phyllis brings cleaning supplies and lunch from Rutt’s Hawaiian Café, thanks to a generous donation from Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa.
2022 June 17
New ad on fence behind VJAMM advertises animated series, “Arcane.”
2022 May 28
Mae Kakehashi celebrates her 99th birthday at Esther Chaing’s Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice with family members: son Robert, grandson Michael and his girlfriend Reilly, niece Sandy; and fellow VJAMM Committee members Alice, Brian and Lucia, Emily, Fehmi, Kay, Phyllis, and Suzanne.
2022 May 20
Nikki Gilbert makes sushi hand rolls for Mark Twain Middle School’s Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month celebration, representing Japan and Japanese Americans. The VJAMM banner serves as her backdrop, and she displays free VJAMM postcards, VJAMM Dedication Programs, Manzanar Pilgrimage Programs, and Manzanar National Historic Site brochures. In addition to sushi, the Japan booth offers boba mochi candies, origami, shodo (calligraphy) and sumie (painting) stations. Other booths represent China, India, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines.
2022 May 19
Suzanne and Phyllis celebrate the Grand Opening of Venice Community Housing’s Rose and Lincoln apartments and VCH offices, with Becky Dennison, Erika Lee, Myrna Bohan, Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA Councilmember Mike Bonin, and many other members of the Venice community.
2022 May 17
The VJAMM Committee sends condolences and koden to Lucia and Brian Maeda, on the passing of Lucia’s mother, Ruth Toshiko Matsuo Brandt, who passed away on May 4, 2022 at the age of 98. Ruth Brandt was the daughter of Sei Fujii, publisher of the Kashu Mainichi, prisoner at Tuna Canyon Detention Facilty just for being Japanese, activist for the Japanese Hospital, and challengers of California’s Alien Land Law, which forbade landownership to persons ineligible for US citizenship.
May 1, 2022
VJAMM Committee members and family attend the matinee performance of “Masao and the Bronze Nightingale” at the Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 East 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033. Dan Kwong and Ruben Funkahuatl Guevarra based their play on a short story by Ruben, about a Japanese American alto sax player who returns to Little Tokyo after World War II. He finds it’s been transformed into a Bronzeville , when African Americans and Latinos moved into the ghost town of Little Tokyo after the forced removal and incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry. Masao takes his sax to play at one of the bebop clubs after he meets an African American jazz singer, the Bronze Nightingale. Masao’s pachuco pal resents the new jazz that “you can’t even dance to,” and Masao’s father can’t accept a son who rejects the shamisen and embraces cross-cultural romance.
2022 April 22, 2022
Marisol Perez, Program Manager for Venice Community Housing’s Youth Programs, including Westside Youth Academy, meets Phyllis at the VJAMM at noon with youth volunteer, Rolando. They Windex the VJAMM obelisk and sweep up the debris from the adjacent sidewalks and street curbs. Thanks to a generous donation from Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa, volunteers enjoy a GrabnGo lunch bowl from Rutt’s Hawaiian Café.
2022 April 21
Esther Chaing hosts the Tenth Annual VJAMM fundraiser at Hama Sushi in Venice, donating 10% of dinner sales between 4 pm and 9 pm to the VJAMM Committee: $1,300.20. Over the past ten years, Esther has donated $26,501.73 to the VJAMM Committee, towards the fabrication and installation of the VJAMM and now towards educational outreach, ongoing maintenance of the VJAMM, and funding the annual Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant.
2022 April 21
The VJAMM Commemoration goes VIRTUAL for the second year in a row, out of consideration for the coronavirus pandemic. 2022 marks 80 years after Executive Order 9066 of 1942; 53 years after the Manzanar Committee’s first pilgrimage in 1969; 34 years after the Civil Liberties Act of1988; and 5 years after the VJAMM Dedication in 2017. Venice Community Housing hosts the Zoom Commemoration, with VCH Staff Geoff Pincus coordinating the integration of pre-recorded videos and managing admittance to the Zoom site. Speakers include Alice Stek, Emily Winters, Bobby Ideishi, Nikki Gilbert, Susan Nakashima for dad Arnold Maeda, Mae and son Robert Kakehashi, Jennifer Tomita for dad Yosh Tomita, Becky Dennison, Marisol Perez, California State Senator Ben Allen, LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin, Manzanar Committee co-chair Bruce Embrey, Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant recipients Terumi Tanisha Garcia and Charlene Tonai Din, Mary Uyematsu Kao, Dolores Sloan, Dan Kwong, Brian Maeda, and Suzanne Thompson. Phyllis Hayashibara and Jennifer Tomita take turns introducing the speakers. 2022 Virtual VJAMM Commemoration Zoom recording link: https://youtu.be/pQXXKDn5Wfw
2022 April 16
Rabbi Lori Shapiro of the Open Temple in Venice leads members and their families on a Passover Seder Crawl, and includes the VJAMM as one of their stops. Alice, Fehmi, and Phyllis meet the congregation at the VJAMM to answer any questions. The VJAMM Committee presents to Rabbi Shapiro a copy of Lindsey Kojima’s book, The Corner of Lincoln and Venice: Stories from the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument.
2022 April 11
Alice Stek reports a new ad behind the VJAMM for The Kardshians, a reality TV series.
2022 March 18
The Manzanar Committee and the VJAMM Committee congratulate Terumi Tanisha Garcia of Cal Poly Pomona and Charlene Tonai Din of UCLA as the recipients of the Second Annual Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant for 2022. They will be assisting the Manzanar Committee in planning the 53rd Manzanar Pilgrimage, scheduled for Saturday, April 30, 2022 as a virtual event. Click on the names below to read their winning essays.
• Terumi Tanisha Garcia
• Charlene Tonai Din
2022 March 18
Marisol Perez of the VCH’s new Westside Youth Academy (formerly YouthBuild) meets volunteers Steven and Justice at the VJAMM for maintenance with Phyllis, Alice, and Fehmi of the VJAMM Committee. Grab n Go lunches from Rutt’s for the volunteers: compliments of Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa’s donations.
2022 March 12
VJAMM Committee treats Len Ngyuen of LA City Council District 3 to dinner at Hama Sushi
and presents a token of our appreciation for all the work he did for the VJAMM, as a member of former Councilmember Bill Rosendahl’s staff, and as a member of current Councilmember Mike Bonin.
2021 December 31
Nikki’s niece Emery earns one hour of Community Service for the Individualized Honors Program at Mark Twain Middle School, sweeping up debris from the sidewalks around the VJAMM, and windexing the VJAMM itself. Emery has already earned the VJAMM patch by reading Lindsey’s book, The Corner of Lincoln and Venice, completing the questionnaire, and decorating her own model VJAMM.
2021 December 31
Rains soak new ads on ad fence for AG1, apparently for Athletic Greens.
2021 November 26
Kimiko of Girl Scout Troop 5325 helps Windex the VJAMM and sweep up the debris on the sidewalk and curbs around the VJAMM. Kimiko has also completed the questionnaire and decorated her model VJAMM with sakura blossoms to earn the VJAMM Patch, in Lindsey Kojima’s book, The Corner of Lincoln and Venice.
2021 November 17
Brian shares photos of new ad for film, West Side Story, behind VJAMM, and also catches early morning tamale vendor in photo.
2021 October 22
Venice YouthBuild volunteer and staff Windex the VJAMM and sweep up debris from the sidewalk and street curbs. Phyllis brought cleaning supplies and lunches from Rutt’s. Lunches made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa.
2021 September 26
VJAMM Committee takes out half-page ad (2.5” x 8”) for Venice Community Housing’s 2021 Champagne Brunch fundraiser program book. See VJAMM ad towards end of the scroll at
2021 September 25
Joe Belli, designer and creator of the full-scale VJAMM model, comes to Phyllis’ place to pick it up for dismantling and hauling away as discard. Japanese National Museum and Manzanar National Historic Site expressed no interest in acquiring the model for their collection. Joe estimates that it took twenty minutes to dismantle and discard, while it took 40 hours of labor to build and paint.
2021 September 21
VJAMM Committee approves donation of $2,000 more to Brian Maeda’s film, “We Said, No, NO!”. Previously, the VJAMM Committee had approved a donation of $2,000.00 in June, 2018.
2021 September 17
Venice YouthBuild staff, Marisol and Lupe; and YouthBuild volunteers Nancy and Alexandria, meet at the VJAMM for maintenance of the obelisk and the surrounding sidewalks and street curbs on Venice and Lincoln. Phyllis picks up and delivers both cleaning supplies and lunch from Rutt’s Café on Washington Place. Lunches made possible by Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa’s generous donation.
2021 September 12
Alice reports a new ad behind VJAMM that advertises The NUE CO, also on the billboard above the brick building. Posters leave white/blank space behind the VJAMM.
2021 September 1
The VJAMM Committee and the Manzanar Committee announce the Second Annual Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant for college students. Applicants will demonstrate their knowledge of Arnold Maeda’s legacy in an essay, short story, or poem. The two students selected will help plan the Pilgrimage and participate in the Pilgrimage weekend. The 53rd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage has been scheduled for the weekend of April 29 – May 1, 2022. Each recipient will receive a $500 grant to help pay for transportation, lodging, and meals.
2021 August 20
Venice YouthBuild volunteer and staff, Karen and Lupe, meet at the VJAMM for maintenance of the obelisk and the surrounding sidewalks and street curbs on Venice and Lincoln. Phyllis picks up and delivers both cleaning supplies and lunch from Rutt’s Café on Washington Place. Lunches made possible by Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa’s generous donation.
2021 August 20
New ad behind VJAMM advertises movie, “Shang – Chi.” For the first time, the ad posters do not leave a white, blank space directly behind the VJAMM; the ad posters fill the space behind the VJAMM.
2021 August 2
New ad behind VJAMM advertises movie, “The Suicide Squad.”
2021 July 16
Venice Youth Build volunteers Joseph and Steven join Case Manager Lupe at the VJAMM for maintenance of the obelisk, and the adjoining sidewalk and curbs. Phyllis picks up and delivers both cleaning supplies and lunch from Rutt’s Café on Washington Place. Lunches made possible by Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa’s generous donation.
2021 July 5
Alice reports a new ad behind the VJAMM, for the movie, “Space Jam”.
2021 June 18
Venice YouthBuild Leadership Coordinator Orlando Nava meets Venice YouthBuild volunteers Karen, Joseph, and Monty at the VJAMM for maintenance and sidewalk and curbside debris clearance. Phyllis picks up and delivers both cleaning supplies and lunch from Rutt’s Café on Washington Place. Lunches made possible by Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa’s generous donation.
2021 June 15
The VJAMM Committee donates $1,000.00 to the Manzanar Committee for their Katari program, two-days of personal, intensive, place-based learning at the Manzanar Historic Site for college students who wish to deepen their understanding of Japanese American history during World War II. Working title was “Keeping Japanese American Stories Alive,” and “katari” means “telling stories” in Japanese.
2021 May 21
Emily Winters and Suzanne Thompson deliver a short presentation with Q&A on the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument to Venice Community Housing staff at 2469 Lincoln Boulevard, where Safe Place for Youth meets.
2021 May 21
Venice YouthBuild Leadership Coordinator Orlando Nava meets Venice YouthBuild volunteers at the VJAMM for maintenance and sidewalk and curbside debris clearance. Joey, Steven, and Rodrigo enjoy lunches made possible by a donation from Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa. Phyllis picks up and delivers both cleaning supplies and lunch from Rutt’s Café on Washington Place.
2021 May 20
City of Santa Monica presents Asian American Pacific Island Heritage Month: “Honoring AAPI: A Celebration of Cultures”. Program features Japanese drum group Kishin Daiko, Koreatown volunteer group Neighborhood Safety Companions, Hapa Maga (soon to be Mixed Asian Media), Samoan artist Jason JP Pereira, Indian drum group Dholnation, Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument, and Filipino American singer Dasha Dorlandt. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhYM4LZme4s
The VJAMM Committee thanks Alvin Ho of the City of Santa Monica, who edited the VJAMM segment. His photo and essay are available at https://www.santamonica.gov/blog/more-than-a-monolith-building-a-community-across-cultures
2021 May 19
City of Santa Monica presents Asian American Pacific Island Heritage Month: “Being AAPI in 2021: Discussion on Identity, Community, and Model Minority Myth”. Program features Congressmember Ted Lieu, moderater Jeff Nguyen, Dr. Arlene Daus-Magbual, Hakhamanesh Mortezaie (who names Arnold Maeda as a teenager from Santa Monica incarcerated in Manzanar during World War II, who later in life helps create the VJAMM), and Christopher S. Tang. Available at https://youtu.be/4-8iMOpAp8Y
2021 May 17
Alice Stek reports a new ad behind the VJAMM for the film, “In the Heights”.
2021 April 16
Venice YouthBuild meet at the VJAMM to Windex the VJAMM and sweep up the debris from the sidewalks and curbs. YouthBuild Case Manager Orlando Nava meets Kevin, Ulices, and David at the VJAMM. Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa’s donation buys lunches from Rutts for the volunteers.
2021 April 15
9th annual VJAMM Fundraiser at Hama Sushi earns the VJAMM 10% of the evening’s proceeds, which proprietor Esther Chaing matches. Esther donates $1,922.00 to the VJAMM Committee for educational outreach, VJAMM maintenance, and the Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant. Esther’s total contribution to the VJAMM through this day totals $25,208.53.
2021 April 15
The VJAMM Commemoration goes VIRTUAL this year, after cancelling entirely in 2020 out of consideration for the coronavirus pandemic. Venice Community Housing hosts the Zoom Commemoration, with VCH Staff Erika Lee stepping in as MC when Phyllis’ internet connection suddenly FAILS. Speakers include Alice Stek, Emily Winters, Ted Lieu, Sheila Kuehl, Mike Bonin, Becky Dennison, Orlando Nava, Warren Furutani, Laura Ceballos, Dolores Sloan, Leslie Aguilar, Bruce Embrey, Rev. Dr. Duncan Ryuken Williams, Nikki Gilbert, Brian Maeda, Jennifer Tomita, and Suzanne Thompson. Many remark on the current rise in anti-Asian verbal and physical assault, vandalism, and murder. Please go to venicejamm.org for the links to the Zoomed Commemoration, the Power Point of photos, the trailer to Brian Maeda’s new film, “We Said NO! NO!” and Lindsey Kojima’s book, On the Corner of Lincoln and Venice.
2021 March 19
Len Nguyen, Senior Planning Deputy; and Nisa Kove, Venice Field Deputy, of Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office organize a rally at the VJAMM, with a hand-painted #Stop Asian Hate! banner.
2021 March 19
Venice YouthBuild meet at the VJAMM to Windex the top of the VJAMM. YouthBuild Case Manager Orlando Nava sweeps up the sidewalk and curb debris, while Phyllis sweeps up the scattered bird seed, and Windexes the bottom of the VJAMM. Los Angeles City coincidentally sends a clean-up crew of one to do most of the sidewalk work. Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa’s generous donation buys lunches from Rutt’s for the YouthBuild volunteers, Alexandria E. and Ximena R. and YB staff.
2021 March 18
VJAMM Committee writes a second letter of support for Laura Ceballos’ campaign for the Venice Mexican American Traqueros Monument to Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, District 11.
2021 March 15
Ad fence behind VJAMM advertises movie, “Cherry”.
2021 February 9
Ad fence behind VJAMM advertises new season of a television program called, “For All Mankind.”
2021 January 26
The Manzanar Committee and the VJAMM Committee congratulate Leslie Aguilar of Bakersfield, California as the inaugural recipient of the Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant for 2021. Leslie will be helping the Manzanar Committee prepare for the Virtual Manzanar Pilgrimage scheduled for Saturday, April 24, 2021. To read her winning essay, please click here.
2021 January 20
Len Nguyen of City Councilmember Mike Bonin’s 11th District office, informs the VJAMM Committee that the Los Angeles Department of Transportation has placed the VJAMM street signs at the intersection of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards.
2020 November 11
Taylar Davis, Venice Community Housing YouthBuild Case Manager, supervises YouthBuild volunteers Windexing the VJAMM and sweeping up the sidewalk and curbside debris. A generous donation from Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa makes possible a lunchbowl from Rutt’s for the YouthBuild volunteers, Destiny and TJ, and staff.
2020 November 2
The VJAMM Committee and the Manzanar Committee announce the Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant, sponsored by both committees. Two $500 grants will be awarded to two applicants, to make it possible for them to participate in the Manzanar Pilgrimage. Applications will include an essay, short story, or poem about how Arnold Maeda’s life inspired them to want to know more about the Manzanar Pilgrimage. The April 24, 2021 Virtual Mananar Pilgrimage will require the grantees to assist in the research and technical aspects of mounting a virtual event. Download the Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant information and application here: https://manzanarcommittee.org/amgrant-info
2020 October 23
Orlando Nava, Venice Community Housing YouthBuild Case Manager, supervises YouthBuild volunteers Windexing the VJAMM and sweeping up the sidewalk and curb debris. A generous donation from Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa makes possible a lunch bowl from Rutt’s for the YouthBuild volunteers, Ulices and Jessica, and staff.
2020 October 9
Ad fence behind VJAMM urges YES on Proposition 22, to exempt Uber, Lyft, and other drivers from California employment regulations.
2020 September 25
Orlando Nava, Venice Community Housing YouthBuild Case Manager, supervises YouthBuild volunteers Windexing the VJAMM and sweeping up the sidewalk and curb debris. A generous donation from Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa makes possible a lunch bowl from Rutt’s for each of the volunteers: Kaylyn, Jose, Alexandria, Joseph, Geo, and Joey, and for Orlando, too.
2020 September 10
Arnold Tadao Maeda, VJAMM charter member and inspiration, passes away at the age of 94. Private family service to be held at Kubota Mortuary on September 29, 2020.
Arnold’s heartbroken quote about having to leave behind his dog, Boy, is engraved on the VJAMM. See Venicejamm Facebook posting at https://www.facebook.com/VeniceJAMM/
and Rafu Shimpo Obituary at https://www.rafu.com/2020/09/obituary-arnold-maeda-94-leader-of-venice-ja-memorial-effort/
2020 August 12
Len Nguyen, Planning Director for LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin’s 11th District, presents a copy of the VJAMM sign that will be posted on the four corners of the intersection of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards. Len will let the Committee know of the installation date.
2020 August 7
Ad wall features flavored Kombucha drinks with people in energetic poses.
2020 July 17
YouthBuild Case Manager Brandy Alonzo meets YouthBuild volunteers TJ, Destiny Dex, Coral, Devin, Robert, Luis Rose, Nehemiah, and Montavius at the VJAMM to clean the monument and sweep up the debris from the sidewalks and street curbs.
2020 June 26
YouthBuild Case Manager Marisol Perez meets YouthBuild volunteers Luis (Rose), Nehemiah, and Coral at the VJAMM to clean the monument and sweep up the debris from the sidewalks and street curbs.
2020 June 18
Alice Stek reports that the ad fence behind the VJAMM has been whitewashed, most likely in preparation for a new ad. Graffiti scrawled on the white fence reads in part: “Our president divides us!!! ICE hides us!!!”
2020 June 15
Dr. Rev. Duncan Ryuken Williams receives the VHBT’s and VJAMM’s 6,700+ origami cranes, strung in 35-crane lengths of about four feet, with a loop at the top per online instructions at https://tsuruforsolidarity.
Tsuru for Solidarity has collected nearly 250,000 origami cranes to date. A new project seeks to collect 70,000 origami butterflies (mariposa in Spanish) to represent immigrants incarcerated in U. S. custody while awaiting hearings.
2020 June 6 – 7
Tsuru for Solidarity postpones its Pilgrimage to Close the Camps, which would have culminated in Washington, D. C., out of consideration for the novel coronavirus 19 global pandemic. In its stead, a VIRTUAL Pilgrimage, Tsuru Rising, is linked to: https://tsuruforsolidarity.org/tsururising2/
2020 June 4
Amy Takahashi Ioki, formerly of Malibu, passes away. Private funeral service to be held at Green Hills Memorial Park by Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. Amy’s quote of gratitude for Issei resilience is engraved on the VJAMM. See Venicejamm Facebook posting at https://www.facebook.com/VeniceJAMM/ and Kubota Mortuary obituary at https://www.kubotamortuary.com/Obituaries/Emiko-Amy-Ioki
s A portrait of a young Amy Ioki, then Amy Takahashi, at Malibu High School
2020 May 8
Ad wall behind VJAMM features a satiric, comedic, fictional Hulu TV series on Catherine the Great.
2020 April 25
Manzanar Committee cancels the 51st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, out of an abundance of caution in consideration of the novel coronavirus 19 global pandemic.
The Virtual Manzanar Pilgrimage program, dedicated to the late Hank Umemoto, features Bruce Embrey, Alan Nishio, Dr. Russell Leong, Sara Omura and Glenn Suravech, Bernadette Johnson, Jason Muljadi. Photos from previous Pilgrimages date as far back as the 1969 inaugural Pilgrimage, and videos of the 50th Pilgrimage’s Interfaith Service from 2019 show Reverend Alfred Yoshi Tsuyuki, Jaylani Hussein, Reverend William Briones, Reverend Dickson Yagi, and many other participants.
Find out who they are and what they said, online at: https://manzanarcommittee.org/2020/04/25/virtual-pilg/
VJAMM half-page ad for 2020 Manzanar Pilgrimage program
2020 April 16
VJAMM Committee cancels its VJAMM Commemoration and fundraiser at Hama Sushi, out of an abundance of caution in consideration of the novel coronavirus 19 global pandemic.
2020 March 30 [postponed to 2020 June 15]
Members of the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple deliver 6,772 origami cranes, strung in 35-crane lengths of about four feet, with a loop at the top per online instructions at https://tsuruforsolidarity.org/tsuru-resources/ to Dr. William Ryuken Williams at USC, c/o Ito Center, 825 Bloom Walk, ACB 130D, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1481. Dr. Williams has joined others in the protests against detaining undocumented migrants and unaccompanied children in camps, some used during WWII. He has protested and performed Buddhist services in March 2019 at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas; in June and July 2019 at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. June 5 – 7, 2020, Reverend Williams will help lead the Tsuru for Solidarity Pilgrimage to Close the Camps, with a caravan visiting former WWII JA camps and current migrant detention centers, and culminating in a rally in Washington, D. C.
VJAMM Committee members have contributed to the 125,000 cranes requested by Tsuru for Solidarity at various meetings and at the Abbot Kinney Festival, one crane to represent each person of Japanese ancestry unjustly incarcerated in the U.S., Canada, and from Peru during WWII.
2020 March 17
The Los Angeles City Council passes the motion sponsored by Councilmember Mike Bonin, 11th District and Joe Buscaino, 15th District, to designate the intersection of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards “Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Square,” and to direct the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to fabricate, install, and maintain four permanent ceremonial signs at the locations, reading, “Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument,” in consultation with Council District Eleven.
2020 March 10
Venice Chamber of Commerce posts the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Blog at https://venicechamber.net/venice-japanese-american-memorial-monument/
2020 February 5
Los Angeles City Council Public Works Committee considers Councilmember Mike Bonin’s motion to name the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards “Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Square” with instructions to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to fabricate, install, and maintain four permanent ceremonial signs at the location. VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Brian Maeda, and Emily Winters meet District 11 Senior Planning Deputy Len Nguyen at the meeting at 1:00 pm at City Hall Room 350 at 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 to speak in favor of the motion. Committee members Bob Blumenfield, Chair; David E. Ryu, Joe Buscaino, Mitch O’Farrell, and Nury Martinez unanimously support Bonin’s motion.
2020 January 24
The Japanese American National Museum and National Japanese American Memorial Foundation invite the VJAMM Committee to attend a Community Reception at JANM, to learn “how we can work together into 2020 to continue to educate and preserve the history of our community.”
Attendees include Phyllis Hayashibara and Brian Maeda of the VJAMM Committee; Amy Watanabe of Kizuna and West LA/Venice JACL; Shirley Ann Higuchi of the NJAMF; Nancy Oda of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition; Ann Burroughs and George and Brad Takei of the JANM, and many Board of Directors members.
Board of Directors members of the Japanese American National Museum and the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation at JANM Reception
2020 January 24
Venice Community Housing YouthBuild volunteers maintain the VJAMM and sweep up the debris from the sidewalk and curbs under the supervision of Tyquanique Jackson and Orlando Nava. Thank you toAlexandria, Carmen, Kaylyn, Roberto, Steven, Aaron, Jorge, Sergio, Kaylyn, Keven.
2020 January 18
Certified Memorialist David Williams drives from Arvin to etch the missing PERIOD on the front of the VJAMM, on his way to LAX to pick up his daughter, Emily, returning from China.
2020 January 14
Advertising wall behind VJAMM features black line graffiti behind the VJAMM in the afternoon.
By early evening, the entire ad wall has been painted white, including the movie posters.
2020 January 8
New advertising on wall behind VJAMM features the film, “Just Mercy.”
2020 January 4
Kristina von Hoffman and her crew of Lance, Michael, and Nick interview Arnold Maeda and
Phyllis Hayashibara at Arnold’s home, for her documentary film on Venice.
2019 December 20
YouthBuild Case Manager Tyquanique Jackson meets YouthBuild volunteers Alexandria, Devin, Sergio, Steven, and Kaylyn at the VJAMM to clean the monument and sweep up the debris from the sidewalks and street curbs.
2019 November 15
New advertising wall behind VJAMM features IPSY for makeup and accessories.
2019 November 10
Beyond Baroque hosts its 9th Annual Awards Dinner at Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club, 1210 – 4th Street in Santa Monica. VJAMM Committee sponsors a full-page ad in honor of Executive Director Emeritus Richard Modiano, in appreciation of Beyond Baroque’s support for numerous VJAMM events at Beyond Baroque.
2019 November 9
Hama Sushi celebrates its 40th Anniversary Block Party on Windward Avenue in Venice.
VJAMM Committee members congratulate Esther and John Chaing, and thank them for their longtime support of the VJAMM.
2019 October 16
Venice Community Housing’s YouthBuild maintains the VJAMM, with Case Managers Orlando Nava and Tyquanique Jackson accompanying YB volunteers Kaylyn, Azjalize, Devin, Carmen, Jorge, and Tony.
Emily donates sandwiches and Halloween cookies; Phyllis donates bags of chips, trail mix, and sodas.
2019 October 15
New advertising wall behind VJAMM features a TV movie or series, “See.”
2019 October 3
The Argonaut prints a full-page graphic novel treatment of VJAMM Committee member Kay Brown, Printmaker at Social and Public Arts Resource Center (SPARC) at
2019 September 29
VJAMM Committee shares corner booth #566 near Milwood with the Venice Arts Council on the shady west side of Abbot Kinney Boulevard for the Abbot Kinney Festival. Opportunity Drawing tickets of $1.00 each help pay for the VJAMM half of the booth, $212.50. VJAMM collects $57 for the drawing plus $85 in cash donations = $142.00. Tina Wakino of Bazar, at 1108C Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, won Executive Order 9066 by Maisie and Richard Conrat; Amber England Harrold won Poston, Camp II, Block 211 by Jack Matsuoka; and Alice Stek won the furoshiki, a Japanese wrapping cloth. All prizes donated by Phyllis.
2019 September 22
Linden Nishinaga meets VJAMM Committee members Alice, Emily, and Fehmi for a guided tour of the Terminal Island Memorial Monument on Seaside Avenue and the site of a former Japanese fishing village, both in San Pedro. Alice, Emily, and Fehmi later visit the Korean Bell of Friendship on a bluff in Angels Gate Park in San Pedro.
2019 September 20
VCH’s YouthBuild volunteers arrive at 12:00 pm with VHC Construction Manager Jesus Rosales to polish the VJAMM, and sweep up the debris from the sidewalk and curb from both bus stops on Venice and Lincoln towards the monument. Thank you to YouthBuild volunteers Roberto, Azjalize, Devin, Carmen, Jorge, Aaron, and Kaylyn. Allie Hagen, Cafe Manager of Deux Ex Machina Motorcycles from across Lincoln Boulevard donates ten almond butter and jam sandwiches with bags of chips, which YB volunteers take back to the YouthBuild offices at 12525 Washington Place, Los Angeles, CA 90066. VJAMM Committee members Phyllis brings some of the cleaning supplies; Emily and Kay arrange the lunch donation, pick up, and delivery.
2019 September 20
Advertising wall behind VJAMM features The Farmer’s Dog dogfood.
2019 September 15
Venice Community Housing hosts its annual VHC Champagne Brunch at Tabor Courts Apartments, 345 – 4th Avenue in Venice. Featured speaker Justice Harris includes his VJAMM community service in his speech expressing appreciation to VCH YouthBuild.
2019 September 14
New advertising wall behind the VJAMM has been built!
2019 September 3 – 29
The Venice Heritage Foundation and the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art present “A History of Venice” to celebrate Venice art, history, and culture at Beyond Baroque in Venice. The VJAMM Committee curates the 1940s 30” x 60” panel, featuring the VJAMM along with historic photos and documents related to the forced removal and incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry, ending with “NEVER AGAIN IS NOW.” Images and captions available at https://venicejamm.org/a-history-of-venice/
2019 August 16
VCH’s YouthBuild volunteers arrive ten-strong with YB staffers Orlando Nava, Teresa Lucas, and Marisol Perez to clean the VJAMM, and sweep up the debris from the planter, sidewalk, and curb from both bus stops on Venice and Lincoln towards the monument. Wirin Thai Restaurant from across Lincoln Boulevard donates a large pan of noodles and a medium pan of fried rice, which YB take back to their new headquarters at 12525 Washington Place, Los Angeles, CA 90066. Thank you to volunteers Roberto, Juan, Carmen, Anthunieo, Jorge, Devin, Aaron, Melody, Kaylyn, and Azjalize. VJAMM Committee members Phyllis brought some of the cleaning supplies, and Emily arranged the lunch donation.
2019 July 19
Venice Community Housing’s YouthBuild volunteers maintain the VJAMM and surrounding sidewalk and curbs at noon. Youthbuild Case Manager Orlando Nava guides YB volunteers Azjalize, Melody, Kaylyn, Jorge, and Anthunie who brought their own supplies. Kay Brown and Emily Winters pick up and deliver pulled chicken and pulled beef sandwiches with sides of potato salad and baked beans donated by Baby Blues BBQ.
2019 July 13
The Get Around celebrates “3.5 miles of music, art, and mobility from Venice Beach to the 405.” “Hub 4 Lincoln” includes the VJAMM as the site of the Westside Revival, Aaron Mendoza’s project to bring back live rock and roll to Venice and the Westside. Deejay D. Max Maxey and the bands that play as part of the Westside Revival flank the VJAMM.
“Hub 5 Beyond Baroque” includes The Mercado at Social and Public Arts Resource Center, where Emily Winters and Kay Brown staff a table of Venice Arts Council books, tees, and Kay’s greeting cards.
2019 June 14
Venice Community Housing’s YouthBuild volunteers return to the VJAMM at 11 am to Windex the VJAMM and sweep up the sidewalk and curb debris. Youthbuild Case Manager Orlando Nava and volunteers Carmen, Juan, Cesar, Rafael, and Robert bring their own supplies because no VJAMM Committee member could meet them. YB has its own luncheon scheduled for that afternoon, so no donated lunch was served.
2019 May 17
Venice Community Housing’s YouthBuild volunteers meet at noon to wipe down the VJAMM and sweep up the sidewalk and curb debris. YouthBuild Case Manager Orlando Nava and volunteers Cesar, Juan, Robert, and Teresa meet VJAMM Committee member Brian Maeda, who brought the cleaning supplies. The Great Western Hoagie and Steak Company donate sandwiches and chips for the volunteers.
2019 May 16
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.
2019 April 28
Reverend William Ryuken Williams, a Soto Zen priest and director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture, autographs his book, American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War, at Manzanar National Historic Site. He titles his slide presentation, “American Sutra: Buddhism and the WWII Japanese American Incarceration.” Brian, Lucia, Alice, Fehmi, Phyllis, and Len attend.
2019 April 27
The Manzanar Committee celebrates its Fiftieth Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. Warren Furutani and traci kato-kiriyama co-emcee; Karen Korematsu and Dale Minami deliver keynote addresses. VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Mae Kakehashi, Brian and Lucia Maeda, Alice Stek, Fehmi Yildirim, and Len Nguyen join over 2,500 attendees. The VJAMM information table distributes new VJAMM postcards, old VJAMM Commemoration flyers with list of VJAMM Supporters, 2017 VJAMM Dedication programs and 2019 Venice Community Calendars, and Free Venice Beachheads.
2019 April 26
Manzanar Committee hosts reception at the Eastern California Museum in Independence, and Florin JACL and the Akamya Culture Group sponsor the Intercultural Exchange Group at Cielo Hotel in Bishop. Phyllis, Len, Alice, and Fehmi attend.
Dancers Jimmy Kai and Sage Romero of Akamya Cultural Group
2019 April 23
The Japanese American National Museum screens “Norman Mineta and His Legacy, An American Story” at JANM’s Tateuchi Democracy Forum. Val Zavala of PBS Socal interviews Mineta after the film. Mineta’s life story inspires: What Does it Mean to be an American? free online curriculum for high school and college students available at www.WhatDoesItMeanToBeAnAmerican.com
Norman Mineta and PBS SoCal’s Val Zavala
2019 April 20
Paul Kitagaki, Jr. exhibits his photographs in “Gambare: Legacy of an Enduring Spirit,” at the Japanese American National Museum. Kitagaki leads the tour of his photos of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated seventy-five years ago, who were photographed in the 1940s while incarcerated. Kitagaki autographs copies of his pre-publication book of photographs, Behind Barbed Wire.
Paul Kitagaki, Jr. with Helene Nakamoto Mihara, photographed by Dorothea Lange in 1942 in San Francisco with Yoko Itashiki (now Mary Ann Yahiro)
2019 April 18
VJAMM 8th annual fundraiser at Hama Sushi Restaurant in Venice: Esther Chaing donates 10% of all dinner sales to the VJAMM Committee and personally matches it for a total of $824.00. Over eight years Esther has donated a total of $23,826.13 to the VJAMM.
Thank you to Esther and Jung Chaing, Tony Kim, and head chef Elizabeth Valencia.
Esther Chaing, Elizabeth Valencia, Tony Kim
2019 April 18
VJAMM Commemoration at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards:
Guest speakers include Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of the Japanese National Museum; Warren Furutani, community activist and Manzanar Pilgrimage pioneer; Mitchell T. Maki, President and CEO of the Go For Broke National Education Center; Ken Seino Kataoka, who dons a black suit and fedora, channeling his maternal grandfather, Charles Kozo Kataoka, circa 1942, ready for transport from the Santa Anita Assembly Center to the American concentration camp at Rohwer, Arkansas; Bruce Embrey, Manzanar Committee; Zachary Gaidzik of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office; Nicolas Rodriguez of U. S. Congressmember Ted Lieu’s office. First ever hosted luncheon for speakers (no-host for VJAMM Committee members and guests) at Kifune Restaurant in Marina del Rey follows the Commemoration.
Speakers Ken Seino Kataoka, Bruce Embrey, Ann Burroughs, Warren Furutani, Mitchell T. Maki
2019 April 18
2019 April 17
Senior Girl Scout Troop 5325, which meets at the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple under the leadership of Victoria Yamashita, returns to the VJAMM at 1:00 pm to Windex the VJAMM and sweep up the sidewalk debris between the two bus stop shelters. Phyllis donates sandwiches from Jersey Mike’s and drinks for lunch. Thank you to Girl Scouts: Iris Hirata, Inori Kawauchiya, Amanda Matsubara, Chrissy Wakasa, Ally Yamashita.
Girl Scout Troop 5325 clean the VJAMM before the Commemoration.
2019 April 13
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Gold Sponsor, invites ten guests for his Table #48 at the Japanese American National Museum Gala at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Ten guests at Table #48 include:
Kristin Sakoda, Executive Director, LAC Arts Commission
Jennifer Fukutomi-Jones, Director of Programs, Arts For LA
Phyllis Hayashibara, member, Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee
Kiara Brown, Special Assistant, Community and External Relations, NHM
Randi Tahara, Asst. Chief Deputy, Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
Iku Kiriyama, Writer; health and wellness activist; retired teacher
Traci Kiriyama, Performance artist and civil rights activist
Diane Ujiye, Minister and LA Voice Lead Organizer
Ron Wakabayashi, District Director, U.S. Department of Justice
Nancy Sekizawa, Atomic Nancy, Singer formerly of Hiroshima
Gala speakers include Norm Mineta, JANM Board of Trustees; Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum; and Ann Curry, journalist, photojournalist, and featured writer for National Geographic in the October 2018 issue on the incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry during WWII.
2019 April 12
Scott Ueda, Jr.’s funeral at Gates, Kingsley & Gates, 4220 South Sepulveda Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90230. Visitation 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm; Funeral service 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Scott, born November 28, 1992, passed away March 24, 2019 at the age of twenty-six. Scott had written, “It did happen here: When our Japanese neighbors were sent to concentration camps” for the April 2009 Free Venice Beachhead. Phyllis Hayashibara, Nikki Gilbert, and Len Nguyen attend.
2019 April 8
Certified Memorialist David Williams, of Williams Monument Company in Arvin, adds the final two major donors to the VJAMM: In loving memory of Johnny Katsui Sakioka; and: Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa, in loving memory of Isao and Kiyako Yoshikawa. VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Mae Kakehashi, Arnold Maeda, and Emily Winters secure the site while David works.
2019 April 4
Girl Scout Gold Awardee Lindsey Kojima presents “The Corner of Lincoln and Venice” at Ecole Claire Fontaine. Pre-school students decorate their model VJAMMs, which some call “rockets.”
Suzanne Thompson attends to represent the VJAMM Committee.
2019 March 25
Nikki Gilbert designs new 4 x 6 VJAMM post cards. VJAMM Committee has 3,000 printed by U-Printing in Santa Monica on 14 pt glossy cardstock. Postcard front features pink 1942 photo with railroad tracks; postcard back features updated silhouettes of the VJAMM front and back, and Thank you for supporting the Venice Japanese America Memorial Monument.
2019 March 15
Venice Community Housing YouthBuild volunteers clean the VJAMM and the surrounding sidewalk for the fourth time. They enjoy Kalua pork sliders donated by Paul Wahba of Rutt’s Café on Washington Place in West Los Angeles.
Volunteers with Venice Community Housing Executive Director Becky Dennison and YouthBuild Associate Director Tijana Quilici
2019 February 20
Lindsey Kojima posts online her Girl Scout Gold Award book, The Corner of Lincoln and Venice and her interviews with Amy Ioki, Mae Kakehashi, Arnold Maeda, Brian Maeda, and June Tomita. To view both, go to www.venicejamm.org/kojima.
Click on the cover of The Corner of Lincoln and Venice, to read Lindsey Kojima’s book on the VJAMM.
Click on INTERVIEWS to see Lindsey’s interviews with Amy Ioki, Mae Kakehashi, Arnold Maeda, Brian Maeda, June Tomita.
2019 February 10
Lindsey Kojima, of Girl Scout Troop 5325, presents VJAMM patches to Dharma School students and adult Temple members after she reads to them her book, The Corner of Lincoln and Venice, and after participants create and decorate their own VJAMM model from Lindsey’s template, and complete the VJAMM questionnaire. Special guest: Arnold Maeda.
2019 January 6
Lindsey Kojima, of Girl Scout Troop 5325, presents VJAMM patches to Nikki Gilbert, her nieces Emery and Lucy, Phyllis Hayashibara, Brian Maeda, Lucia Maeda, Alice Stek, Suzanne Thompson, and Fehmi Yildirim for completing the VJAMM questionnaire and for decorating and putting together a paper VJAMM model from her template. Lindsey sent VJAMM patches to Arnold Maeda and Emily Winters for completing the questionnaire, though they could not come that afternoon. Lindsey previews her book, The Corner of Lincoln and Venice, and incorporates suggestions made by VJAMM Committee members.
2019 January 6
VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Alice Stek, Suzanne Thompson, and Fehmi Yildirim attend the Manzanar Committee-sponsored book signing by Dr. Arthur Hansen at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute. Dr. Hansen autographed copies of his newest book, Barbed Voices: Oral History, Resistance, and the World War II Japanese American Social Disaster, with a foreward by Dr. Lane Ryo Hirabayashi.
2018 December 21
Venice Community Housing YouthBuild volunteers receive training from VCH’s Clarence Dorsey on the gas-powered pressure washer to clean the sidewalk, but the dried gum residue proves to be resistant. Must bring putty scrapers to start scraping the gum residue starting in January 2019. Thank you to Lucia and Brian Maeda for bringing donuts for the early morning clean up. Thank you to Gustavo of Beach Cities Carwash for providing hoses and water, and thank you to Carwash operator Steve Spunt for sharing the water.
2018 December 18
Betsy Goldman of ReMax Estate Properties donates to the VJAMM Committee 100 copies of the 2019 Venice Community Calendar, which features the Japanese American community in Venice, the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument, and the VJAMM Committee. The VJAMM Committee distributed all 100 copies of the calendar to VJAMM supporters.
2018 November 15
VJAMM Committee writes a letter of support for Laura Ceballos’ campaign for the Venice Mexican American Traqueros Monument to Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin.
2018 October 19
Venice Community Housing YouthBuild volunteers clean the VJAMM and the surrounding sidewalk for the third time. They enjoy sesame chicken wings and chicken salad from Marcus Toji and Jared Nishikawa of Feast from the East on Westwood Boulevard.
2018 September 30
John Mooney and Zed Aquarian help VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Alice Stek, Emily Winters set up the VAC/VJAMM booth #576. Informational VJAMM postcards and past Argonauts, Free Venice Beachheads, and Venice High School Oarsmen available for the taking. VJAMM opportunity drawing for one of three sets of five bowls won by Fehmi Yildirim, Remington Hoffman, and Jose Mercado.
2018 September 21
Venice Community Housing YouthBuild volunteers return for the second time to clean the VJAMM and sweep the sidewalk and curbs as part of their monthly community service. Nine youth and two YouthBuild staff participate, and share teriyaki chicken lunches donated by Janis Toya of Sakura Japanese Restaurant on Centinela.
2018 August 28
Brian Maeda screens his preview of “We Said No NO” at the Terasaki Nibei Foundation on Olympic Boulevard for about 50 participants. Phyllis opens the program with a slide presentation on the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument, and introduces Brian as a VJAMM Committee member. VJAMM Committee members Kay Brown, Mae Kakehashi, Arnold Maeda, Emily Winters, and Alice Stek with Fehmi Yildirim also attend in support of Brian and his film.
2018 August 24
Venice Community Housing YouthBuild volunteers clean the VJAMM and sweep the sidewalk and curbs as part of their monthly community service. Nine youth and two YouthBuild Directors participate, and share grilled veggie sandwiches and tuna salad sandwiches donated by James’ Beach in Venice with a couple of passers-by, too.
2018 July 23, 24, 27 and August 16
Girl Scout Lindsey Kojima of Troop 5325, with approval for her Gold Award project on the VJAMM, interviews VJAMM Committee members and former Manzanar internees Mae Kakehashi, Brian Maeda, Arnold Maeda, June Tomita (widow of Yosh Tomita), and Amy Ioki for her planned book and video on the VJAMM. Lindsey has already introduced to about fifty children at Kizuna summer youth camp her VJAMM slide presentation and making a paper model of the VJAMM which the children decorate.
For videos of the interviews, please visit: https://youtu.be/OvoiMHuA_NQ
2018 July 10
Alice Stek notifies the VJAMM Committee that the ad wall behind VJAMM has been removed! Phyllis Hayashibara writes a VJAMM letter of appreciation to Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, District 11, with copies to Land Use and Planning Director Krista Kline and Land Use and Planning Deputy Len Nguyen.
2018 June 23
At the Keep Families Together rally at the Federal Building in Westwood at 10:00 am, Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin invoked the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument as a reminder of what the U.S. government did to the Japanese American community in 1942. Bonin introduced Brian Maeda as a former internee of the Manzanar War Relocation Authority camp. Brian spoke of his family’s loss of their Santa Monica nursery, the deeply felt loss of his then-teenage brother’s constant companion, Arnold’s German Shepherd dog, Boy; and his new film, “We Said, No, NO!” and urged every ONE to “stop this tyrant (Trump).” See five-minute video clip at https://vimeo.com/276754661
2018 June 12
VJAMM Committee approves $2,000.00 donation towards Brian’s “We Said, NO NO” film expenses, in keeping with its educational outreach mission.
2018 June 9
Brian Maeda previews his work-in-progress film, “We Said, NO NO,” at the Santa Monica Public Library, as part of its Special Events calendar in conjunction with the Santa Monica Reads program, which selected Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston’s memoir, “Farewell to Manzanar.”
2018 June 8
Venice Community Housing invites Phyllis Hayashibara, Arnold Maeda, and Emily Winters to present a brief slide show at the all-staff meeting at VCH, to explain the VJAMM project. The VJAMM Committee expresses its appreciation to VCH for its fiscal sponsorship of the VJAMM Committee.
2018 May 26
Beyond Baroque hosts a VJAMM educational outreach program from 2 pm to 4 pm, featuring “Behind Barbed Wire,” Deon Price’s composition for piano (Mary Au) and saxophone (Chika Inoue) with haiku written by camp internees; “And Then They Came for Us,” 2017 documentary film by Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider; with Q&A and discussion moderated by Brian Maeda.
2018 May 3
Attorneys for Atlantic Microscope, new owners of the 1413 Michigan Avenue property, send a letter and their Historic Resource Assessment (https://www.smgov.net/departments/pcd/agendas/Landmarks-Commission/2018/20180514/20180514%209_B%20Attachment%20C%20McGee%20Historic%20Resource%20Assessment%20FINAL%2004.23.18.pdf) to the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission. They support the designation of the former Japanese American social hall as a cultural resource.
2018 April 28
VJAMM Committee members Mae Kakehashi, Alice Stek with friend Fehmi Yildirim, Emily Winters, and Phyllis Hayashibara attend the 49th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and set up a VJAMM table to distribute NPS JACS 2017 Year in Review (VJAMM on page 46), VJAMM Dedication Programs of April 27, 2017, VJAMM postcards, May 26 Beyond Baroque postcards (Behind Barbed Wire, And Then They Came for Us, Panel), VJAMM Commemoration and Fundraiser flyers from April 19, 2018, and the Argonaut of April 28, 2018 featuring Mae Kakehashi’s interview and photographs (page 10 and 11).
2018 April 24
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.
2019 April 19
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, for a total donation of $3,916.60 Over seven years, Esther has donated to the VJAMM $22,462.13. 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 Tokubo.
2018 April 19
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, Suzanne Thompson, 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)
2018 April 15
Venice Dolphins basketball team, many of whom also belong to Girl Scout Troop 5325 which meets at the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, sweep up the sidewalk debris from the bus stop stations on Venice and Lincoln to the VJAMM, and wipe down with Windex the VJAMM itself. No discernible damage to the VJAMM or foundation after the 5.3 earthquake on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 12:30 pm off the Ventura coast, by the Channel Islands. Girls enjoy Jersey Mike’s sub sandwiches for lunch.
2018 March 16
Beyond Baroque reprises 2010 haiku reading from May Sky, There is Always Tomorrow, An Anthology of Japanese American Concentration Camp Kaiko Haiku, compiled, translated, and prefaced by Violet Kazue de Cristoforo, 1997, by Sun and Moon Press. VJAMM Committee member Brian Maeda introduces Violet’s biography. Haiku readers in Japanese: Reverend John Iwohara of Gardena Buddhist Church; Emily Kariya, teacher at Santa Monica High School. Haiku readers in English translation: Richard Modiano, Executive Director of Beyond Baroque; Amy Uyematsu, Sansei poet; Laurel Ann Bogen, Venice poet. Prose readers from the VJAMM Committee: Phyllis Hayashibara, Alice Stek, Emily Winters.
2019 February 15
VJAMM Committee members and former MAnzanar internees Arnold Maeda and Mae Kakehashi join fellow former Manzanar internees Susumu Ioki and Mary Nomura, the Songbird of Manzanar, on a panel presentation before 150 juniors in the World Languages Global Studies Venice High School Magnet. Teachers Cristobal Vicente-Aguilar, Jennifer Barnhill, and Trasey Nomachi invite Phyllis Hayashibara to give a presentation on the VJAMM and to organize the panel of speakers.
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 February 12
Santa Monica Landmarks Commission considers the staff recommendation to designate as a City Landmark: the building at 1413 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, the former home of the Santa Monica Nikkei Kai since 1957. Jimmy Fukuhara of the SM Nikkei Kai had completed the sale of the property to Atlantic Microscope, in November of 2017, with the understanding that the building would be demolished, but that an appropriate plaque would commemorate the history of the property to the Japanese Americans of Santa Monica. Dolores Sloan, Chair of the Landmarks Commission, pulled this building from the list of demolition permits at their November 13, 2017 meeting for more information as to the building’s historic and cultural significance. Steve Mizokami, Senior Planner, City of Santa Monica, received the 9-page 1413 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica Historic Resource Assessment on December 6, 2017. (https://www.smgov.net/departments/pcd/agendas/Landmarks-Commission/2017/20171211/20171211%207_A_2%20Preliminary%20Assessment%201413%20Michigan%20Avenue.pdf)
The building was again pulled from the list at their December 11, 2017 meeting, and considered for Designation of a Structure as a City Landmark or Structure of Merit. The Executive Summary of January 30, 2018 found that the Building is eligible for listing as a City of Santa Monica Landmark. (https://www.smgov.net/departments/pcd/agendas/Landmarks-Commission/2018/20180212/20180212%209_A%201%201413%20Michigan%20Ave%20Staff%20Report.pdf).
2018 January 27
Venice Arts of 13445 Beach Avenue in Venice, invites Phyllis and Arnold to join their 25th anniversary exhibition/celebration from 5 pm to 8 pm. Students had interviewed Arnold Maeda and Phyllis Hayashibara way back on July 25, 2016 at Venice Arts on 1702 Lincoln Boulevard in Venice. Phyllis requests a copy of the filmed interview for VJAMM. Available on line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_q1SftJ7GlY&feature=youtu.be, titled, “Venice Arts presents Venice Streets”.
2018 January 25
Fehmi Yildirim of Turkey, and friend of VJAMM Committee member Alice Stek, volunteers to help Phyllis Hayashibara Windex the VJAMM and sweep up the sidewalk debris, 3:30 to 4:00 pm.
2018 January 24
Michael Craig of LA DWP meets with Phyllis to complete Exhibit 1, to order a light sensitive 85 DL (Light Emitting Diode, Directional Fixture) at 2305 Lincoln Boulevard on an existing pole to illuminate the VJAMM. Becky Dennison and Priscilla Smith of Venice Community Housing agree to allow the LA DWP bill the VCH property at 200 Lincoln the $10.50 per month cost. VJAMM agrees to reimburse VCH on a monthly basis.
2017 November 30
Passerby Michael Christian of Paris, France gets off the bus and offers to help Phyllis clean off the VJAMM obelisk. He sees that she cannot easily reach the top with her long handled sweeper.
2017 November 29
VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara and Emily Winters attend the Los Angeles premiere of documentary filmmakers Abby Ginzberg’s and Ken Schneider’s “And Then They Came For Us” at the Downtown Independent, 251 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. After the 40-minute film, panelists include filmmakers Ginzberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Schneider, Marya Bangee of SILA (email@example.com), Ahilan Arulanantham of the Southern California ACLU, and Ivan Ceja of Undocumedia (DACA) (firstname.lastname@example.org, www.undocumedia.org).
2017 November 19
VJAMM Committee members Arnold Maeda, Brian Maeda, Phyllis Hayashibara, and Alice Stek attend the Mu Phi Epsilon Los Angeles Alumni Chapter Founders Day Celebration Concert at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 1343 Ocean Park Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405.
Saxophonist Chika Inouye (email@example.com, www.chikainoue.com) and pianist Mary Au (firstname.lastname@example.org, www.aumary.com) perform composer Deon Price’s “Behind Barbed Wire,” 2016, with spoken haiku by camp internees and with video of WWII scenes of Pearl Harbor, the War Relocation Authority camps, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
2017 November 15
George and Stephanie Sakioka make a major donation to the VJAMM with additional funds to cover continued maintenance. They request that their donation not include the dollar amount. They request this inscription on the VJAMM: IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOHNNY KATSUI SAKIOKA.
2017 November 4
VJAMM Committee member Phyllis Hayashibara attends Dave Iwataki’s “J-Town/Bronzeville Suite” at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, 1964 West 162nd Street, Gardena, CA 90247. J-Town Ensemble: Shigin by Patrick Seki, Shakuhachi by Greg Matsuura, Flute by Rumi Patterson, Taiko by Shiwei Wu, Koto by Yuki Yasuda. Bronzeville Quarter: Piano by Theo Saunders, Bass by Henry Franklin, Drums by Don Littleton, Sax by Louis Van Taylor. Panelists: Bronzevile scholar Dr. Hillary Jenks (email@example.com), visual artist Kathy Foley-Meyer (Kathie@kf-m.com, firstname.lastname@example.org), jazz historian Kirk Silsbee, composer David Iwataki.
2017 October 24
King Fahad Mosque members Mohammed Abdul Aleem and his wife, Maleeha, present the 1,000 cranes to the King Fahad Mosque after 1:00 pm prayers. Phyllis Hayashibara thanks the Mosque for their early support of the VJAMM in 2011, and Dr. Jimmy Hara shares the story of Sadako and the 1,000 cranes. Suzanne Thompson and Fehmi Yidirimi take photos and post them on the VJAMM Facebook page. Venice-West LA JACL organizers Amy Watanabe and Annia Yoshizumi come with supporters Rie Watanabe and Joanne Tsuichika.
2017 October 20
VJAMM Committee members Kay Brown, Arnold Maeda, and Phyllis Hayashibara meet with Laura Ceballos about a proposed Venice Mexican American Traqueros Monument to commemorate the Southern California railroad workers of Mexican ancestry from 1970 to 1930.
2017 September 24
VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Mae Kakehashi, Arnold Maeda, Alice Stek, Suzanne Thompson, and Emily Winters staff Booth #578 at Milwood on the west side of Abbot Kinney Boulevard for the Abbot Kinney Festival. Display includes photos of installed VJAMM at northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln, VJAMM postcards, VJAMM Dedication programs. VJAMM collects $44 in donations and opportunity drawing tickets. VJAMM awards three sets of donated five sake cups (sumo, flowers, or Japan designs) with two sake bottles (2) or one sake bottle and four chopstick rests (1) to winning ticket holders. AKF Community Grant report and VJAMM Curriculum now overdue, which Phyllis will complete. VJAMM thanks Venice Arts Council’s John Mooney, Zed Aquarian, and Regina Barton for helping set up, staff, and break down shared booth.
Fehmi Yildirim, Arnold Maeda, Mae Kakehashi, Alice Stek
Emily Winters, Suzanne Thompson, Regina Barton
2017 September 11
VJAMM Committee members Kay Brown, Phyllis Hayashibara, and Emily Winters thank the Malibu City Council for their support and distribute copies of the VJAMM Dedication program to Mayor Skylar Peak, Mayor Pro Tem Rick Mullen, and Councilmembers Lou La Monte, Laura Rosenthal, and Jefferson Wagner.
Mayor Skylar Peak, Mayor Pro Tem Rick Mullen, Councilmember Laura Rosenthal, Councilmember Lou La Monte, Councilmember Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner.
2017 September 10
Venice-West Los Angeles JACL holds “1000 Cranes: Solidarity, Vigilance, and Peace” event at VJAMM site, 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm. Speakers include keynoters Warren Furutani and Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed, and Phyllis Hayashibara, who thanked the Venice-WLA JACL for holding its event at the VJAMM site. Program features taiko performance by Nakama Daiko and special presentation of 1,000 cranes to Mohammed Abdul Ahmed of the King Fahad Mosque of Culver City. Coordinator: Amy Watanabe, email@example.com. Event made possible by partners: Camp Musubi, Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin.
Girl Scout Troop 5325, King Fahad Mosque members, former camp internees, Venice-West LA Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
2017 September 9
VJAMM Major Donor Appreciation Reception at Suzie Tomiko Yamato’s home, 2229 Prospect Avenue, Venice, CA 90291, from 2 pm to 5 pm draws a total of forty-two attendees. Alice serves as emcee for the program. Performances include music by the Shoo Flies, Emily Wong on koto, poet Amy Uyematsu, and the Songbird of Manzanar, Mary Nomura, on vocals. Refreshments include donations from Sushi Girl, Feast from the East, Angel Maid, and Rutt’s Inn. Thank you to Eugene and Phyllis Hayashibara for donations of wine and sake, and cookies. Thank you to Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office for the 50 padded chairs, 9 tables, and 9 tablecloths, delivered and picked up by AAA Rentals.
Alice Stek, Brian Maeda, Esther Chaing, Gail Rodgers, Ira Koslow, Lucia Maeda
2017 July 28
Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, 11th District, presents a framed Certificate of Appreciation to the VJAMM Committee, which the Committee presents to Jennie Tomita in honor of Yosh Tomita. VJAMM Committee members Kay Brown, Phyllis Hayashibara, Suzanne Thompson, Jennifer Tomita, and Emily Winters thank the Los Angeles City Council for their support and distribute copies of the VJAMM Dedication program to the fifteen Councilmembers: 1.Gilbert Cedillo, 2. Paul Krekorian, 3.Bob Blumenfield, 4.David Ryu, 5.Paul Koretz, 6.Nury Martinez, 7.Monica Rodriguez, 8.Marqueece Harris-Dawson, 9.Curren Price, Jr., 10.Herb Wesson, Jr., 11.Mike Bonin, 12.Mitchell Englander, 13.Mitch O’Farrell, 14.Jose Huizar, 15.Joe Buscaino. Mayor Eric Garcetti was USPS mailed a copy of the program in appreciation for his signed Los Angeles City Certificate of Recognition, presented to the VJAMM Committee at the VJAMM Dedication on April 27, 2017. Senior Field Deputy Len Nguyen, who drafted the text of the Certificate of Appreciation, joins the VJAMM Committee for the commemorative photo.
Senior Field Deputy Len Nguyen, Emily Winters, Phyllis Hayashibara with Manzanar baseball presented by Mike Bonin, 11th District City Councilmember Mike Bonin, Suzanne Thompson, Jennifer Tomita with framed Certificate of Appreciation from Mike Bonin to the VJAMM Committee, and Kay Brown.
2017 July 25
VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Alice Stek, Emily Winters, and Suzanne Thompson visit the Santa Monica City Council to thank them for their support and to distribute copies of the VJAMM Dedication program to Mayor Ted Winterer, Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis, and Councilmembers Tony Vazquez, Kevin McKeown, Sue Himmelrich, Pam O’Connor, and Terry O’Day. Council was in closed session.
Emily Winters, Suzanne Thompson, Alice Stek, Phyllis Hayashibara, and Fehmi Yildirim in Santa Monica City Council chambers.
2017 July 15
Junior Young Buddhist Association members from the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple participate in the maintenance of the VJAMM at 11:30 am under the supervision of sponsor Vickie Tokirio. VJAMM provided the cleaning supplies and tools, bottled water, fruit snacks, and trail mix for Jr YBA members Lindley Kojima, Matthew Kojima, Amanda Matsubara, Jared Matsubayashi, Toni Tokirio, Alyssa Uyeda, and Chrissy Wakasa.
Junior Young Buddhist Association members of the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple
2017 June 29
VJAMM Committee member Arnold Maeda participates in Venice Historical Society’s panel discussion on Japanese American life before, during, and after WWII with Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa and Dr. Jimmy Hara.
Jill Prestup, President of the Venice Historical Society, organized the Quarterly Lecture Series at the Oakwood Recreation Center, California and 7th Avenues, from 6:30 pm. Over 70 people attended, and Venice Historical Society signed up 5 new members, a rousing success.
Venice Historical Society counted 70 participants and 5 new members.
2017 June 20
VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Alice Stek, Suzanne Thompson, and Emily Winters 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 distributed copies of the VJAMM Dedication Program, April 27, 2017, for President Ira Koslow, VP George Francisco, Secretary Melissa Diner, Treasurer Hugh Harrison, Land Use and Planning Chair Matthew Royce, Outreach Officer Matt Kline, Communitcations Officer Evan White, Community Officers Brad Adams, Cayley Lambur, Colleen Saro, Dax Kimbrough, Hollie Stenson, Ilana Marosi, Jim Murez, John Reed, Matt Shaw, Michelle Meepos, Robert Thibodeau, Steve Livigni, Sunny Bak, and Will Hawkins.
2017 June 15
Senior Girl Scout Troop 5325, which meets at the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple under the leadership of Victoria Yamashita (accompanied by Mom Lisa Yumori), meets at 11:30 am to Windex the VJAMM and sweep up the sidewalk debris between the two bus stop shelters.
Suzanne arranges for Esther Chaing’s donation of 100 pieces of sushi for lunch. Thank you to Esther and the Senior Girl Scouts: Leila Fernandez, Amanda Matsubara, Jacklyn Oldoerp, Inori Kawguchiya, Lindsey Kojima, Chrissy Wakasa, Ally Yamashita, and Junior Jennifer Yamashita.
2017 June 15
NPS JACS approves final VJAMM Reibursement Request #5 in the amount $12,305.49.
2017 June 13
CalTrans Inspector Tuan Hua (work 213-897-0352, mobile 661-305-1125) calls Phyllis back to say that he would inspect the VJAMM and let us know if he has any questions.
2017 June 10
Brian Maeda, at the invitation of Cal State University Los Angeles professor of Political Science Donna Schuele, attends performance of Jeanne Sakata’s one-man play about Gordon Hirabayashi, “Hold These Truths,” at the Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. EL Molino Avenue in Pasadena, and participates in the after-play panel discussion on the JA internment and the recent VJAMM dedication.
2017 June 4
Alice Stek, at the invitation of Daniel Robinson, attends “Standing Together: A Community Conversation on Immigration and Islamophobia,” at the Islamic Center of Southern California, 434 S. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 9002
2017 June 2
NPS JACS Final Report FAXED and FEDEXed to Kara Miyagishima with final Reimbursement Request #5 in the amount of $$12,305.49.
2017 May 26
Los Angeles City Board of Public Works invites the VJAMM Committee to their 10:00 am meeting to present the Certificate of Recognition signed by all five Commissioners: President Kevin James, Vice President Heather Repenning, President Pro Tempore Michael Davis, Commissioner Joel Jacinto, and Commissioner Luz Rivas, as part of the celebration of May as Asian and Pacific Island Heritage Month. Kay Brown, Phyllis Hayashibara, Mae Kakehashi, Colleen Hoff (Mae’s daughter), Arnold Maeda, Brian Maeda, Suzanne Thompson, Jennifer Tomita (Yosh’s daughter), Emily Winters, Senior Field Deputy Len Nguyen of Mike Bonin’s office, Gerry Valido and Paul Racs, Director of the Office of Community Beautification, attend.
2017 April 29
VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Mae Kakehashi Alice Stek, Jim Smith, Suzanne Thompson, and Emily Winters join the 2,000 participants at the 48th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. Keynote speaker Warren Furutani mentions the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument in his remarks. VJAMM set up an information table draped with the VJAMM banner and distributed VJAMM postcards and VJAMM Dedication programs to Manzanar Committee members and former internees of Manzanar.
Fehmi Yildirim, nephew Ryan Kakehashi, Alice Stek, Robert Kakehashi, Suzanne Thompson, Phyllis Hayashibara, Mae Kakehashi, Emily Winters
2017 April 27 VJAMM Dedication
VJAMM Dedication on the northwest Corner of Venice and Lincoln from 10 am – 11:30 am draws 200 participants. 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) precede keynote speaker Warren Furutani, community activist and Manzanar Pilgrimage pioneer.
Some 200 supporters attend the VJAMM Dedication on Thursday, April 27, 2017.
2017 April 27 VJAMM Fundraiser at Hama Sushi
6th annual VJAMM Fundraiser at Hama Sushi sees record 301 bento sold! Esther Chaing donates to the VJAMM 100% of bento profits and 10% of dinner sales, a generous $4,009.10. Over six years, Esther’s donations to the VJAMM total $18,545.53! Thank you to many members of the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple Buddhist Women’s Association, the Fujinkai, for assembling and distributing the bento at Hama Sushi: Joyce Enomoto, June Fujioka, Shinobu Koda, Aya Masada, Irene Matsumura, Judy Nawa, Alice Ogawa, Karen Tokubo, Cyndy Uehara, Lauren Wolpert, and Sharyn Yoshimi. Hama Sushi could not have done it without their invaluable help.
2017 April 23
Jack Fujimoto invites Arnold Maeda to moderate and Phyllis Hayashibara to speak at Sawtelle Stories Forum 14, at the New Center for Psychoanalysis, 2014 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025. Phyllis narrates a Power Point presentation of slides detailing the 16-year journey from the concept of the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument through its dedication on April 27, 2017, focusing on the initial gathering of community and political support, fundraising, engineering studies required, evolution of the VJAMM design, and the approvals and permit required by the California State Department of Transportation, and by the Los Angeles City Council, Cultural Affairs Commission, Office of Community Beautification, and the Board of Public Works.
2017 April 22
Tony, John, and Ruben of United Riggers and Erectors, Inc. install VJAMM at 8 am on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln, with crane operated by Hal of Anglemyer Crane, and traffic mitigated by Eric and Todd of The Permit Company. David Perka of Los Angeles City GSD Construction Forces Division, and David and Emily Williams of Williams Monument Company in Arvin supervise, while VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Arnold Maeda, Alice Stek, and Emily Winters bear witness and take lots of photos.
2017 April 19
David Williams of Williams Monument Company in Arvin receives final payment for VJAMM obelisk and contract addendum from Emily and Phyllis of the VJAMM Committee. Tony of United Riggers and Erectors, Inc. supervises lifting of 12,500 pound VJAMM obelisk onto Ruben’s flatbed truck, with crane operator Travis and on-the-ground wrapper Tucker of Turner Translift, Inc (510 East Norris Road, Bakersfield, CA 93308, 661-399-9377) doing the heavy lifting. VJAMM will rest in a secure location until installation.
2017 April 18
VJAMM Committee agrees on VJAMM Dedication souvenir program cover design and page layout. Designer Nikki Gilbert submits U-Printing invoice of $3,175.77 for 1,000 programs, full color, 36 pages and her own invoice for $800.00. Distribution of 1,000 programs: 200 at April 27 Dedication, 200 at April 27 Hama Sushi Bento fundraiser, 100 at April 27 Hama Sushi Dinner fundraiser, 100 at April 29 Manzanar Pilgrimage, 400 for funders, supporters, community centers, religious and cultural institutions.
2017 March 21
Suzanne Thompson reports that the Arts Activation Fund has granted the Venice Arts Council $2,996.00 for the costs of designing and printing 1,000 copies of the VJAMM Dedication Souvenir Program. 75% ($2,247) will be paid to the VAC once the contract has been signed, and 25% ($749) will be paid to the VAC after all receipts are paid. Includes $800 for Nikki Gilbert, Program Designer.
2017 March 7
LA City pours concrete into the excavation over the rebar. Twenty-eight days to set.
2017 March 2
LA City installs Rebar over the slurry to anchor the VJAMM obelisk.
2017 February 28
Structural Engineer Mike Sullaway signs off on 12 inches of slurry (gravel and sand) beneath concrete footing, as requested by David Perka after the GEO tech report.
2017 February 27
Malibu City Council grants $5,000 to the VJAMM, with Mayor Pro Tem Skylar Peak, Councilmember Rick Mullen, Councilmember Laura Rosenthal, Mayor Lou La Monte, Councilmember Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner, unanimously voting in favor. On February 13, Arnold Maeda and Phyllis Hayashibara spoke to the Malibu City Council in favor of putting this request on the agenda, which was scheduled. On February 27, Arnold Maeda, Brian Maeda, Suzanne Thompson, and Emily Winters spoke in favor of this request.
Brian Maeda, Suzanne Thompson, Arnold Maeda, Emily Winters at the February 27, 2017 Malibu City Council meeting.
2017 February 24
VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara and Emily Winters meet with David Williams to approve the stencils for the VJAMM before David begins to sandblast the text onto the VJAMM obelisk.
2017 February 22
GEO Engineer inspects the bottom of the footing and takes soil sample for testing.
2017 February 11
Funeral service at West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple for VJAMM Committee member Yosh Tomita who passed away at the age of eighty on January 19, 2017. VJAMM Committee members pay their respects and stay for the bento luncheon provided by the Tomita family.
Funeral service program for Yosh Tomita
2017 February 8
LA City Construction Forces workers saw cut and break up part of the sidewalk in preparation for excavation and pouring the concrete foundation for the VJAMM. Chain link fencing around the plywood-covered hole displays VJAMM Construction banner.
2017 January 25
VJAMM Committee members Brian Maeda, Alice Stek, Suzanne Thompson, and Emily Winters join Bruce Embrey and Warren Furutani at the Manzanar Committee party. Warren Furutani, community activist and Manzanar Pilgrimage pioneer, will keynote at the VJAMM Dedication on Thursday, April 27, 2017 on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln.
Suzanne, Emily, Warren, Alice, and Brian at Manzanar Committee’s Holiday Party in January, 2017.
2017 January 20
VJAMM Committee member Alice Stek donates $5,000 to the VJAMM Committee, and will be acknowledged on the VJAMM with the Venice Peace and Freedom Party after her name.
Alice Stek with Phyllis Hayashibara and Nikki Gilbert in 2016 at Hama Sushi.
2017 January 17
VJAMM Committee members Arnold Maeda and Brian Maeda donate $5,000 to the VJAMM Committee, in memory of their parents, Norman Toyoshige Maeda and Sasami Takeda Maeda.
2017 January 5
Rigging bidding meeting onsite. Thomas Larsen, Project Manager, United Riggers and Erectors, Inc. 4188 Valley Boulevard, Walnut, CA 92789 (909) 978-0400, firstname.lastname@example.org, will transport and erect VJAMM while City builds foundation. Will also coordinate traffic mitigation with The Permit Company.
2016 December 28
Pre-construction meeting takes place onsite at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln at 10 am, with LA City GSD Construction Forces Division David Perka and Thomas Bylard; Senior Field Deputy Len Nguyen of LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin’s 11th District office; and VJAMM Committee members Kay Brown, Nikki Gilbert, Arnold Maeda, Phyllis Hayashibara, Suzanne Thompson, and Yosh Tomita. Phyllis gives Perka the blue rubbings of the bored holes at bottom of the VJAMM and David Williams’ contact numbers, emails the complete Soils report and Structural engineering report to Perka and Bylard.
Arnold Maeda, Suzanne Thompson, Kay Brown, Thomas Bylard, David Perka, Phyllis Hayashibara, and Yosh Tomita mark the spot where the VJAMM will be installed on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln.
2016 December 14
NPS JACS approves VJAMM Reimbursement Request #4 in the amount of $10,933.88.
2016 December 9
Gerry Valido of Board of Public Works, Adopt a Median Program, emails City Permit A Extension to May 31, 2017, reference no. 59973.
2016 December 1
NPS JACS interim report FAXED and FedExed to Kara Miyagishima, with Reimbursement request #4 in the amount of $10,933.88.
2016 November 22
Los Angeles City Council passes Item #65 on Consent Calendar, to “transfer $47,322 in the Department of General Services Revenue Source No. 5188, to the below listed accounts and in the amounts specified in the General Services Fund No. 100/40 for costs associated with transporting, preparing the foundation, and installing the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument, with installation to be completed on or before March 31, 2017: Account No. 001014, Construction Salaries, $16,887; No. 003180, Construction Materials, Supplies & Services, $30,435; TOTAL $47,322.” File Number 14-0349-s1.
2016 November 9
Suzanne Thompson hand-delivers VCHC/VJAMM check #1079 in the amount of $47,322 payable to City of Los Angeles-Dept of General Serv. Rose Karagezyan, Senior Management Analyst II, Department of General Services (213) 978-2793, email@example.com, receives the check, and signs and dates the VJAMM acknowledgement of receipt.
2016 November 9
CalTrans grants VJAMM Encroachment Permit Extension 716-NRT-2210 to Permit 712-NAD-0955, through March 31, 2017.
2016 November 4
Fast Signs completes all edits requested and sends high resolution VJAMM files in a link to a DropBox folder: photo pdf, photo jpg, poster pdf, poster jpg, VJAMM front in pdf and word doc, back with map in pdf and word doc, quotes in pdf and word doc, acknowledgements in pdf and word doc.
2016 October 18
David Williams reports that the VJAMM obelisk is in Arvin and is in “perfect condition.”
Brian stops by to visit the VJAMM in Arvin.
2016 September 28
Yosh Tomita contributes his quote for the VJAMM! Final text, map, quotes, and acknowledgements (as of September 27, 2016) emailed to VJAMM Committee members and Fast Signs for proofs, to be sent to NPS JACS and to David Williams of Williams Monument Company in Arvin, California.
2016 September 27
Santa Monica City Council grants $5,000 in contingency funds to the VJAMM, as requested by Mayor Tony Vazquez, Mayor Pro Tem Ted Winterer, and Council Member Kevin McKeown. Council Members Gleam Davis, Sue Himmelrich, Pam O’Connor, and Terry O’Day joined in the unanimous vote to authorize the funding. Arnold Maeda, Phyllis Hayashibara, Suzanne Thompson, and Dolores Sloan spoke on behalf of the VJAMM.
2016 September 25
Abbot Kinney Festival Association Community Grants Program awards $1,700 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. Award includes free Community Grant Recipients Booth at the 2017 Abbot Kinney Festival. VJAMM Committee members raised $95 towards the cost of the 2016 AKF booth by offering opportunity drawing tickets for $1 each. Winners took home two bowls and two sake sets (bottle and two cups) donated by Nikki Gilbert and Phyllis Hayashibara.
Phyllis Hayashibara, Regina Barton, Alice Stek, and Emily Winters staff the VJAMM/VAC booth.
2016 August 26
David Williams of Williams Monument Company in Arvin emails to the VJAMM Committee photos of the VJAMM obelisk being shaped, polished, crated, and loaded into a shipping container in India. ETA in Bay Area port, first week of October, 2016.
2016 August 8
NPS JACS approves VJAMM Reimbursement Request #3 in the amount of $17,792.55.
2016 July 26
VJAMM Committee celebrates Arnold Maeda’s 90th birthday (July 17th) at Hama Sushi. Len Nguyen presents Arnold with a City of Los Angeles Certificate of Recognition signed by Councilmember Mike Bonin and Mayor Eric Garcetti.
2016 July 26
VJAMM Committee agrees to use version of April 25, 1942 photo WITH railroad tracks, in pink hue on VJAMM, and eventually on a new banner, on letterhead, and on the website.
Cropped photo WITHOUT railroad tracks still on 4’ x 8’ banner, on VJAMM letterhead, and on the website. The word Monument replaces the word Marker on the website and letterhead.
2016 July 6
Sheila Kuehl, 3rd District, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors sends a check for $4,500.00 in addition to the check for $500.00 received June 24, payable to Venice Arts Council/VJAMM. The VJAMM will permanently acknowledge Sheila’s contribution on the VJAMM list of major donors.
2016 June 21
VJAMM Committee agrees on NEW WORDING for TEXT on VJAMM’s three paragraphs, name change to MONUMENT (from MARKER), edit for Arnold’s quote, addition of Sheila Kuehl, 3rd District, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; and changes to the map to Manzanar.
2016 June 20
NPS JACS interim report, due June 1, FAXED and FEDEXED to Kara Miyagishima, with Reimbursement Request #3 for Contractual Web Design ($2,500) federal share $1,666.75, and Deposit on VJAMM ($24,187.50) federal share $16,125.80 for total reimbursement request of $17,792.55.
2016 June 17
Phyllis emails extension request to CalTrans for Encroachment Permit, which expires July 1, 2016.
2016 June 3
Gerry Valido of Los Angeles City Street Services Adopt a Median Program emails that an extension to the City Permits will not be necessary, but work should be completed before the end of 2016.
2016 April 30, 2016
Suzanne, Mae, Alice, Brian, and Valerie attend the 47th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and distribute VJAMM postcards at Brian’s Tule Lake booth and at Dow Villa Hotel in Lone Pine.
VJAMM Committee members pay $150.00 for a quarter page ad in the commemorative program at the bottom of page 30, overlooking a typo in the word, “America” instead of “American.” Ad reflects name change to Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee, in consideration of the 9’ 6” height of the obelisk with the 3’ x 3’ base.
2016 April 25, 2016
Hama Sushi in Venice hosts fifth annual bento lunch and dinner fundraiser for the benefit of VJAMM. Sold a record 269 bento!
Hama Sushi proprietor Esther Chaing donates $3,619.60 to the VJAMM Committee, bringing Esther’s total donation to VJAMM since 2010 to $14,536.43. Direct donations total $1,947.00 plus a pledge of $500 from LAC BOS Sheila Kuehl, 4th District, for a total of $2,447.00 in direct donations to VJAMM. $3,639.60 + $2,447.00 = $6,086.60 in total funds raised in conjunction with the VJAMM Fundraiser at Hama Sushi.
2016 April 16, 2016
Suzanne, Emily, Yosh, and Phyllis attended Great, Great, GREAT: A Celebration of Life for Bill Rosendahl at Mar Vista Park, 11430 Woodbine Street in Los Angeles, CA 90066, from 2:00 pm.
2016 April 5, 2016
Phyllis attends the Celebration of Life for Bill Rosendahl, May 15, 1945 – March 30, 2016, held at St. Monica Catholic Community Church, 725 California Avenue in Santa Monica, at 10:00 am mass.
2016 March 30
Bill Rosendahl, former Los Angeles City Councilmember, 11th District, and champion supporter of the VJAMM, passes away in his home in Mar Vista at the age of seventy after a four-year battle against cancer.
2016 March 15
David Williams of Williams Monument Company in Arvin, California, receives deposit check from VJAMM for obelisk to be fabricated in India and engraved in Arvin. Phyllis Hayashibara, Alice Stek, and Suzanne Thompson drive to Arvin for photo op and visit to the Williams Monument Company.
2016 March 7
NPS JACS approves FINAL extension of VJAMM grant to July 1, 2017. Becky Dennison, Executive Director of VCHC, signs extension on behalf of VJAMM, after retirement of Steve Clare in early 2016.
2016 February 4
City of Los Angeles releases to VJAMM Committee Building Permit A, issued February 4, 2016 and extended to August 2, 2016. Permit R already issued 2015 June 1. Requests for extensions should be made in May 2016.
2016 January 29
NPS JACS approves VJAMM Reimbursement Request #2 in the amount of $1,045.05.
2016 January 14
CalTrans grants VJAMM Committee Encroachment Permit with corrected C-1 Design Plan with solid granite obelisk, signatures and seals from Civil Engineer and Structural Engineer, and stamp from CalTrans. Permit invalid if work not completed by July 1, 2016. About thirty days before July 1, 2016, extension must be requested. Two extensions of three months may be requested, after which we may have to re-apply. Contractor or installer must also apply for a “double permit,” and have two bonds, one for the permit and one for the installation. VJAMM would pay the engineering inspection and processing fees of $656.00.
2016 January 4
City of Los Angeles signs CalTrans Maintenance Agreement, a condition of CalTrans granting the VJAMM Committee an Encroachment Permit, and Len Nguyen delivered the Maintenance Agreement to CalTrans District 7.
2015 December 18
Memorial Service for Fred Hoshiyama at Centenary Methodist Church in Little Tokyo. Fred passed away November 30, 2015 one week shy of his 101st birthday, December 7. VJAMM Committee sent sympathy card to son Matthew Hoshiyama and daughter Bella.
2015 December 8
NPS JACS Interim Report FAXed and FedExed to Kara Miyagishima, after Phyllis emailed notice of one week delay (report due December 1, 2015).
2015 December 4
VJAMM and the Venice Arts Council share a table at the Fourth Annual Venice Holiday Sign Lighting at Windward and Pacific, 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. VAC’s Gloria Vando and Zed Aquarian and VJAMM’s Phyllis Hayashibara staff the table. Venice Chamber of Commerce President Donna Lasman offered a discount on the non-profit rate to $100 ($50 each for VAC and VJAMM.)
2015 November 17
At the VJAMM Committee meeting, Nikki and Phyllis show the update to the www.venicejamm.org website, constructed with WordPress on the GoDaddy website, with technical consultation donated by Ron Gee of the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. New email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2015 November 12
Youssef Pishdadian of CalTrans #7 in Los Angeles reports that CalTrans in Sacramento will not accept the signatures of the Assistant City Attorney and the Assistant Director of Street Services on the CalTrans Maintenance Agreement. Pishdadian has four new originals that require the signatures of Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, Los Angeles Street Services Director Nasario Salcedo, and Los Angeles City Clerk Holly Wolcott. One CalTrans signature already secured; CalTrans Deputy Director’s signature to be the final signature. Phyllis made copies of the correct C-1 Design Plan signed and stamped by the Civil Engineer and the Structural Engineer, with solid obelisk design, received by CalTrans on March 2, 2015 (to replace the old C-1 Design Plan with concrete core and granite slabs) at Staples on National. Len Nguyen picked up the four originals with correct C-1 Design Plan to secure the three City signatures required. Phyllis requested return of the four originals to her, so she can walk the four originals in to CalTrans #7 to secure the CalTrans Encroachment Permit, which the City requires before releasing Permit A to the VJAMM Committee.
2015 September 27
VJAMM displays flyers and posters at Abbott Kinney Festival in booth shared with Venice Arts Council. Nikki Gilbert donated one pair of ceramic bowls, and four pairs of ceramic tea cups for the “opportunity drawing.” One dollar donations towards the opportunity drawing netted $88, which helped pay for VJAMM’s half of the non-profit booth cost.
2015 September 20
10th Annual Constitution Day Conference at Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley draws over 200 educators. VJAMM introduces Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress workshop, “Stand Up For Justice: the Ralph Lazo Story.” The participants of the SUFJ workshop receive from VJAMM one of the following DVDs: Farewell to Manzanar (Jeanne Wakatuki Houston), Music Man of Manzanar (Lou Frizzell), or Days of Waiting (Estelle Ishigo); and $75 stipend for attending the Conference. DVDs and stipends budgeted under NPS JACS grant.
2015 August 27
Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, 11th District, sends $5,000 donation check after belated processing of 2014 pledge, thanks to Senior Field Deputy Len Nguyen’s efforts.
2015 August 21
Los Angeles City Attorney signs the new, revised CalTrans Maintenance Agreement. Len Nguyen to secure signature of Los Angeles City Street Services. Phyllis to secure signatures from CalTrans, and then submit Maintenance Agreement to Los Angeles Adopt a Median Program for release of Permit A.
2015 July 22
NPS JACS approves VJAMM request for Extention of grant to September 2, 2016.
2015 June 23
Brian Maeda presents website for movie, “We Said NO NO,” at the Terasaki Nibei Foundation on Wilshire in West Los Angeles.
2015 June 19
VJAMM revises letter of February 17, 2015 to CalTrans, per Youssef Pishdadian’s telephone notes of February, 2015, and attaches a copy of the Revocable Permit.
VJAMM submits interim report to the NPS JACS grant program, and requests an extension of one year from September 2015 to September 2016.
2015 June 1
City of Los Angeles releases Revocable Permit R-1550-0037 to the Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker Committee, and names the VJAMM as responsible for maintaining the VJAMM obelisk as the corner of Lincoln and Venice Boulevards in CD11.
2015 May 30
Arnold Maeda, James MAC McPherson, and Paulina Sahagan speak at the Opening Celebration of the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANG0) on 12th and Michigan, about their ethnically diverse communities in an integrated Santa Monica neighborhood.
2015 April 23
Hama Sushi in Venice hosts fourth annual bento lunch and dinner fundraiser for the benefit of VJAMM. Program includes Steve Nagano’s “Six Weddings and a Dress,” with Chiyomi Ogawa of Manzanar; and James Murakami, Production Designer for Brian Maeda’s “We Said NO NO,” currently in production. Hama Sushi Proprietor Esther Chaing donates $3,247.50 to VJAMM, bringing her total donation to VJAMM to $10,916,83 since 2010.
Hama Sushi proprietor Esther Chaing, former LA City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, 11th District Field Deputy Len Nguyen (228 bento lunches sold in 2015)
2015 March 29
VJAMM Committee members donate $100.00 towards sponsorship of reception at Japanese Institute of Sawtelle after unveiling of Sawtelle Japantown sign with LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin, Japan Consul Harry Horinouchi, Sawtelle Japantown Association’s Randy Sakamoto, and Dr. Jack Fujimoto.
New sign at the northeast corner of Sawtelle and Olympic
2015 March 25
Los Angeles City Board of Public Works approves recommendation of Office of Community
Beautification “to grant VJAMM Committee revocable permission to encroach within the public right-of-way to install a black granite memorial obelisk at the northwest corner of Venice Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard in Council District 11; requesting City Engineer to issue a no-fee Revocable Permit and a no-fee A-Permit for the work to be performed; requesting Bureau of Contract Administration to provide no-fee inspection of the project.” OCB Director Paul Racs; VJAMM’s Phyllis Hayashibara, Emily Winters, and Arnold Maeda; 11th District LA Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Senior Field Deputy Len Nguyen spoke in favor of the recommendations.
2015 February 24
Los Angeles City Bureau of Engineering’s Structural Engineering Division approves structural design as revised by Sullaway Engineering.
2015 February 17
VJAMM Committee resubmits CalTrans Encroachment Permit with new C-1 Design Plan showing solid granite obelisk, stamped and signed by Sullaway Engineering and CRC Enterprises, dated 11-4-14, and in compliance with LA City Bureau of Engineering requests for revisions.
2015 February 2
NPS JACS approves consultant selections of CRC Enterprises for the civil engineering, and of Sullaway Engineering for the structural engineering.
2015 January 15
Public Counsel John Bowman, land use attorney with Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP in Los Angeles, advises that the VJAMM Committee concurrently and separately pursue BOTH Los Angeles City building permits AND the California State Department of Transportation encroachment permit. Both jurisdictions identify the VJAMM site as within their Right of Way jurisdiction. Title Search by Commonwealth Land Title Company in Los Angeles proved to be inconclusive.
2014 December 30
NPS JACS approves consultant selections of Ralph Stone and Company for the Soils Testing, and of Williams Monument Company for the granite obelisk and the engraving.
2014 December 8
Salyna Cun of Adopt a Median receives corrections of structural engineering calculations and C-1 design plans, signed and wet-stamped by Sullaway Engineering and CRC Enterprises. VJAMM must be approved by the City’s Bureau of Engineering’s Structural Engineering Division and the Commissioners on the Board of Public Works at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
2014 November 19
NPS JACS approves VJAMM Reimbursement Request #1 in the amount of $7,921.38.
2014 November 13
NPS JACS approves VJAMM Budget and Scope revisions submitted on October 29 and corrected and resubmitted on November 4, 2014.
2014 September 29
Los Angeles City Bureau of Engineering issues Work Order RR000020 for the VJAMM.
2014 September 28
VJAMM displays posters, flyers, and postcards at Abbott Kinney Festival in booth shared by Beyond Baroque and Venice Arts Council.
2014 August 29
VJAMM’s request for NPS JACS grant extension to September 1, 2015 approved, signed, and executed.
2014 August 21
Cultural Affairs Commission of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs grants conceptual and final approval to the VJAMM after presentation by VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Suzanne Thompson, and Emily Winters. Len Nguyen, Deputy of Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin’s 11th District Office, also attended and brought Bonin’s letter of support for the VJAMM.
2014 July 24
Debbie Dyner Harris, Director of Council District 11, meets with VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Suzanne Thompson, and Emily Winters, with Len Nguyen also in attendance. Concludes that the VJAMM site lies within the jurisdiction of the City of Los Angeles.
2014 May 20
VJAMM Committee reaches $100,000 fundraising goal.
2014 April 26
VJAMM Committee congratulates the Manzanar Committee on its 45th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage in a full-page ad in the souvenir program.
Phyllis, Nikki, Anne, Tomiko, and Edd pose with the full-scale model of the VJAMM
2014 April 24
California State Senator Ted Lieu, 28th District, donates $5,000 to the VJAMM Committee.
Len Nguyen, Brian Maeda, Mae Kakehashi, Yosh Tomita, Emily Winters, Nikki Gilbert, Ted Lieu, Alice Stek, Phyllis Hayashibara, Suzanne Thompson, Arnold Maeda
2014 April 23
Hama Sushi in Venice hosts third bento lunch and dinner fundraiser for the benefit of VJAMM. Hama Sushi Proprietor Esther Chaing donates $2,971.00 to VJAMM, bringing her total donation to VJAMM, including art work commissions, to $7,669.33 since 2012.
2014 March 2
VJAMM and the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple’s Buddhist Education Committee co-host the final Sunday in the BEC’s Film Festival series based on the theme of “exile.” Screenings include: “Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: the Fred Korematsu Story,” “Music Man of Manzanar,” and trailer for Brian Maeda’s work in progress, “We Said, No No.” Panel of speakers moderated by Phyllis Hayashibara include: Arnold Maeda, forcibly removed from Santa Monica and incarcerated at Manzanar at fifteen; Hank Iwamoto, self-exiled from California to Colorado and Oklahoma; Bill Nishimura, No No Boy, forcibly removed from Poston to Tule Lake to Santa Fe and finally to Crystal City; and Brian Maeda, born in Manzanar, member of the Manzanar Committee which organizes the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on the last Saturday of April.
Mike Bonin, Los Angeles City Councilmember, 11th District, pledges $5,000 to the VJAMM Committee.
2014 February 12
Sullaway Engineering completes structural engineering calculations for the VJAMM obelisk of solid granite and prescribes 4’ 10” x 4’ 10” x 2’ 6” deep concrete foundation with four #4 rebar anchored into concrete and drilled and epoxied into base of obelisk.
2013 December 15
VJAMM sponsors Committee member Brian Maeda to sing at the Community Songfest at Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, honoring Les Inafuku, on his retirement as Superintendent of Manzanar National Historic Site. Brian sings, “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.”
2013 December 3
VJAMM submits its third biannual report to the NPS JACS grant program, and requests an extension of one year from September 2014 to September 2015.
2013 November 20
Ralph Stone and Company conducts soils test on northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards, with permission from adjacent property owner and Beach Cities Car Wash operator. December 13, 2013 report concludes that “the proposed memorial obelisk is feasible from the standpoint of geotechnical practice at the subject site, provided all recommendations and conditions made herein are incorporated into all designs.”
2013 November 16
Arnold Maeda speaks at a public meeting which drew over 50 community members at the Department of Water and Power office in downtown Los Angeles, to protest the planned DWP 1,200-acre solar farm’s location near the Manzanar National Historic Site. DWP extended deadline for public comment through November 26, and a second time through December 20, 2013.
2013 September 29
VJAMM displays new poster and distributes new postcards and flyers at the Abbott Kinney Festival in Venice, thanks to the generosity of the Venice Arts Council/Beyond Baroque, the Free Venice Beachhead, and the Venice Peace and Freedom Party, which made room for the VJAMM materials at their booths.
New poster with photo of full-scale model of VJAMM, revised text, map to Manzanar
2013 September 13
California Office of Historic Preservation, Department of Parks and Recreation, concurs with the National Park Service finding of No Historic Properties Affected by the VJAMM project.
2013 September 7
9th Annual Constitution Day Conference: Resources for Teachers, K – 12 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley draws over 200 educators. Workshops on the forced removal and incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II include: Teaching the Constitution: “Of Civil Wrongs and Rights, the Fred Korematsu Story,” presented by Karen Korematsu, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Redress; Japanese Americans and WWII Incarceration: Histories and Controversies, presented by Lane Hirabayashi, Professor and Aratani Endowed Chair of Asian American Studies at UCLA; and “Stand Up for Justice: the Ralph Lazo Story,” presented by Kathy Masaoka and Suzy Katsuda of the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress Committee. The 53 participants of the “Stand Up For Justice” workshop receive one DVD (Farewell to Manzanar, Music Man of Manzanar, or Days of Waiting), and a $75 stipend for attending the Conference. VJAMM’s grant from the National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites program underwrite the costs of the DVDs and the stipends.
NCRR’s Kathy Masaoka and Suzy Katsuda; VJAMM’s Brian Maeda and Phyllis Hayashibara
2013 May 26
Family and friends celebrate the 90th birthday of VJAMM Committee member Mae Kakehashi at the Venice Japanese Community Center. At VJAMM’s request, Mark Antonio Grant of Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin’s 11th District office, presents Mae with a City Resolution honoring Mae, signed by all Los Angeles City Councilmembers and the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa.
Mae Kageyama Kakehashi and Mark Antonio Grant
2013 April 27
VJAMM Committee members Brian Maeda and Alice Stek participate in 44rd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and distribute VJAMM postcards and brochures. The VJAMM Committee congratulates the Manzanar Committee in a full page ad in the commemorative souvenir program.
2013 April 25
Hama Sushi in Venice hosts second bento lunch and dinner fundraiser for the benefit of VJAMM. Hama Sushi Proprietor Esther Chaing donates $2,926.80 to VJAMM. The
VJAMM Committee announces it has raised over $80,000, and hopes to raise a total of $100,000 for the fabrication, installation, and maintenance of the VJAMM, to be dedicated April 25, 2014.
2013 February 6
Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, 3rd District, donates $5,000 to the VJAMM Committee.
2012 November 15
California Coastal Commission grants waiver no. 5-12-265 for the granite VJAMM obelisk, 9 foot 6 inches tall with a 3 foot by 3 foot base, to be installed at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards, with provisions for four informational signs to be attached to existing poles near the intersection.
2012 September 12
Los Angeles City Council adopts actions under Council File No. 10-1259, to “INSTRUCT and AUTHORIZE the Bureau of Street Services to negotiate and execute the necessary agreement with the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) for the maintenance of this monument/marker..”
2012 August 13
VJAMM Committee congratulates Mary Nomura, Song Bird of Manzanar, as 2012 Nisei Week Parade Marshal at the 72nd Annual Nisei Week Foundation Awards Dinner at the Double Tree Hilton in Little Tokyo, and in ads in the Rafu Shimpo and the 2012 Nisei Week commemorative program.
Mary Kageyama Nomura with 2012 Nisei Week Queen and Princesses
2012 April 27
VJAMM Committee members Phyllis Hayashibara, Mae Kakehashi, Arnold Maeda, Brian Maeda, Alice Stek, and Emily Winters participate in 43rd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. The VJAMM Committee congratulates the Manzanar Committee in a quarter page ad in the commemorative souvenir program.
2012 April 25
VJAMM Committee commemorates the 70th Anniversary of the start of the forced removal of persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast, and “unveils” a full-scale model of the VJAMM obelisk on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln. Hama Sushi in Venice hosts bento box, dinner, and art gallery fundraisers for the benefit of VJAMM. Hama Sushi Proprietor Esther Chaing contributes $1,571.53 to VJAMM (92 bento lunches sold in 2012).
2012 April 25
Councilmember Bill Rosendahl authorizes Rothman Engineering to apply for the CalTrans Encroachment Permit on behalf of the City of Los Angeles/VJAMM. Application declined on June 11, 2012, pending additional conditions, including copy of ACR 46, Maintenance Agreement signed by LA City, double permit for installation by other than the City of Los Angeles, and original C-1 Design Plan with red marks for revisions.
2012 March 22
The U. S. Department of the Interior announces VJAMM as the recipient of a $50,000 National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites grant, after initial inquiry by Arnold Maeda.
2012 February 24
Joe Belli and Eric Schmid of the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple respond to Phyllis’ plea for assistance in designing the VJAMM obelisk and building a full scale model, 9 feet 6 inches tall with a 3 foot square footprint. Dustin and Darin Noriyuki, Kay Brown, Phyllis Hayashibara, and Emily Winters help drill, sand, paint plywood on metal framing on casters by the end of March.
Eric Schmid of the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in Culver City
2011 October 29
VJAMM Benefit at Beyond Baroque in Venice screens Brian Maeda’s “Music Man of Manzanar,” John Esaki’s “Stand Up for Justice,” and Steven Okazaki’s “Days of Waiting”;
hosts VIP Reception featuring Nikki Gilbert’s Sushi Girl, Suzanne Toji’s Feast from the East chicken salad, and Juana Carrillo’s Sakura Gourmet Pastries; auctions donated original artwork; raffles donated prizes, and raises $10,001.
VIP Sushi and Sake Reception with Camp Banners on loan from the Manzanar Committee
2011 September 25
Venice Arts Council distributes VJAMM information at the Abbott Kinney Festival.
2011 May 24
Venice Neighborhood Council votes to increase funding for VJAMM’s Community Improvement Project application to $1,300, after Community Officer Ira Koslow moves to increase VJAMM’s allocation from $500.
2011 May 16
California Coastal Commission grants waiver of Coastal Development Permit Requirements
for VJAMM with official city memorial plaque, through the initiative and efforts of Suzanne Thompson.
2011 April 25
Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, 11th District, donates $5,000 to the VJAMM Committee at a symbolic “ground breaking” ceremony at Venice and Lincoln Boulevards.
2011 April 6
California Assembly Member Betsy Butler and California State Senator Ted Lieu co-sponsor Assembly Concurrent Resolution 46, requesting the Department of Transportation issue an encroachment permit for the placement of the VJAMM at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards [passed], after successful negotiations led by Suzanne Thompson.
2011 December 10 – 11
Beyond Baroque hosts a reading in Japanese and English of haiku written by internees in Rohwer and Jerome, Arkansas camps, from “May Sky: There is Always Tomorrow,” edited by Violet Kazue de Cristofor; and a panel discussion with Bruce Kaji, Founding President of the Japanese American National Museum; Patricia Wakida, JANM Curator; Douglas Messerli, Sun and Moon Press publisher; Phyllis Hayashibara, VJAMM Committee member.
Bruce Kaji, Patricia Wakida, Phyllis Hayashibara, Doug Messerli
2010 November 2
Los Angeles City Council approves Rosendahl’s motion.
2010 October 20
Public Works Committee approves Rosendahl’s motion.
2010 September 11
VJAMM Committee holds a community meeting at the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple to discuss the design and scope of the proposed memorial marker.
Arnold Maeda, former Manzanar internee
2010 July 16
Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl introduces a motion supporting the memorial marker; Los Angeles City Council refers the motion to the Public Works Committee.
Bill Rosendahl, LA City Councilmember, 11th District
2010 June 15
Venice Neighborhood Council votes unanimously to support VJAMM’s efforts to erect a memorial marker on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln, after presentations by Phyllis Hayashibara, Arnold Maeda, Scott Pine, Alice Stek, and Emily Winters.
Scott Pine, Arnold Maeda, Bill Rosendahl, Emily Winters, Yosh Tomita, Phyllis Hayashibara
2010 March 24
Emily Winters, Venice Arts Council; Suzanne Thompson, Venice Arts Council; Don Geagan, Free Venice Beachhead; Fred Hoshiyama, Venice-Culver Japanese American Citizens League; and Phyllis Hayashibara, Social Studies Teacher at Venice High School, meet for the first time as the ad hoc Japanese American Memorial Marker Committee (later to be called the Venice JAMM committee) at Venice High School, Room 133 on Tuesday after school.
Suzanne Thompson, Fred Hoshiyama, Don Geagan, Emily Winters
Free Venice Beachhead prints names of Venice High School students who have written to Rosendahl in support of the memorial marker, and a brief history of the memorial campaign that had begun after the attacks on U. S. targets on September 11, 2001 and subsequent attacks on persons perceived to be Middle Eastern or Muslim.
Free Venice Beachhead prints letters written to Rosendahl urging support of the memorial from Mrs. Hayashibara’s New Media Academy Honors U. S. History students, beginning with the first letter from Athena Padilla.
2009 May 29
At the invitation of Councilmember Rosendahl, students in Mrs. Hayashibara’s New Media Academy Honors U. S. History class travel by Rosendahl-chartered bus to City Hall to make a presentation before the City Council. Student Felix Barron reads what he had emailed to Rosendahl, urging him to support the memorial marker before people completely forget what had happened on Venice and Lincoln in April, 1942.
Felix Baron, Venice High School New Media Academy
Venice High School student, Scott Pine, brings the April, 2009 Free Venice Beachhead to Mrs. Hayashibara’s New Media Academy Honors
U. S. History class for a current events discussion. Beachhead printed the April 25, 1942 photo of persons of Japanese ancestry lining up on Venice Boulevard, west of Lincoln; Scott Ueda, Jr.’s (erroneously spelled Yuda) article about his aunt, Akiko Yagi, incarcerated in Parker, Arizona, and about his great-grandfather, George Inagaki, personal interpreter for Admiral Nimitz, titled, “It Did Happen Here: When our Japanese neighbors were sent to concentration camps”; and the Beachhead’s request to its readers to email Councilmember Bill Rosendahl to support “an ongoing reminder of how easy it is to lose our precious democratic rights if we are unaware.”
Free Venice Beachhead first prints photo from April 25, 1942 above the masthead.
Venice Peace and Freedom Party collects hundreds of names of Venice residents on a petition in support of the marker, and sends them to then-Councilmember Ruth Galanter, who was moved to the East Valley by the Los Angeles City Council before she could take any action.
Former LA City Councilmember Ruth Galanter at 2013 VJAMM Fundraiser at Hama Sushi in Venice. Galanter told of her successful motion to cede city property to the Manzanar Committee for what would become the Manzanar National Historic Site off Highway 395 between Lone Pine and Bishop.