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Commemoration, Fundraiser for Venice JA Monument

Brian Maeda, Mae Kakehashi, Arnold Maeda, Amy Ioki and the late Yosh Tomita (not pictured) provided quotes for the VJAMM, dedicated on April 27, 2017.

The Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) Committee will hold its 2018 commemoration and seventh annual fundraiser at Hama Sushi on Thursday, April 19.

Commemoration begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m. on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln boulevards. Invited speakers will connect the Japanese American community with the African American community during the World War II forced removal and incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry, including discussions of Bronzeville and Little Tokyo.

Speakers will also pay tribute to the 76th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 and the 30th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

The VJAMM fundraiser at Hama Sushi Restaurant, 213 Windward Ave. in Venice, follows the commemoration. Special bento lunch includes chicken teriyaki, cucumber salad, edamame, spicy tuna and California rolls, shrimp and vegetable tempura, plus water or soda for $20 each. Contact Phyllis Hayashibara at or (310) 390-1576 to place your order before April 16.

You may pick up your pre-ordered bento at Hama Sushi from 12 to 2 p.m. for eating in or taking out. For curbside pick-up, call (310) 717-3393 about one minute before you pull up to Hama Sushi, and your order will be bagged and ready to hand over to you so that you needn’t leave your car.

Esther Chaing of Hama Sushi generously donates 100 percent of all bento profits to the VJAMM Committee and 10 percent of all dinner sales from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Call (310) 396-8783 for dinner reservations.

Since 2010, Chaing has donated over $18,000 towards the completion of the VJAMM, and she remains the largest individual donor of all the major donors.

For corporate orders, contact Esther Chaing at (310) 308-6347 or

The VJAMM Committee thanks Kenny Moon, Naoko Matsumura, Esther Chaing and Tony Kim of Hama Sushi Restaurant for their support.

The Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee thanks everyone for supporting the VJAMM over the years, and will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the dedication, which took place on April 27, 2017. Funds raised now will be earmarked for maintenance, educational outreach, and contingencies for possible repair, replacement, or relocation of the VJAMM if such a necessity should ever arise.

The VJAMM Committee acknowledges and deeply appreciates a major donation made in December 2017 “in loving memory of Johnny Katsui Sakioka,” with part of the donation intended to support the ongoing maintenance of the VJAMM. Engraving on the VJAMM will be scheduled with David Williams of the Williams Monument Company, who will prepare the stencil in Arvin, and sandblast the monument on site.

For more information about the VJAMM, visit

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