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Japanese-American
Monuments

Click here for "Peace Bells Around the World" which shows peace and friendship bells from Japan in Des Moines, Gardena (CA), Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, Oak Ridge (TN), San Diego, Portland, Seattle, and elsewhere. Many Japanese gardens and stone lanterns in the USA are also not shown below. Click here for directory of Japanese gardens in the USA.

Right click image to enlarge.

1853 - Okinawa Bell (Gokoku-ji), Bancroft Hall, US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (USA). Commodore Matthew C. Perry [1794-1858] carried an Okinawa temple bell to the USA & proposed that it be mounted atop the Washington Monument (then under construction) in Washington, DC. His widow donated the bell to the US Naval Academy where it was displayed on the grounds (left image circa 1902), then placed just outside Bancroft Hall, the academy's largest building (right image). In 1987, the bell was returned to Okinawa, and a replica now serves at the academy.


1893 - Japanese Pavilion, World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair), Chicago, Illinois (USA). "A replica of the Phoenix Hall (Hodo), which is the only surviving building of Fujiwara Michinaga's palace [at Uji, near Kyoto], which was converted to a temple, Byodo-in, in 1052." Site is now Osaka Garden (right image), and one stone lantern remains from the 1893 exposition. A permanent replica was constructed about 1970 in the Valley of the Temples, Oahu Island, Hawaii (qv).

After 1894 - Grave of Ranald MacDonald [1824-1894], Toroda, Washington (USA). With rocks from Rishiri Island. off the coast of Hokkaido (Japan).
Date? - Monument to Ranald MacDonald, Astoria, Oregon (USA). Japanese language monument at birthplace of Ranald McDonald [1824-1894].
Date? - Monument to Ranald MacDonald, Nagasaki (Japan). Ranald MacDonald was 1st American to willingly go to Japan [in 1848] & 1st first person to teach English there.
Date? - Monument to Ranald MacDonald, Rishiri Island, Hokkaido Prefecture (Japan).


1876 - Japanese pavilion, bazaar & gardens, Centinnial Exposition, Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA). "raditional Japan, not the newly-industrialized one, which captivated the millions of visitors to the Japanese pavilion, bazaar, and gardens. The American public was starved for novelty, especially in architecture and the decorative arts, which were smothered in the rich gravy of Victorian taste. Amidst all this overstuffed and ornate excess, the Centennial’s Japanese exhibit was a breath of fresh air. The Atlantic Monthly said the clean lines and simple elegance of Japanese design made everything else look “commonplace and vulgar.” For the Japanese, “the commonest object of pottery of cotton-stuff for daily use has a merit of design and color which it does not owe to oddity alone.” i Even respected architect Richard Morris Hunt, a devoted Francophile, was stunned by the attention to detail and quality of craftsmanship he saw. The Japanese garden and bazaar, he wrote, provided “capital and most improving studies to the careless and slipshod joiners of the Western world.” ii Following the Centennial Exposition, America went Japan-crazy. Upper class Bostonians, with their Trascendentalist philosophical leanings and love of nature, were particularly smitten. Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow lived in Japan from 1882 to 1889, collected 40,000 pieces of Japanese art which he donated to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and even converted to Buddhism. The eccentric heiress Isabella Stewart Gardner — known as “Mrs. Jack” — also fell under the Buddhist spell for a while. Her conversion was one of many things she did to flout Proper Bostonian conventions.iii Art critic Okakura Kakuzo, a mutual friend of both Bigelow and Gardner, designed the display of Japanese art at Mrs. Jack’s mansion. Kakuzo also arranged a performance of the ancient tea ceremony at her 1903 housewarming party.iv This house would eventually become the famed Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Purchase Photo View Nearby Photos The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition further stoked American fascination with Japan. One person who prowled the Japanese pavilion was a young architect named Frank Lloyd Wright.v Wright, an avid collector and dealer of Japanese prints on the side, was integrating Japanese design elements into his “Prairie style” houses. When designing suburban and country houses, Wright made a point of building his structures “into” rather than “on top of” the natural landscape, a very Japanese design philosophy. Across the Atlantic, Japanese prints sold by dealers such as Wright had a profound influence on the painters Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. In 1887, Van Gogh did a self-portrait in the Japanese style, showing himself as he wished to be: “a simple monk…worshipping the eternal Buddha.” In Philadelphia, the Japanese presence in Fairmount Park did not vanish with the closing of the exposition. After the Centennial, the Park Commission imported a Buddhist temple gate and placed it on the site of the Japanese bazaar. After this structure burned in 1955, the Fairmount Park Commission secured the “Shofuso,” an interpretation by architect Junzo Yoshimura of a seventeenth century aristocrat’s country house. This handcrafted structure, with its cypress frame and hinoki bark roof, had been presented by the America-Japan Society to New York’s Museum of Modern Art. It also boasted sliding doors decorated by renowned artist Kaii Higashiyama.vii In 1958, the Shofuso was carefully shipped to Philadelphia and reconstructed in the new tea garden. It still stands to this day, maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers. During the year, the Shofuso hosts events showcasing Japanese culture to Philadelphians. These include tea ceremonies, bonsai workshops, craft and martial arts classes, and the Sakura Sunday – Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival. After 134 years, few visual reminders of the great Centennial Exposition remain. But miraculously, the patch of ground where the Shofuso stands continues to host the Centennial’s longest running exhibition."


July 14, 1901 - Matthew C. Perry Memorial, Kurihama, Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture (Japan). "Large granite monument at exact spot near Tokyo where the Americans fist came ashore in 1853. Unveiled by Commodore Perry's grandson, Rear Admiral Frederick Rodgers, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Force on Asiatic Station). and the newly installed Prime Minister, Katsura Taro [1848-1913]. Three American warships (USS New York, USS New Orleans & USS Yorktown) fired salutes from a mile off-shore during the ceremony. Accompanied by three Japanese warships (Shikishima, Hatsuse & Amagi). Monument sponsored by the Bei-yu Kyo-kai and erected with funds largely contributed by Japanese." Both photos taken on dedication day.

1905 - Japanese Shinto-Torii Monument, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan (USA). "Brought by Govenor Chase Osborn [1860-1949] for use as an entry monument [sic]. It is no longer used for that purpose though. Nearby there is a sign that mentions Sault Ste. Marie's sister city in Japan, Ryuo-Cho, Shiga-Ken. It was built in 1905."

1908 - "The Pagoda," Mt. Penn, Reading, Pennsylvania (USA). Built by William Abbott Witman [1860-1936] as a hotel. Contains huge Japanese temple bell (qv).


March 27, 1912 - Sakura / Cherry Trees from Japan in USA. "Japan gave 3,020 sakura trees as a gift to the United States in 1912 to celebrate the nations' then-growing friendship. These trees were planted in Sakura Park in Manhattan (right image) and famously line the shore of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, Washington, DC (left image). The gift was renewed with another 3,800 trees in 1965."

About 1913 - "Japanese Pagoda," Sunset Park, Ohio River, Evansville, Indiana (USA). Built for picnics and concerts "when America was fascinated by all things Eastern." Design came from a model displayed at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Survived the flood of 1937 but eventually fell into neglect and became a museum storage shed. In 1995, at a cost of more than $1.5 million, the building was restored, retaining its original Japanese design. Now serves as city visitors center. Visited by EWL.


1927 - Japanese Friendship Dolls, in museums all over the USA. Dr. Sidney Gulick [1860-1945], a lecturer at Kyoto Imperial University, obtained more than 12,000 American “blue-eyed dolls” for Japanese children. Fifty-eight prefectures replied by sending museum quality Japanese dolls to America. Many were hidden during World War II, but most were found, restored, and put back on display. (Illustrated are Miss Okayama in North Dakota & Miss Toyama in Kentucky.)

1933 - Japanese Pavilion, Century of Progress Exposition (Chicago World's Fair), Chicago, Illinois (USA). "A typical example of Japanese architecture. An army of workmen and engineers came over from Japan bringing their own tools and materials to construct the building. The exhibits showed what Japan was doing in the peaceful arts -- militarism was not part of the exhibits."


1939 - Japanese Monument, landward end of Luce Hall, US Naval Academy (USNA), Annapolis, Maryland (USA). "Presented to the Academy in 1939 by the family of the late Japanese Ambassador Hirosi Saito, who died in Washington, DC, that year."

August 1943 - Manzanar Cemetery, US Highway 395, 9 miles north of Lone Pine, California (USA). "Only 15 of the 150 people who died at Manzanar were buried here, while most of the others were cremated. Today, only 6 graves remain because the rest of the bodies have been moved closer to their families. People still come and leave tokes of remembrance though, like the paper chains decorating the monument and the doll lying on the bottom row. The characters on this monument can be translated as 'soul consoling tower.' On the back, it reads 'August 1943, erected by the Manzanar Japanese.'"

July 11, 1950 - Japanese Garden, International Peace Gardens, Jordan Park, Salt Lake City, Utah (USA). Developed by Alice Kasai [1916-2007]. Includes 84 peace poles from the Winter Olympic Games of 2002 (qv). Entry #996 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).
1954 - Kaikoku Kinenhi / Monument to the Opening of Japan, Shimoda (Japan). "Built for the centenary of the establishment of relations between the US & Japan in 1954. A stone monument with relieffs of Townsend Harris [1804-1878] & Matthew Perry [1794-1858] & quotations from their writings. Perry's quotation is 'I have come here as a peace maker,' and Harris' is 'My mission was friendly one in every respect.' The monument is located in a park on a hill overlooking Shimoda Harbor. President Jimmy Carter visited this monument during an official visit to Japan."

August 6, 1965 - World Friendship Center (WFC), 8-10 Higashi Kan-on, Nishi-ku, Hiroshima (Japan). Founded on 20th anniversary of the bomb by American Barbara Leonard Reynolds [1915-1990] who also founded the Peace Resources Center (PRC) at Wilmington College of Ohio (USA) in 1975. "Not only a 'home away from home' for travelers to Hiroshima, it is a place where local Hiroshima residents volunteer their hospitality of peace in a variety of activities." Supported by Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) & by the American Committee of the WFC, currently chaired by Mary Ann Albert of Warsaw, Indiana (USA).

1968 - Peace Pagoda, Peace Plaza, Nihonmachi / Japantown, San Francisco, California (USA). Designed by Japanese architect Yoshiro Taniguchi [1900-1955] and presented to San Francisco by the people of Osaka (Japan).

About 1970 - Peace Bell, Byodo-In Temple, Valley of the Temples, Oahu Island, Hawaii (USA). This temple was completed June 7, 1968, and is a replica of Byodo-in Temple which was originally built in 998 in the city of Uji, Kyoto Prefecture (Japan). Another replica served as Japan's official exhibit at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 (qv).

1972 - Manzanar National Historic Site, National Park Service (NPS), US Highway 395, 9 miles north of Lone Pine, California (USA). "The best-preserved of the ten camps where Japanese-Americans were interred during WW-II." Named California Historical Landmark #850 in 1972. Historical marker placed at the sentry post on April 14, 1973. National Historic Site established March 3, 1992. Interpretive center (right image) is in former high school constructed by internees in 1944. Watchtower replica (left image) built in 2005.

August 6, 1975 - Peace Resource Center (PRC), Wilmington College of Ohio, Wilmington, Ohio (USA). "Has "the world's largest collection (outside of Japan) of reference materials related to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki." Founded by Barbara Leonard Reynolds who also founded the World Friendship Center (WFC) in Hiroshima (Japan) in 1965. Entry #820 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). One of 27 US museums in "Museums for Peace Worldwide" edited by Kazuyo Yamane (2008).
May 19, 1985 - "Reunion of Honor" Monument", Iwo Jima Island, Ogasawara (Japan). Inscription reads in English and Japanese, "On the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima, American and Japanese veterans met again on these same sands, this time in peace and friendship..." Ogasawara is one of eight villages of Tokyo.
1985 - Japanese American National Museum (JANM), 369 East First Street, Los Angeles, California (USA). "Heart of Community" added in 1999 to present Japanese internment during WW-II. Entry #81 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). One of 27 US museums in "Museums for Peace Worldwide" edited by Kazuyo Yamane (2008).

1986 - Hawaii Peace Memorial, Kennedy Theatre, Manoa Campus, University of Hawai`i, Honolulu, Hawai`i (USA). Granite monument commemorates Japanese immigration to Hawai‘i. Click here for a PowerPoint presentation.

1987 - Peace Monument, Attu Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska (USA). Erected by Japan at site of only battle on US soil during World War II.
1987 - Japanese Amercan Museum of San Jose (JAMsj), San Jose, California (USA). Closed in 2008-09 for expansion.
August 3, 1990 - Japanese American Historical Plaza & Bill of Rights Memorial, Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 2 Northwest Naito Parkway, Portland, Oregon (USA). "A unique and beautiful sculpture garden. Dotted with cherry trees, the plaza serves as a memorial to the Japanese Americans who were detained in concentration camps during WWII." "Dedicated to the memory of those who were deported to inland internment camps during World War II. In the memorial garden, artwork tells the story of the Japanese people in the Northwest - of immigration, elderly immigrants, native-born Japanese Americans, soldiers who fought in US military services during the war, and the business people who worked hard and had hope for the children of the future. A sculpture by Jim Gion, Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience, also graces the plaza."

1991 - Japanese Stone Lanterns, on bank of Snake River, Idaho Falls, Idaho (USA), home of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The two lanterns are a gift from sister city Tokai-mura (Japan), home of the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI).
1992 - Constellation Earth, World Peace Symbol Zone, Nagasaki Peace Park, Nagasaki (Japan). Bronze sculpture by Paul Granlund [1925-2003] donated by the citizens of sister city St. Paul, Minneasota (USA). "The seven human figures represent the continents. The interdependence of the figures symbolizes global peace and solidarity."

May 3, 1996 - International Friendship Bell, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. Represents 50th anniversary of the City of Oak Ridge. Paid for in part by contributons by the people of sister city Naka-Machi (Japan). Only inscriptions on the bell are PEACE, INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP, and the dates of Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and VJ Day. Bell cast by Sotetsu Iwazawa in Kyoto (Japan). Pavilion designed by Prof. Jon Coddington. Click here for other peace bells.
1999 - Gordon Hirabayashi Campground, Sky Island Scenic Byway, Coronado National Forest (Arizona). "The site was built in 1937 as a Federal prison camp... During WW-II, some prisoners were conscientious objectors; some were Japanese Americans protesting the relocation. Gordon Hirabayashi refused a Relocation order and served his sentence here after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction." "Because the Federal Attorney would not provide transportation, Hirabayashi hitchhiked alone from Spokane, Washingtion, to Tucson to serve his sentence at the honor camp in the Santa Catalina Mountains."
April 30, 2000 - Sugihara Memorial Garden, Temple Emeth, Chestnut Hill, South Brookline, Masschusetts (USA). The conservative Jewish temple holds an annual Sugihara Memorial Concert. Shiune Sugihara [1900-1986] was a Japanese diplomat who helped thousands of Jews leave the Soviet Union while serving as consul of the Empire of Japan in Lithuania.
2000 - National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II, National Park Service (NPS), Washington, DC (USA). Pays homage to the thousands of Japanese men and women who were imprisioned in American relocation camps in 1942-1945. At the center of the memorial is a sculpture of a bronze crane by Nina A. Akamu. Rising above the confines of the memorial wall, the crane is meant to symbolize "rising beyond limitations." Visited by EWL.

August 11, 2000 - UN Peace Bell Garden, United Nations, New York City, New York (USA). Designed & built by Shinichiro Abe, ZEN Associates, Inc., Woburn, Massachusetts (USA). Symbolically represents the seven continents of the globe, as depicted on the UN flag. Surrounds the Japanese Peace Bell..
2001 - Minidoka Internment National Historic Site, National Park Service (NPS), Hagerman, Idaho (USA). Click here for the 2006 General Management Plan.
December 15, 2002 - Memorial Statue of Chiune "Sempo" Sugihara, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California (USA). Life-size statue by Ramon Velazco depicting Sugihara seated on a bench and holding a visa in his hand. Inscribed from the Talmud: "He who saves one life, saves the entire world." Unveiling attended by attended by Sugihara's son Chiaki Sugihara, 64, from Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. Shiune Sugihara [1900-1986] was a Japanese diplomat who helped thousands of Jews leave the Soviet Union while serving as consul of the Empire of Japan in Lithuania.
August 2, 2003 - Monument to Norman Cousins, in front of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima (Japan). To honor the achievements of Norman Cousins [1915-1990], "including promotion of the moral adoption project for A-bomb and war orphans, his efforts in helping female A-bomb survivors receive keloid treatment in the U.S. and his continued appeal to the world for elimination of nuclear weapons treatment in the U.S. and his continued appeal to the world for elimination of nuclear weapons." #53 of 56 "cenotaphs & monuments" on the Virtual E-Tour. Photo by EWL.
Fall 2005 - Totempole, Nagasaki (Japan). From St. Paul, Minnesota (USA) for 50th anniversary of sister city relationship. Dedication attended by mayor of St. Paul and many US Rotarians. Made by Ray Lefto, Master Wood Carver, who wrote, "We carved the pole as a whole and seperatly carved the American Eagle, wings and beeks."
June 15, 2006 - Marion Nakashima Peace Garden, Chandler Hall, Newtown, Pennsylvania (USA). Near Nakashima Foundation for Peace in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Marion is the widow of George Nakashima [1905-1990] whose peace tables are in New York City, Moscow, India, and South Africa (qv). They were interned 1942-1943 in a camp for Japanese-Americans before moving to New Hope, Pennsylvania,

May 18, 2008 - Agat Peace Memorial Monument, Agat (US Territory of Guam). "A pacifist organization of Japanese nationals living on Guam [Peace Ring of Guam] has erected a cenotaph to commemorate the deaths of tens of thousands of people there during World War II... It is engraved with the kanji for 'wa,' meaning peace, rendered by the late Shoichi Yokoi [1915-1997], a Japanese soldier who hid in the jungle on Guam until 1972 without knowing the war was over. It also bears the message 'Peace is everything' in the Chamorro language."

August 6, 2008 - "Stories of Hope," permanent exhibit at Peace Resource Center (PRC), Wilmington College of Ohio, Wilmington, Ohio (USA). Highlights four stories: PRC founder Barbara Leonard Reynolds [1915-1990], Sadako Sasaki [1943-1955], the Hiroshima Maidens, and Dr. Takashi Nagai [1908-1951], the first published writer of the A-Bomb experience. The PRC has "the world's largest collection (outside of Japan) of reference materials related to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." Entry #820 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). One of 27 US museums in "Museums for Peace Worldwide" edited by Kazuyo Yamane (2008).

December 5, 2008 - Tule Lake Segregation Center, Tule Lake, California (USA). Part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument as designated by President George W. Bush just in time for the 67th anniversary of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 2008. (The national monument encompasses 9 sites in 3 states totaling 6,310 acres (2,550 ha)."As part of a nationwide initiative to conserve Japanese American internment camp sites, The Conservation Fund has worked closely with the National Park Service (NPS), Japanese American Citizens League, Tule Lake Committee and other local partners to conserve land at the site of three former camps – Minidoka National Historic Site in Idaho, Topaz in Utah and now the Tule Lake site in Northern California. To date, the Fund has protected over 230 acres of historic lands at Minidoka and Topaz." Upper image is circa 1942.
July 3, 2009 - "More than 700 people endured 90 plus degree heat on July 3 to dedicate the Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Of the 700, more than 410 were also participating in the 17th Tule Lake Pilgrimage. This year’s pilgrimage, which ran from July 2-5, had the largest turnout with attendees from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Japan and Hong Kong. “Tule Lake, as a national monument, is a tribute to the efforts of thousands of pilgrimage organizers and participants over the past 17 pilgrimages,” said Roy Ikeda, Tule Lake Preservation Committee chair. 'The national monument status ensures now that this story will be preserved.' Tule Lake started out as one of 10 War Relocation Authority (WRA) camps during World War II, but was converted into a Segregation Center in 1943 to mainly house those who protested their incarceration."

September 22, 2012 - Peace Crane, USS Arizona Memorial, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (USA). "The paper crane, one of five kept by Sasaki's brother, Masahiro Sasaki, 71, will be put on permanent exhibit in about three months at the visitor center of the USS Arizona, which was sunk by Japan's 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The Sasaki family donated it in hopes that Japan & the US can overcome resentment & animosity over the war & strengthen their relationship. The exhibit came about with the assistance of Clifton Truman Daniel, the eldest grandson of US. President Harry Truman, who ordered the atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki in 1945."
In Progress - Topaz Museum, c/o Great Basin Museum, Delta, Utah (USA). "In 1991, a local Delta family donated half of an original Topaz recreation hall, which had been used as a storage shed for some 50 years. An ad hoc committee, now known as the Topaz Museum Board, was formed to decide how to restore the building to its original wartime condition."

In Progress - Amache Japanese Internment Camp, Granada, Colorado (USA). Right image by EWL.

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