Nisei War Memorial

Posted on January 24, 2011 – 4:11 PM | by gee whz
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After exploring Sacramento for 15 years I thought that I had seen the whole town, until a few months ago when I found the Nisei War Memorial on 4th and O while walking to the Crocker.

“Nisei” means Japanese people born outside of Japan and this squat midcentury building was built to memorialize those who fought for the U.S. I love how it has become a valley surrounded by high rise mountains. Those two rocks in front of the building have plaques on them dedicated to prominent members of the Nisei community, one who was nicknamed “papa-san”

Nearer to the street, there is a monument to Japanese American civil liberties. Here I learned that Executive Order 9066, which effectively cleared the way for Japanese internment camps wasn’t rescinded until 1976. And it wasn’t until 1988 and President Reagan that the U.S. apologized.

This plaque says “Stamp out prejudice and racism. By stamping your feet on this plaque you are taking a stand that you will not accept prejudice and racism.”

  1. 12 Responses to “Nisei War Memorial”

  2. avatar

    By Melissa on Jan 24, 2011 | Reply

    We used to live right around the corner from this memorial on P and 3rd. It’s really kinda sad how it’s tucked in between all the large buildings and kinda hidden.

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    By William Burg on Jan 24, 2011 | Reply

    The building is the only remaining building from Sacramento’s old Japantown of the pre-redevelopment era, spared perhaps because it was brand new when the entire rest of the neighborhood was declared “blighted” and demolished. Kind of a hidden testament to the neighborhood that used to surround the site.

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    By livmoe on Jan 24, 2011 | Reply

    I am so impressed!!! I gotta go check it out!

  5. avatar

    By Gretchen S on Jan 25, 2011 | Reply

    There used to be a Japanese Methodist Church (1950) designed by George Muraki at that corner.

  6. avatar

    By gbomb on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    My yonsei (great grandchild of a japanese immigrant)friend clarified the terminology for me.

    ‘Nisei’ technically mean Second Generation.

    The ‘issei’ generation are those who immigrated to the US from Japan. The ‘nisei’ are those born to issei…etc.

    Sansei is 3rd generation.

    Now I want Udon for lunch.

  7. avatar

    By Gretchen S on Feb 4, 2011 | Reply

    Here’s a very detailed map of where Sacramento’s Japanese Americans lived and worked prior to World War II:

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    By Doug M on Mar 27, 2011 | Reply

    Since this memorial helps prevent racism of this type to occur, I think of our present war and how we have learned from the past, how we have made a different decision based on prior poor decisions.

    This memorial should be recognized nationally, not tucked away in a remote neighborhood.

  9. avatar

    By Terry I. on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    My Father along many of his comrades fought for the 442/100 Infantry Regiment which was a segregated unit made of Japanese-American citizens and was the most highly decorated unit for all US forces during WWII. Many of the readers of this blog should research this time of history. Many of the volunteers for the 442/100 did so while their families were interned in “relocation camps” just because of their Japanese heritage.

    After the war, these returning veterans wanted to be part of the Veterans of Foreign War but would get rebuffed from that organization. It took the courage of their “Papasan”, Art Fleming who was prominent in the VFW which allowed the post 8985 to get into the organization.

  10. avatar

    By Terry I. on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    I just came across this site which might provide some more information on the 442/100 Infantry Regiment:

  11. avatar

    By Gee Whiz on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks for the information Terry, this piece of Sacramento history shouldn’t be forgotten.

  12. avatar

    By Sierra on Jun 29, 2013 | Reply

    I found this memorial today, totally by accident. I was on my way to a job interview at CalPERS (walking) and it caught my eye. I’d heard about the Japanese internment camps, but really didn’t know much about them. If I hadn’t been going to a job interview, I probably would have been in tears reading the info on the monument. I’ll be trying to learn more about this topic now.

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