WWII Japanese American Memorial in Washington DC
By Contested Histories Initiative •
The Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II in Washington, D.C., United States, is a monument to the 112,581 Japanese Americans incarcerated by the U.S. Government during World War II. It also commemorates Japanese Americans who served in the U.S. Military. The inscriptions in the memorial received criticism from the Japanese American Voice Group for including a quotation by a Japanese American veteran and activist Mike Masaoka, which praised the unquestioning loyalty of his community to the U.S., originally to be captioned as the ‘Japanese American Creed.’ The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation agreed to scrap this title but retained Masaoka’s quotation. This case study shows how stakeholders from different generations within the Japanese American community conceptualise the commemoration of their and their ancestors’ experience of life in the U.S. during and after World War II.