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This photograph was taken at the Evergreen Cemetery in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles. It was taken on June 4, 2007.

Every year on Memorial Day in May (or sometime around Memorial Day), my family goes ohaka mairi - we go on our rounds of the Southern California cemeteries where our relatives are buried. We go to say 'hi' and to remember those who came before us. This year, we went a week late.

Most of my mother's side of our family is buried here. Evergreen was founded on August 23, 1877, and is the oldest existing cemetery in the city of Los Angeles. Because of discrimination, there were few places that you could be buried if you were not Caucasian. Evergreen was one of few cemetaries that would accept people of Japanese descent. Consequently, there are a lot of Japanese Americans buried there. There are several sections of gravestones with names engraved in Japanese like these.

To learn more about Evergreen Cemetary, check out this feature that KCET, the local PBS station, did about Evergreen
"Shelter: The Evergreen". Included on the page is a link to a chapterized video about Evergreen which includes a section about Japanese Americans that talks about the Issei and the 442nd. There is also an image of the original floor plan and some additional facts.

vkm — Atualizado em Mar 30 2011 7:59 p.m.

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