*August Ribbon Cutting Information Below -- Scroll Down For More Information.

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The Tanforan Assembly Center Memorial Committee (TACMC) is in the midst of building the Tanforan Memorial located just outside the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in San Bruno, California. This is the site of the former racetrack converted into a detention center from April through October 1942.

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Tanforan Memorial

TACMC, partnering with the Bay Area landscape architectural firm RHAA, is working through the designing and planning of a bronze statue memorial plaza outside the San Bruno BART station. In honor of their Japanese American founding partners, Asa Hanamoto, Kazuo Abey, and Harold Kobayashi, RHAA is generously doing the work pro bono. 

The artist and foundry selected to create and install the bronze sculpture are Sandra Shaw and the American Fine Arts Foundry. The proposed statue is based on photographs taken by Dorothea Lange in 1942 of young children dressed in their Sunday best on the way to Tanforan.  

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Ribbon Cutting

Please join us at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Tanforan Memorial on Saturday, August 27, 2022, at 1:00 p.m., which will take place outside the San Bruno BART station at 1151 Huntington Ave. 

For the Tanforan Committee, this celebration represents the culmination of ten years of effort, and for those formerly imprisoned at the detention center in Tanforan, it will represent much more. 

We especially encourage and invite former incarcerees of Tanforan or any other detention or WWII concentration camps to attend. If you are planning to attend, please let the Committee know in advance by emailing tanforan.memorial@gmail.com. Include your name, age, detention center and/or camp at which they were detained, and any accommodations needed. We will have reserved seating available.  

The long-standing exhibit of photographs by Dorothea Lange and Paul Kitagaki Jr inside the train station will be replaced, and a new art exhibition will take its place on the same day.

We will have a shaded canopy and seating available and hope to be able to accommodate everyone, but we are only guessing at the number of attendees. Please consider the weather when attending. 

Parking is available in the BART parking lot, which is free on the weekend. 

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Media coverage of groundbreaking included:

Groundbreaking

On February 11, 2022, more than 100 community members joined the Tanforan Committee at a groundbreaking ceremony to launch the start of construction on the memorial. Speakers included U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine, and San Bruno Mayor Rico Medina. Equipped with hard hats and shovels, Committee members participated in a ceremonial first dig at the memorial site. Construction on the memorial has continued over the spring and summer. 

Photographic Exhibition

Originally co-sponsored with the Contra Costa JACL, a photographic exhibition of the works of Dorothea Lange and Paul Kitagaki Jr. has been on display inside the San Bruno BART station since April 2012. 

These photos include ones taken by Lange in 1942 of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans on the West Coast, in particular of the families destined for the Tanforan temporary detention center and, later, the Topaz concentration camp. Sixty years later, Paul Kitagaki Jr., whose parents and grandparents were subjects of some of the original Lange photos, tracked down and re-photographed many of the same people Lange documented in 1942. 

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Acknowledgements

Native American Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that the Tanforan Memorial sits on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples. As evicted Japanese and Japanese Americans, we acknowledge the Ramaytush Ohlone as the First Peoples of this land to be forcibly removed from their traditional territory to the Spanish missions. We honor their ancestors, elders, and other members past, present, and future, and we hope you reflect on your relationship to the original peoples and to lands upon which you live and work.

NPS Acknowledgment of Support

​The activity that is the subject of this memorial and photographic exhibition has been financed in part with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior.​

NPS Nondiscrimination Statement

This program receives Federal financial assistance for identification and protection of historic properties. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, or age in its federally assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity National Park Service 1849 C Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20240