HomeLocal NewsRemembering Japantown: Sacramento unveils 'Sakuramento Mural' in heritage month homage

Remembering Japantown: Sacramento unveils ‘Sakuramento Mural’ in heritage month homage

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Sacramento, California – Sacramento unveiled a moving homage to its old Japantown area in the latter days of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. A striking memory of a community that flourished in this very place before the terrible days of 1942, the “Sakuramento Mural,” currently hangs on the corner of 4th Street and Capitol Mall.

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Up to the terrible period in American history when World War II drove its citizens into internment camps, Japantown was a humming center. Many people found it impossible to return after the war, and the area was finally destroyed to make room for the opulent Capitol Mall, the stately approach to the California State Capitol.

Reclaim Sacramento Japantown, a group dedicated to preserving and honoring the legacy of this historic neighborhood, spearheaded the mural project. With rich in old pictures and stories, the artwork informs and reminds the public of the thriving community that previously existed here.

An amazing Japanese cherry blossom tree at the center of the artwork represents the Japantown neighborhood’s tenacity and beauty. This masterwork was created by Karen Tsugawa, a local artist well known for her commitment to Japanese American art and history. With the help of a group of volunteer painters, Tsugawa included real cultural aspects and historical tales from Japantown into the mural.

The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians has purchased the location where the mural is now being painted on panels. Once the tribe starts building on the property, plans are already in place to move the painting, guaranteeing that this tribute to Japantown’s history will inspire and educate in a new location.

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Along with beautifying the neighborhood, the “Sakuramento Mural” inspires new discussions about the background and accomplishments of Japanese Americans in Sacramento. It is proof of the tenacious character of a group that, even after being dispersed and uprooted, still influencing the cultural fabric of the city.

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