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“It's a Memorial not a Museum.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of National Japanese American Memorial

National Japanese American Memorial
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Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour of Washington DC: Monuments, Landmarks and Memorials
Ranked #121 of 418 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Hilo, Hawaii
Level Contributor
143 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“It's a Memorial not a Museum.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2013

The maps of the Washington, DC area lists this site as a museum which it is not. It is an outdoor memorial. It gives a brief history of Americans of Japanese Ancestry in the United States, the formation of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team (the most decorated unit in the History of the US Army, MIS, the wrongful interment of AJAs during World War II, etc. The memorial also lists the larger US World War II Internment Camps that imprisoned tens of thousand of Americans of Japanese Ancestry.

Visited January 2013
9 Thank damookie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Japanese first
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English first
Level Contributor
143 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Hidden gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2013

Stumbled across this park walking along Louisiana Avenue - I had heard about it but did not know exactly where it was. It's very well done, and tells the story of the contributions of Japanese Americans in combat during WWII, and the interment of Japanese Americans in 10 detention camps over five years, simply and powerfully.

It's a reminder of what this country is supposed to be about, and that sometimes, we really screw it up. Engraved in stone is the official determination that the detentions were militarily unnecessary and that compensation was made to those affected, and language to the effect of the token nature of that compensation. Worth a look.

Visited January 2013
5 Thank Kevin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northern Virginia
Level Contributor
225 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 204 helpful votes
“A Profound Yet Simple Monument”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2012

This is an important memorial when learning, or teaching, about American history. The National Japanese American Memorial both recognizes the sacrifice, and bravery, of Japanese American soldiers and WWII, and the forced internment of Japanese Americans in the United States. The central monument of two cranes on a pedestal, wrapped in barbed wire, has many significances, and for most viewers it relates to the spirit of freedom held back by captivity. Note that the cranes rise just above the restricting walls of the monument. The walls list the names of Japanese American soldiers who gave their lives for America during the war.
The names of the 10 relocation camps, and their locations, are listed on other walls. Soil from each of the relocation camps has been placed under its respective wall. Visitors can reflect on how sometimes we, the people, react negatively towards a minority in America. Keep in mind that our Constitution was established, in part, to protect minority rights in the face of majority rule.
The last portion of this monument has a small pool with five rocks emerging from the waters, representing the five generations of Japanese Americans who existed when the monument was created. And finally there is a long tubular bell, designed by Paul Matisse, that visitors can strike using a lever system. The singular tone of the bell resounds beautifully in the plaza, and is a great joy for the children who visit the monument.

Visited April 2012
8 Thank Snailkite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
354 reviews
235 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,223 helpful votes
“One of the Little Memorial Tucked Away in DC - Pretty Moving”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2012

This is a small park that was dedicated during the Clinton era. It consists of two Japanese cranes trapped in barbed wire on top of a tall pedestal. There is a a landscaped plaza, with a water feature including large rocks. There is also a circular granite wall that curves around the Japanese cranes and includes the names of WW II battles that Japanese Americans fought in, as well as the names of the 10 internment camps that housed 120,000 Japanese.

It is a quiet reflective park and according to locals I talked with, it does not seem many tourists. I thought it was worth a short visit. It is adminstered by the National Park Service, but there are no rangers or information available there.

DC has a lot of these hidden gems and when you are here, you owe it to yourself to find at least one or two of them (in addition to spending time at the major sites).

Visited April 2012
6 Thank CynthiafromOhio2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
362 reviews
135 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Personal connection”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2012

I have a family member who is Japanese-American and served in WWII and this meant a lot to me

Visited April 2012
5 Thank Patsy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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