The Rev. Greg Kimura, vice-dean of San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral and a former rector of St. Andrew’s, Ojai, bears panel representing those incarcerated at Fort Richardson in Alaska. Photo: Bob Williams

[The Episcopal News] West Coast Episcopalians were among members of some 75 delegations assembled Sept. 25 at L.A.’s Japanese American National Museum (JANM) for an “Ireichō” ceremony launching the first comprehensive national memorial honoring all people of Japanese heritage incarcerated during World War II.

A memorial book bearing 125,284 names was dedicated together with commemorative posts bearing the names of 75 incarceration sites and soil from each location. The posts were carried and assembled by representatives of each site. “Ireichō” means “record of consoling ancestors” in Japanese. (A full report from the Los Angeles Times is here.)

Lo Sprague (right), president of The Guibord Center, and Ana Iwataki represent those incarcerated at Camp Greenbrier in West Virginia. Photo: Bob Williams

Representatives of the Santa Anita Assembly Center, among others, honored the memory and experiences of members of L.A.’s St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Mariposa Avenue, from which parishioners and clergy departed in 1942 for internment sites to which they were assigned, These included St. Mary’s rector, the late Rev. Canon John H. M. Yamazaki and his family, among many others.

The Rev. Michelle Baker-Wright (right), priest-in-charge of St. James’, South Pasadena, and Brian Niiya represent the Montreat Assembly Inn in North Carolina. Photo: Bob Williams

Participating in the procession were the Rev. Greg Kimura (representing Fort Richardson, Alaska), now vice dean of San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, formerly rector of St. Andrew’s, Ojai, and a past executive director of the Japanese American Museum; Lo Sprague, president of The Guibord Center (representing Camp Greenbrier, W.V.); and the Rev. Dr. Michelle Baker-Wright of St. James, South Pasadena (representing the Montreat Assembly Inn, N.C.). Participants also included Bishop Grant Hagiya, bishop of the United Methodist Church’s California-Pacific Conference. A number of survivors of the incarceration joined the procession and commemoration ceremony.

Further information about JANM is here.