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The Two Cranes Symbolizing Embattled Japanese Americans

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[Photo by Flickr user Brixton]

In the 1990s, sculptor Nina Akamu created the golden doves at the center of the National Japanese American Memorial. The memorial is not far from the National Mall, but it's still a rather moving, if widely unknown homage to the plight of Japanese Americans during World War II. The Hawaiian born artist has a deep connection with the struggle as her maternal grandfather died from a heart attack in one of the internment camps that housed a large number of Japanese Americans. She also grew up near the wreckage of Pearl Harbor in the two decades after the bombing. The crane is a regularly used figure of happiness in Asian literature, so seeing them move to fly behind barbed wire is powerful. Also, around the statue are the names of all the Americans who died in the internment camps. The statue was dedicated in the year 2000.
· National Japanese American Memorial (sculpture) [Smithsonian]
· National Japanese American Memorial, "Golden Cranes" [Studio Equus]
· All Hidden Memorials [CDC]