HAGÅTÑA, GUAM (November 22, 2015) – The Guam Nikkei Association (GNA) is proud to announce the Unveiling Ceremony for the Issei Monument erected to pay tribute to the men who started Guam’s first community of Japanese-Chamorro families in the early 1900’s. Many came as copra plantation workers, merchants, farmers, fishermen, and laborers. They came from various prefectures near Tokyo in such areas as Kanagawa, Ibaraki, Tochigi, and Gunma. They married Chamorro women, learned the Chamorro language and adopted the Catholic religion as required in order to fully establish domicile. While some returned to Japan, the ones listed on the monument stayed and their legacy continues with generations of families today. All of them have died and the GNA cherish their contributions to Guam’s rich history that we know today.
The Unveiling Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 10:00 a.m., South Pacific Memorial Peace Park, Yigo, Guam
Through fundraising efforts and with support from the Consul General of Japan, Sumitomo Construction, Landscape Management Service (LMS), Architects Laguaña and the South Pacific Memorial Peace Park, the 5’ granite monument stands on a concrete base and lists the 51 names that the GNA believes are Guam’s Issei. Issei is the Japanese language term used in America to specify the Japanese people who were first to immigrate.
The GNA would like to invite descendants of these Guam Issei to the unveiling.
For more information please contact Monica Okada Guzman at 727-1879.
The Guam Nikkei Association was chartered in 2012 with the primary purpose of perpetuating the history and lineages of those born from Japanese ancestry who are presently bona fide residents of Guam, educating the community about the impact and contribution of first generation Japanese and their descendants on the social economic fabric of Guam and to inculcating Japanese culture, art, traditions and history to succeeding generations of Japanese-Chamorro-Guamanians.