hello! email :: 646.481.5687

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My talented friend and beautiful human @escot_mexcal and I wished to create a solidarity message and perhaps a small space of healing for the Black community. The message is flanked by a torii or Shinto gate, a portal to the divine. We include portraits of but a few of the slain community members whose names we will keep shouting and whose faces we want to shine: Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Manuel Ellis, Charleena Lyles, Sandra Bland, David McAtee

Our statement:

BLACK LIVES MATTER
The Japanese American community stands in unwavering solidarity with our Black, Brown and indigenous siblings, who stood with us through the mass incarceration of our people during WWII. We acknowledge Asian Americans’ legacy of complicity in white supremacy and commit to the ongoing dismantling of it. We acknowledge that Asian American activism is deeply influenced by and in debt to Black American activism. We commit to using our strength and privilege to achieve liberation for all people.
#BlackLivesMatter  #AmplifyBlackVoices  #DefundSPD #TsuruForSolidarity   #Asians4BlackLives

We include in our mural a photo, taken in early June 1942, showing the last time this block and the Japantown/Nihonmachi neighborhood were boarded up. The solidarity message takes the appearance of the exclusion order (E.O. 9066) which was plastered throughout west coast Japanese American neighborhoods announcing their abrupt forced removal and indefinite incarceration. My wish is to reclaim this tyrannical document and convert it into a message of hope. Ironically, the last time this neighborhood was boarded up was in 1942 I also wish to remind the JA and API communities that because of own struggles for humanity, we have a moral imperative to fight against white supremacy, organize in solidarity with and amplify the Black community’s demands for equality.

Many friends came through with hands and hellos, but we are especially thankful to Paul and Craig Murakami who continue to care for their family’s building in Seattle’s #Nihonmachi three generations in. They labored, fed us, and made this project possible. Thank you to Mari Shibuya @yo_miko, Michelle Kumata, Blake Nakatsu, Alina Tonu, Momo Street, Joel Kikuchi, Nina Wallace, Molly and Dennis Eng, Lee Murakami, Big Paul, CB, and Uncle Eugene, a.k.a. Yuji Tag, and our friends at Kobo and Kaname for space and refreshments. Photos by: Scott Méxcal and Eugene Tagawa.