This section is designed to honor the significant contributions of Japanese-American community leaders. Sakura Square, located at 19th and Lawrence Streets, is considered the heart of this community and within its beautiful Japanese garden, three statues stand as memorials to individuals who impacted the lives of many:   Rev. Yoshitaka Tamai, Governor Ralph Carr, and Minoru Yasui. We begin this section by honoring these men along with Bill Hosokawa.

JARCC realizes the inclusion of this current list is only a beginning and recognizes/realizes that other influential leaders of the community should be included.

In order to make this section more comprehensive, the community is welcome to contribute names for inclusion in this section.  Requests for submission are asked to include biographical information and a summary of the major contribution(s) to Colorado’s history. Click below for the submission form.

Click here for the Nomination Form.

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1915 – 2007

Japanese American author, journalist, civil rights activist and diplomat;
Born in Seattle, Washington of Issei parents (first generation);
1937 University of Washington, School of Journalism;
Wife: Alice; Children: Mike, Susan


1887 – 1950
1939 – 1943 Governor of Colorado
Upheld the US Constitution to protect all Americans in his belief of Japanese Americans’ loyalty to the US, by not sending Japanese American Coloradans to relocation camps;
Born in Rosita, Custer County, CO;
1912 University of Colorado School of Law;
1922 Assistant Attorney General;
1929 U.S. Attorney General for Colorado appointment by President Herbert Hoover;
Wife: Gretchen, Children: Robert, Cynthia (both adopted)


1916 – 1986

Lawyer, civil rights activist;
Born in Hood River, Oregon;
Third son of Issei parents (first generation);
1939 University of Oregon, School of Law;
1939 Speechwriter for Japanese Consulate in Chicago, Il;
1941, resigned position with Consulate, returned to Portland;
Practiced law in Denver after appealing decision barring him from practicing in Colorado to the Colorado Supreme Court;
Wife: True Shibata; Children: Iris, Holly, Laurel


1900 – 1983
Born in Toyama-ken, Japan;
Toyo University, Philosophy Major;
1926 completed post-graduate studies;

He was a revered and respected gentle priest, whose kindness and compassion touched many. He ministered to the spiritual, cultural and social needs of Buddhists in Colorado and surrounding states.