Public Affairs

SF State Garden of Remembrance Honors Nisei Students

Garden of Remembrance at San Francisco State
University honors SFSU students interned during WWII.

October 1, 2009
By Clara Potes-Fellow

The Garden of Remembrance at San Francisco State University honors the 19 students of Japanese ancestry who were removed from their classes under U.S. military and government orders and forced to live in camps during World War II.  It was dedicated in 2002, four years after SF State recognized the students as honored alumni at the University's annual commencement.

To honor the students, SFSU created the Gardens of Remembrance -- a quiet courtyard with ten large boulders that represent the internment camps and a waterfall that represents energy renewal and the return to home.
The gardens are the focus of special attention now that the CSU is granting special honorary degrees to all Japanese American students enrolled at CSU campuses during the year 1941-1942 who were unable to complete their college degree as a result of their relocation in internment camps.

The gardens were designed by Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa, who was a camp internee herself. A plaque provides historical information about the Japanese American relocation and honors in perpetuity those students forced to leave the SFSU campus.