Irei chō

The Book of Names

For the first time, an accurate and comprehensive list of every person of Japanese ancestry incarcerated in the World War II camps will be compiled in a book called the Ireichō. The idea of a book as a monument is inspired by the Japanese tradition of Kakochō (literally, “The Book of the Past”), a book of names typically placed on a Buddhist temple altar and brought out for memorial services when the names of those to be remembered are chanted.

Following a ceremonial installation on September 24, 2022 at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), the Ireichō monument will be on display at the museum until December 2024. The public is invited to view and acknowledge the names in the Ireichō by placing a Japanese hanko (stamp) underneath the name of each individual in the book. After the display at JANM is concluded, during 2025-’26, the goal of honoring the 125,000+ names will continue as the Ireichō goes on a national tour until every single individual is acknowledged.

Representatives for the 75 Sites of Wartime Incarceration

denotes individual involved in the coordinating or collecting of soil from the incarceration site
denotes individual not representing the site at the ceremony but involved in coordinating or collecting of soil from the incarceration site