Ever since we found out that the Tanforan shopping center was built on the site of a World War II Japanese internment camp, we haven't been able to go there (even though that Target has one of those shopping cart escalators, which ordinarily we love.)

In its pre-mall incarnation, Tanforan housed eight thousand Japanese-Americans in horse stables, who were held at gunpoint and behind barbed wire from April to October 1942, as a way station before shipping them off to official internment camps further inland.

Today, the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California is holding a reunion and commemoration event at the mall, as a reminder of the injustices of the past. This is the first formal Tanforan reunion, and there are currently about 2000 survivors still alive (most in their 80s and 90s), including 65 babies born on the site. The mall will be dedicating a Japanese garden in their honor today as well.

Picture of the Tanforan camp by Dorothea Lange from the National Archives.