Capital School Park, Juneau, AK
Memorial to Japanese and Japanese Americans from Juneau who were interned during World War II.
Inspired by the story of Juneau High School Class Valedictorian, John Tanaka and his family who were imprisoned prior to his 1942 graduation ceremony. In his place, his classmates placed an empty chair to represent him and the loss they felt at the forced removal of their friends and neighbors. The bronze chair, modeled after a folding wooden chair of the period, is approximately one and a half times life size.
The Empty Chair was recognized in 2014 by the Americans for the Arts – Public Art Network - Year-in-Review as one of the year’s outstanding public art projects nationwide.
The Empty Chair Committee and the City and Borough of Juneau