To the Issei
Project Area: Little Tokyo
Project: Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
Project Location: 244 S. San Pedro Street
Project Type: CRA Initiated
Noguchi's "To the Issei" is a large brick plaza with two large sculptural centerpieces. Each sculptural element has a variety of textures carved onto the surface of the stone; and, one part is upright, while the other part is horizontal. Noguchi wanted the space to be a "piazza," serving a variety of community purposes "like a town square in Italy." Reflecting different moods, the plaza cannot be fully experienced in one visit. On quiet days, it appears stark and empty, a space to pass through and an enclave to rest in. But during the annual cycle of festival days, the plaza is a crowded outdoor urban theater hosting public events and activities that bind the community together.