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FYI: "Jap Road" renamed

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  • FYI: "Jap Road" renamed

    Per a press release from Dan Inouye's office, July 20, 2004:
    Jefferson County, Tx, commissioners agreed to rename "Jap Road" -- a rural lane outside Beaumont. Inouye responded to the Japanese American Citizens League "and other civil rights organizations."

    Just thought the brilliant, inquiring minds of the media forum would like to know.

    By the way, does anyone out there know of other strangly named roads, lanes, bridges, passes, highways or byways?

  • #2
    Re: FYI: "Jap Road" renamed

    Here's an article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. I'm subscribed to more than my share of AJA/APA mailing lists, on which this case was a hot topic of discussion. Even as a Japanese American, I can see a reasonable, non-racist reason for retaining the old name - it was a tribute, if a somewhat backhanded one in retrospect, from a time when the nation was still feeling its way through Asia-America relations.

    Still, if the intent of the original name was to honor the Mayumi family (even if the word chosen is no longer acceptable), it made sense to me to change the name to one that still honors the family... just in a less awkward way.

    Yeah, changing maps and business cards is not a trivial thing, but as much as the old name was a historic example of the way things were then, no doubt the decision to change it will also become a historic footnote on the way things are today.