Riverside Metropolitan Museum

Reading the Walls Online Exhibit - Room #2 : Case 10

Sumi and Family Home Receive Recognition

The Harada House was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 14, 
1990. The statement of significance is as follows: "An architecturally plain 
residence near downtown Riverside, the Harada House was the object of the first 
test of the constitutionality of an alien land law in the United States. In 
California vs. Harada (1916-1918), the right of native-born citizens of the 
United States, albeit minors, to own land was upheld. Directly associated with 
Japanese-Americans, the case is important to all Americans of immigrant 
heritage. The internment of the Harada family during World War II illustrates 
another aspect of America’s troubled dealings with her Japanese-American 
citizens." [Source: National Park Service, National Historic Landmarks Program, 
National Historic Landmarks on-line database]
<p>Photograph, Harold Harada at the National Historic Landmark Plaque Dedication Ceremony, April 19, 2001. Riverside
Metropolitan Museum, Harada Family Collection. Photography courtesy of Cate Whitmore</p>
<p>The Harada House was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 14, 
1990. Sumi Harada passed away in 2000, so it was her brother Harold who presided over the National Historic Landmark Plaque ceremony in 2001. Richard Esparza, former Riverside Metropolitan Museum Director is pictured behind Harold on the porch.</p>
<p>Congress of the United States, House of Representatives, Commendation Sumi
Harada by Lucille Roybal-Allard, Member of Congress August 9, 1994. Riverside 
Metropolitan Museum, Harada Family Collection.</p>

<p>Sumi Harada received national recognition of her continued willingness as an 
Asian American woman to share her family’s stories and experiences.</p>
<p>YWCA of Riverside, Women of Achievement Athena Award, 1995. Riverside
Metropolitan Museum, Harada Family Collection.</p>

<p>Sumi Harada received the Riverside YWCA’s Community Service Award in 1995. The 
program states, "The Harada family and its name are important to the history of 
Japanese-Americans in the United States. " The program continues with, "Today, 
Sumi Harada serves as a role model for Asian Americans. She is a a frequent 
speaker at the UCR’s Asian American Pioneers in the Inland Empire and Harada is 
a charter member of the Riverside Japanese-American Citizens League and serves 
as "Sunshine Chairman." Sumi is active in the International Relations Committee 
and has been honored for her efforts working with Riverside and our sister city 
of Sendai, Japan. Sumi Harada was nominated as a "Woman of Achievement" by the 
Asian Pacific Student Programs office at UCR."</p>
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Upon her return to Riverside, Sumi became an integral and influential member of Riverside’s Japanese American community, preserving and sharing the struggles, the memories, and experiences that she and other Riverside Japanese Americans had endured.

She was honored with awards and recognition from numerous organizations, including the YWCA Woman of the Year Athena Award and a Commendation from the Congress of the United States. She was always willing to be interviewed by newspapers and magazines, as well as college students to share her family’s story.

Sumi witnessed the local and national recognition of her family’s history by the Harada House’s nomination as a City Landmark in 1977 and its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1990.

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