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San Luis Obispo's Eto Park rededicated, family honored on 20-year anniversary

Posted at 1:46 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 22:23:54-04

Eto Park, a small park on Brook St. in San Luis Obispo with benches and a footpath, has been there since 2002. On Thursday, community members came out for a rededication ceremony.

The park was created by the Rotary Club of SLO to recognize the Eto family's impact on San Luis Obispo County, especially Tameji and Take Eto. Tameji Eto worked in agriculture and was an entrepreneur and community member.

Eto Park was first dedicated on Thursday, May 9, 2002. Twenty years later, about fifty people gathered for the rededication, hosted by the Rotary Club of SLO. The park was refurbished to honor the anniversary.

Rotary Club members, city officials and members of the Eto family were present.

The Etos were Japanese Americans and were sent to internment camps during World War II. Some of their family members volunteered to serve in the U.S. military. When the war ended, they remained in San Luis Obispo County.

Ron Kikuchi, a grandson of Tameji and Take Eto, spoke during the ceremony. Kikuchi lost his father who was killed while fighting for the U.S. during WWII.

"It's such an honor to have the City of San Luis Obispo come with all these clubs and to honor Tameji again for all he's done for the City of San Luis Obispo," Kikuchi told KSBY, "as well as [for] all of the Japanese Americans and ethnic groups alike."

Rotary Club officials say the ceremony helps honor the Eto family's legacy and promotes tolerance and friendship.