Volunteers of the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo recently completed the restoration of Eto Park at 170 Brook Street in San Luis Obispo, CA. The Park, originally constructed in 2002 by SLO Rotary, was built in recognition of Eto family who contributed to the development and culture of the community over the past century. The Park had fallen into disrepair and was restored by 46 Rotary volunteers this year.

In 1902, 18-year old Tameji Eto emigrated from Japan to California, settling in San Luis Obispo County in 1914, where he organized various agricultural organizations, was involved in the Co-Operative Farm Industry of Southern California, and serve as a leader of the Japanese community in San Luis Obispo.

Tameji Eto, his wife Take Eto, and their family along with over 800 Japanese American citizens living in San Luis Obispo County, were interned during World War II.

Tameji Eto’s son-in-law, Leo Kikuchi, enlisted in the 442nd “Go for Broke” Regiment, the all-Japanese-American volunteer Regiment and most decorated unit in U.S. Military history, and was killed in WWII action on Anzio Beach fighting for democracy and demonstrating the patriotism of Japanese-Americans. All the while his wife, Susie Eto, their two young children, and the rest of the Eto family were forced from their homes and businesses because of nationwide racism and intolerance, and over the years overcame this financial and personal devastation by sheer hard work and determination.