The stretch of Broadway that was once the center of Tacoma’s Japantown was dedicated Friday to the memory of former Tacoma Mayor and U.S. Sen. Harry P. Cain.
The street between the Hotel Murano and the convention center was renamed by the Tacoma city council to honor a mayor first elected in 1940. The location is appropriate because Cain opposed the internment of Japanese and Japanese-Americans during World Way II.
The name change was proposed by the late Joe Kosai as a way of honoring Cain who was loved by the area’s Japanese-American community. After Kosai’s death the cause was taken up by former Mayor Bill Baarsma, Cain’s daughter Candy and C. Mark Smith, a former city economic development director who was writing a biography of Cain.
Former Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma said that the promenade continues a tradition of naming streets, parks and plazas for former mayor. Streets have been named for John Sprague, Theodore Hosmer, Herbert Huson, Angelo Fawcett, George Wright. Parks have been named for George Kandle and Jack Hyde. A downtown plaza has been named for Harold Tollefson.
Current Mayor Marilyn Strickland and members of the Cain family and Kosai family unveiling the signs.
Smith will sign copies of his book, “Raising Cain: The Life and Politics of Senator Harry P. Cain” Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. at the main Tacoma Public Library.
My column on Cain and the book is here.