Morikami Park is located at 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach and was named for George Sukeji Morikami. He was a Japanese immigrant to the United States who farmed in Palm Beach County for more than 65 years. When he joined the Yamato Colony, he was unmarried, and did not plan to stay long. Although the Yamato Colony ultimately failed, George Morikami stayed on and eventually prospered. Delray Beach is a Sister City to Miyazu, japan in honor of George Morikami.
Here is a timeline of Morikami’s life:
- 1887 born in Miyazu, Japan
- 1906 was 19 years old when he emigrated to the United States to join the Yamato Colony, a Japanese farming community in what is now Boca Raton, Florida
- 1910 living in Brevard, Florida, Morikami is listed as single and was employed as a laborer for a truck farm
- 1930 Living at NE 5th Ave, Alla Ref apt, Delray FL, Morikami is listed as single and was a wholesale dealer (farm)
- 1945 Morikami and other remaining Yamato colonists had their land seized by the United States as the U.S. entered World War II; their land was taken to create an Army Air Corps training base
- 1950 near the end of the WWII, Morikami bought land in Delray Beach, Florida, and farmed it for almost thirty years.
- 1973 he donated his 200 acres of farm land to Palm Beach County; Morikami was in his 80s
- 1976 Goerge Morikami died in Palm Beach, FL and his ashes were returned to Miyazu, japan. There is a monument to him in the Japanese Gardens in Morikami Park
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Sources: www.ancestry.com, www.historicpalmbeach.com