Those are the names of the internment camps engraved on the standing stone and those are Japanese Cherry trees planted along the river behind the memorial. When Naito died in 1997 his funeral was held here and he was mourned by all of Portland. For a man who became so wealthy and powerful, he was universally loved by the city to whom he gave so much.
While on the train, our guide, Rich, told us about the ultimately successful political fight to make riding the MAX free in the heart of the city—what is known as "fareless square". Less than 18% of MAX's budget is covered by fares. Most of it is subsidized by business taxes.
That's the Pioneer Courthouse, which gives the square its name there at the end of the bricks and to the left is the historic Meier and Frank Department Store building. M&F, to my sorrow, was purchased recently by Macy's and the store is currently closed and being renovated. M&F started in Portland and has a long history. There is a sweet story about the beginnings of the store and a darning needle that is well-known in these parts. M&F used to run this story in their ads and offer a free darning needle to the first 100 customers in the door on the day of the ad.
Pioneer Courthouse Square is always busy and a beautiful place to pause in the heart of the city. Rich said he picked up his son downtown a few weeks ago and there was a band playing late in the square with lots of people watching and dancing, and as they drove by, enjoying the sights and sounds, a raccoon casually strolled across Broadway in front of Nordstrom's, stopping traffic in both directions.