Home » Concord’s Little Known Memorial In Honor Of A Murdered Japanese Exchange Student

Concord’s Little Known Memorial In Honor Of A Murdered Japanese Exchange Student


A little known, but very important memorial near Concord BART honors a Japanese exchange student who lost his life at the hands of an unknown, cold-blooded killer in 1993.

25-year-old Masakazu Kuriyama was shot twice in the back of the head in what police described at the time as a random killing.


None of Kuriyama’s belongings were stolen. The victim was still in possession of a portable radio, backpack, a wallet, and $140 in cash when his body was found near Mesa and Mt. Diablo Streets just after 11 p.m. He had just gotten off the BART train, and was on his way home from work.

The killing was covered internationally, and President Bill Clinton was briefed on the incident.

The murder has remained unsolved for the past 29-years.

If you want to see it in person, the memorial is near the corner of Mesa St. and Mt. Diablo St. in Concord.



Senior December 8, 2022 - 10:48 AM - 10:48 AM

That’s just so sad. Peace to his friends and loved ones. RIP.
Thank you Claycord for retelling this; I had no idea.

whatever December 8, 2022 - 12:15 PM - 12:15 PM

At the time I lived nearby and was on my back patio and heard the shot. I had no idea what had happened and told myself that the sound I heard was something other than a gunshot. I see that memorial and wish there was something more I could have done to help him or identify the killer. RIP Masakazu.

Coggins Square December 8, 2022 - 2:27 PM - 2:27 PM

I remember this very well!!

It was in the summer of 1993, and I was 16 years old between my freshman and sophomore years of high school.

I remember some wondered if it may have been a hate crime, as there had been a string of hate crimes across the nation at that time, which is why then-president Bill Clinton was briefed on it. I remember when the memorial was put up several months later.

This also happened when Concord PD was still in their old headquarters at Parkside Drive and Willow Pass Road, which is why such a crime would be less likely to happen there now, since Concord PD now has their headquarters right near where this happened, as it was a few years later when CPD built and moved into their new station on Galindo Street there.

I honestly cannot believe it has been nearly 30 years now, as it still feels like it was only yesterday. I hope that Concord PD will be able to solve this senseless crime at some point,

Shawn Thibeaux-Ford December 8, 2022 - 9:58 PM - 9:58 PM

I live across the street. When I purchased my home I didn’t know what the small collection of boulders and beautiful dwarf maple were there for. I assumed aesthetics. Just something the city paid to beautify the street. I then noticed, what I learned to be his mother and father visit every year I have lived here. They ate lunch together on the anniversary of his death. Every single year. I have lived here for 12 years. It has been 2 years since I’ve last seen them. They looked to be around their 80’s the last time they shared lunch. I don’t know if they traveled from Japan every year or if they eventually moved to the USA seeing as he was an exchange student. They showed his memorial so much respect. Cleaned, trimmed and weeded. They would show up at sun up and stay until sunset and leave. Makes me sad to think they may have passed on and joined their son, and his memory and memorial may be forgotten. I pray they have all found peace.

Nobody December 11, 2022 - 8:55 AM - 8:55 AM

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