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Japanese American National Museum
369 East First Street
Los Angeles, California
Phone: 213-625-0414 -- 1 800 461 5266
Statement of Purpose:
The mission of the Japanese
American National Museum is to promote understanding and appreciation
of America's ethnic and cultural diversity by preserving, interpreting
and sharing the experiences of Japanese Americans.
Highlights & Collections:
The Japanese American National
Museum is the first museum in the United States dedicated to sharing
the experience of Americans of Japanese ancestry. Through building a
comprehensive collection of Japanese American objects, imagies and
documents and through a multi-faceted program of exhibitions,
educational programs, films and publications, the Museum tells the
story of Japanese Americans around the country to a national and
The Museum's collections, which
range from vintage kimonos to World War II artifacts and contemporary
art, have been painstakingly assembled from individuals, families,
organizations and businesses. We actively collect, preserve, store and
display such treasures from around the nation.
The following is a description
of our present exhibits:
COMMON GROUND: THE HEART of COMMUNITY
This continuing exhibit
presents a moving historical overview of Japanese American communities,
beginning with the early days of the Issei pioneers (first generation
Japanese Americans) through the World War II incarceration, to the
present. This exhibition features objects, documents, photographs, and
one of the Museum's largest artifacts: a barracks from the
concentration camps at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.
HENRY SUGIMOTO: PAINTING AN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Opens March 24, 2001
At the age of 19, Henry Sugimoto left Japan to make his life in
America. Determined to become an artist, he studied in the San
Francisco Bay Area and exhibited nationally and internationally. When
he was unjustly incarcerated at 42 in the Jerome and Rohwer
concentration camps in Arkansas, the experience ireeversibly affected
how he viewed himself, his art, and the Japanese American experience.
This retrospective survey
features works from the National Museum's extensive collection of
Sugimoto's paintings, prints, drawings, and writing, and spans the
entirety of his prolific career as an artist.
ALLEN SAY'S JOURNEY: THE ART and WORDS of A CHILDREN'S BOOK AUTHOR
Through February 11, 2001
This is the first retrospective exhibition featuring the art of
award-winning children's book author and illustrator, Allen Say. His
drawings, watercolor paintings and prose explore themes of longing,
belonging and the meaning of "home."
MORE THAN A GAME: SPORT IN THE
JAPANESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY
Through February 18, 2001
"More Than a Game" tells the
story of one immigrant group through the universally popular topic of
sport. The exhibition reveals a unique and often untold perspective on
how sport influenced and impacted the evolution of the Japanese
RE-VISIONING MANZANAR: SELECTIONS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION
Through May 1, 2001
Manzanar, one of the ten War Relocation Authority (WRA) concentration
camps, has been the subject of multiple interpretations over the last
fifty years. Culled from the permanent collection of the Japanese
American National Museum, this exhibition features photography,
paintings, and contemporary interpretations by a wide range of artists.
FOR A GREENER TOMORROW: JAPANESE AMERICAN GARDENERS IN SOUTHERN
Through May 1, 2001
Barred from leasing farmland in the early 1900s, many Japanese
immigrants traveled from California's countryside to the cities and
turned to another kind of farming - gardening. This profession
sustained Japanese Americans when they returned from concentration
camps and also Japan after the war. A display, co-sponsored by the
Southern California Gardeners' Federation, surveys the gardeners' 100
years of contributions to create "a greener tomorrow" for all Japanese
Americans and the larger Southern California community.
Informal education is available through regularly scheduled
exhibitions, tours, reading materials and conversations with our
knowledgeable docents. Group and school tours are available for 10 or
more individuals at reduced admission rates. In addition, our National
School Project helps grade-school teachers and administrators
incorporate multiculturalism into their exisiting cirricula.
Japanese American historical
artifacts; three-dimentional objects; documents; printings; paintings;
photographs; moving images; oral histories.
Exhibits & Special Events:
- America's Concentration Camps;
- Japanese & American Soldiers.
GROUND: THE HEART of COMMUNITY
This continuing exhibit presents a moving historical overview of
Japanese American communities, beginning with the early days of the
Issei pioneers (first generation Japanese Americans) through the World
War II incarceration, to the present. This exhibition features objects,
documents, photographs, and one of the Museum's largest artifacts: a
barracks from the concentration camps at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.
Quarter: January-February-March 2001
1. Oshogatsu: New
Year Family Celebration
January 7, 1-4p.m.
Celebrate the New Year at the National Museum with family and friends
by enjoying a fun-filled, festive afternoon learning about Japanese
American New Year "good luck" traditions. Discover unique foods such as
ozoni, a special New Year soup filled with mochi (pounded rice cakes)
that ensures good luck throughout the year. While you're there, enjoy
the tales of renowned storyteller Nanci Nishimura and Argyle Bunny.
You'll also have the chance to join a variety of workshops and decorate
a "tree of cranes." Don't miss out on other New Year activities planned
throughout Little Tokyo. Bring your friends - admission is free!
2. Children's Concert in Historic Sites
January 27, 1:30p.m.
Kids and adults alike are invited to explore the richness of Japanese
American history with a special Children's Concerts in Historic Sites
event. Sponsored by The Da Camera Society of Mount St. Mary's
College and coinciding with the exhibition Allen Say's Journey: The Art
and Words of a Children's Book Author, the concert features stories and
music from the Japanese American tradition. Storyteller Denise
Iketani and the Taiko ensemble Japanese Festival Sounds, led by drummer
Johnny Mori, team up for a high-energy, richly visual
performance. Kids leave with Japanese American sweets and a
is recommended for children age 4 and above. Tickets ($18 for
adults, $12 for children, $48 for a family package of two adults and
two children) also admit you to the National Museum on the day of the
concert and can be purchased by calling 310.954. 4300.
3. Little Tokyo Walking Tour
February 10, 10-11:30a.m.
The Little Tokyo community in Los Angeles was once the residential,
business, and cultural center of the largest Japanese American
community in the United States until World War II. Relive history
and learn about present day Little Tokyo with National Museum
Docent, Bill Shishima on this historical walking tour through the
Museum's neighborhood. Comfortable clothes and shoes are
recommended. Members $5, non-members $11 includes National Museum
4. 2nd Sunday for Families
Art on the Courtyard: Explore, Imagine, Create February 11,
Join the National Museum for a Sunday of Art on our Children's
Courtyard to celebrate the upcoming exhibition Henry Sugimoto: Painting
an American Experience. Learn about different techniques such as
pastels, print making, water colors, and mixed medium collage used by
this important American artist. Try your hand at one or all of
these techniques at a variety of art stations on our Children's
Courtyard - you'll even have the chance to paint your own experiences
on a large wall mural. Music and taiko performances will accompany
you! Invite your friends - admission is free!
5. Day of Remembrance - Community
Event February 17, 2-4p.m.
Day of Remembrance (DOR), the community's annual commemoration of
President Roosevelt's signing of EO 9066 and the World War II exclusion
and internment of Japanese Americans and Japanese Latin Americans, will
be held at the Japanese American National Museum. The 2001 DOR
marks the 20th Anniversary of the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress
(NCRR), formerly known as the National Coalition for Redress &
Reparation. The National Museum, the Pacific Southwest District
JACL, and other community organizations join with NCRR in
reflecting upon the 20+ year journey for redress and justice, and the
continuing efforts for a vibrant and strong community.
6. An Afternoon with the Nishikawa Ensemble
February 24, 4-5:30p.m.
Featuring a special presentation of To-shihun (Tu Tze-chun): A Musical
Drama narrated by George Takei
Co-Sponsored by Yamaha Corporation of America and the Japanese American
Join us for a performance by the Nishikawa Ensemble, an acclaimed
Japanese chamber music group. Led by Kohei Nishikawa, one of
Japan's most accomplished players of both Japanese and western flutes,
the group will perform a program that uniquely incorporates both
traditional Japanese instruments such as the shinobe, nokkan, biwa,
with Western instruments such as the flute and piano. Thirteen
year-old Yamaha student, Jonathan Takahashi, will also perform his
original composition with Mr. Nishikawa.
second half of the concert will feature the musical drama, To-shishun
(Tu Tze-chun), an ancient fable of one man's journey to personal
happiness. Narrated by actor George Takei, this gripping tale
will unfold against a live soundtrack performed by the Nishikawa
ensemble. Please call 213.625.0414 for reservations. Members $5,
non-members $8, includes National Museum admission. Seating is
7. A Sentimental Journey,
Japanese American National Museum 2001 Annual Dinner
& Silent Auction March 3
At the Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, California
8. 2nd Sunday for Families
How Does Your Garden Grow? March 11, 1-4p.m.
Whether you plant pansies or petunias, roses or radishes, this month's
Second Sunday is filled with hands-on workshops and demonstrations that
will introduce the joys of gardening to children and adults alike.
Gardeners and artists will share how color, texture and light can work
together to produce wonderful results. Come dressed in your gardening
gear and create your own garden! This program highlights the National
Museum's display For a Greener Tomorrow: Japanese American
Gardeners in Southern California. Admission is free!
For more information, please call 213.830.5659.
9. Gardening 101
A Day with Professional
Gardeners March 17, 10a.m.-4p.m.
Do you look longingly at the beautiful garden photographs in
magazines? Are you ever overwhelmed when you visit a nursery?
Confused about which plants thrive in sunlight and which do not? And,
how do you get rid of those pests? Experts, including representatives
from the Southern California Gardeners' Federation will cover a range
of gardening topics from plant selection and lawn care to landscape
design and container gardening will gather at the Museum to help you
solve your gardening problems. In conjunction with For a Greener
Tomorrow: Japanese American Gardeners in Southern California currently
on display, the Museum will host an interesting and informative day of
question and answer roundtable discussions.
call 213.625.0414 for reservations. Members $15, non-members $20 in
advance, $25 at door, includes National Museum admission.
After America...After Japan
Film screening and discussion March 18. 1 - 3 pm
After America...After Japan will examine the challenges and triumphs
experienced by Americans who have lived in Japan and Japanese who have
lived in America. Based on the underestimated power of culture,
how have these individuals been changed by their experiences in each
country? Can it be said that their lives and personalities are
now a blending of two cultural identities, neither completely American
nor completely Japanese?
Life, the film's executive producer/director conducted more than 300
interviews with individuals from both countries who continue to face
challenges in determining their new cultural identity. Life has
also produced two other widely acclaimed documentaries "Struggle and
Success: The African-American Experience in Japan" and "Doubles: Japan
and America's Intercultural Children". Both were broadcast
nationwide on NHK and PBS nationwide. Life will lead a discussion
of his film following the screening.
Premiere of "Henry Sugimoto:
Painting an American Experience" March 24,
The new exhibition "Henry Sugimoto: Painting an American Experience"
opens at the National Museum
Tuesday through Sunday, 11:000 am. to 5:00 pm.
Thursday 10a.m. to 8p.m.
Closed on Monday
Every second Thursday of the month: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm (only
Thursday the store will be open)
Admission & Directions:
- General: $9.00
- Student and youth: $5.00
- Seniors: $5
- Children (5 and under)
and Museum Members: FREE
FROM EAST of DOWNTOWN:
From the (60) Pomona Freeway:
Take the 60 West to the 101 North and exit at Alameda. Turn left onto
Alameda and right onto 1st Street. The Museum is located on the
right-hand side at the intersection of 1st Street and Central Avenue.
From the (5) Santa Ana Freeway:
Take the 5 North to the 101 North and exit at Alameda. Turn left onto
Alameda and right onto 1st Street.
From the (10) San Bernardino
Freeway:Take the 10 West to the 101 North and exit at Alameda Street.
Turn left onto Alameda and right onto 1st Street. The Museum is located
on the right-hand side at the intersection of 1st Street and Central
FROM WEST of DOWNTOWN:
From from (10) Santa Monica
Freeway: Take the 10 East to the 110 North and exit at 4th Street,
heading east. Turn left at Central Avenue until you reach 1st Street.
The Museum is located at the intersection of 1st Street and Central
From the (101) Hollywood
Freeway: Take the 101 South and exit at Los Angeles Street. Turn right
off the freeway onto Los Angeles Street and turn left onto 1st Street.
The Museum is located on the left-hand side at the intersection of 1st
Street and Central Avenue.
From the (405) San Diego
Freeway: Take the 405 to the 10 East to the 110 North and exit at 4th
Street, heading east.
Turn left at Central Avenue
until you reach 1st Street. The Museum is located at the intersection
of 1st Street and Central Avenue.
FROM SOUTH of DOWNTOWN
From the (110) Harbor Freeway:
Take the 110 North and exit at 4th Street. Head eastbound and turn left
on Central Avenue until you reach 1st Street. The Museum is located at
the intersection of 1st Street and Central Avenue.
FROM NORTH of DOWNTOWN:
From the (110) Pasadena
Freeway: Take the 110 South to the 101 South and exit at Los Angeles
Street. Turn right off the freeway onto Los Angeles Street and turn
left onto 1st Street. The Museum is located on the left-hand side at
the intersection of 1st Street and Central Avenue.
Parking is available at nearby
parking lots for a nominal fee.
Irene Y. Hirano, C.E.O.,
President & Director
Administration & Planning: Luke Gilliland-Swetland
Curatorial & Exhibition Development: Karen Higa
Education & Public Programs: Claudia Sobral
Volunteer Program: John Katagi
Development: Susan Redfield
Financial Affairs: Ed Prohaska
Support Services: Clement Hanami
Marketing & Communications: Carol Komatsuka
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