Japanese American National Museum


A Statement by Secretary Norman Y. Mineta

The Japanese American National Museum stands with Black communities across the country and we redouble our commitment to opposing racism, prejudice and discrimination in all its forms. We will continue to find ways to contribute to the ongoing dialogue about race and an ethical reckoning with the disparities in our society.…

Click here to read the complete statement.


JANM is temporarily closed to the public until further notice. In addition, all on-site public programs and rentals are cancelled until further notice. Virtual Visits are available for grades 1-12, college, and adult groups. On-site school visits will resume in January 2021. Click here for more information regarding JANM’s response to COVID-19. Updated 10/5/20

While our doors remain temporarily shuttered we will bring you virtual programming that will continue to inspire, educate, and help you stay connected. We are sharing content every day across JANM’s social media platforms. Join us to be inspired, educated, and engaged! JANM From Home is about content and connection.

Click on the icons to access the featured content.

JANM is honored to be selected as one of the 20 Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous arts and cultural organizations designated as “America’s Cultural Treasures,” and to be the recipient of a $5.5 million grant over four years, thanks to the vision and generosity of the Ford Foundation along with other leading foundations and major donors who have pledged to donate more than $80 million to this initiative.

The JANM Education Unit is excited to announce the launch of virtual visits! In the spirit of JANM’s popular on-site tours and field-trips, virtual visits animate the museum’s mission to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.

Virtual visits use video conferencing technology to engage visitors in deep discussions surrounding JANM’s collection. With options for student groups in grades 1-12, these innovative virtual visits will enhance any distance learning curriculum through interaction and student-driven exploration. Virtual visits are also available for college and adult groups.

Wakako Yamauchi, Momo Nagano, and Mary Nomura were three teenaged girls—American citizens living in Los Angeles in 1942—when they were sent to concentration camps in remote parts of the country. Behind guard towers and barbed wire their creative spirits remained undaunted—their lives fortified by art, music, and literature. Words, Weavings & Songs (2002) explores Yamauchi, Nagano, and Nomura’s bold lives and artistic legacies. Also available on DVD at the JANM store.

On September 18, Alyctra Matsushita, Hana van der Steur, and Erin Nomura Marquez reflected on their grandmothers, who were featured in the documentary Words, Weavings & Songs. They were joined by Mary Nomura, the Songbird of Manzanar, who shared stories of her life and a song.

Atomic Cafe’s life and legacy is highlighted in a new film Atomic Cafe: The Noisiest Corner in J-Town by Tadashi Nakamura and Akira Boch that explores its many sides—from the 1940s opening to its last days on First Street. Nancy Sekizawa aka “Atomic Nancy,” her daughter and artist Zen Sekizawa, and Remy De La Peza joined Nakamura and Boch for a conversation in celebration of the Atomic Café on September 27, 2020.

Learn about Stan Yogi and his story of being Japanese American and gay as he struggles with the intersection between those two identities leaving him never feeling completely at home in either space.

The Museum’s online store is still open for your shopping needs. Visit the award-winning JANM Store for that unique gift.

FEATURED: Setsuko’s Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration

Written by Shirley Ann Higuchi. Foreword by Irene Hirano Inouye. Afterword by Tom Brokaw.

As children, Shirley Ann Higuchi and her brothers knew Heart Mountain only as the place their parents met, imagining it as a great Stardust Ballroom in rural Wyoming. As they grew older, they would come to recognize the name as a source of great sadness and shame for their older family members, part of the generation of Japanese Americans forced into the hastily built concentration camp in the aftermath of Executive Order 9066.

JANM Members get 10% off!

“Frank was among the first Trustees for JANM before our public opening in 1992 and served as a Governor twice. Frank believed in our mission to preserve and share the Japanese American story with each new generation. Worried that the Japanese American World War II experience would be forgotten, Frank generously donated $1 million to JANM to purchase video equipment and to create an endowed fund that established the Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center in 1999.”
Click the icon to read the full statement.

Judge Okamoto’s personal story is remarkable. The 10th child and sixth son born in an American concentration camp during World War II, he grew up in a family in which all six of his older brothers served in the military. His two eldest brothers were members of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II.”
Click the icon to read the full statement.

The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) extends its heartfelt congratulations to its Trustee, Chair Emeritus and founding member, George Takei, whose graphic novel, They Called Us Enemy, has been recognized with a 2020 American Book Award by the Before Columbus Foundation.

They Called Us Enemy is available for purchase through the JANM Store. Go to to see it and other merchandise in its 2020-2021 Store Catalog.

We’ve partnered with The 2020 Project on a mission to register 100,000 Asian American and Pacific Islanders to vote. We are doing this by raising awareness, providing education, and giving a space for civic engagement on the local, regional, and national scale. Voter participation for Asian Americans is especially low for age range 18-34. The 2020 Project hopes to close that gap and have more representation reflected in policy change and implementation!


Explore more JANM From Home content!

Check out past issues of our JANM From Home emails.

   • 10/5/208/31/208/17/208/3/20

   • 7/20/207/6/206/22/206/8/20

   • 5/25/205/12/204/28/20



Saturday, October 24
Go on a journey through Little Tokyo’s haunted past and present with a special, virtual guided tour of historical buildings, ghostly tales, and paranormal experiences in this over 100-year-old historic and cultural neighborhood. Join Little Tokyo Historical Society ghost reporter, Bill Watanabe, as he walks us through four unique spots with reported paranormal activity in the neighborhood and is joined by eyewitnesses of these eerie events!

Tuesday, October 27
Discover Nikkei is JANM’s international community-based web project sharing stories and the experiences of Nikkei around the world. “Nima” are members of the Discover Nikkei online community. Hailing from all around the world, they each bring unique experiences and perspectives to the site’s rich archive of stories.

We are thrilled to be launching “Nima Voices,” a series where we uplift our Nima through brief, but enlightening, interviews! In this inaugural episode, hear from Discover Nikkei contributor Chuck Tasaka as he is interviewed by our guest host, actor and comedian Kyle Mizono.

Saturday, November 14–Monday, November 30
The 12th Annual Kokoro Craft Boutique is going virtual this year! From November 14–30, shoppers can shop online or by phone with many familiar crafters, plus some new ones.

Thursday, November 19
The USC Pacific Asia Museum, the Chinese American Museum, and the Japanese American National Museum present Stronger Together: Black Liberation and Asian Solidarity. Join a discussion on this historic moment in the movement for Black lives, and the importance of cross-movement solidarity and coalitional consciousness.

LTHS invites you to experience the rich artistic and musical history of Little Tokyo during the Bronzeville Era in a celebration of live music, Bronzeville scholars, photos, and videos. Performers and speakers included the Ron Kobayashi band and historians Hillary Jenks and Kirk Silsbee, along with brief remarks by Miles Davis’ son, Erin Davis. Watch the live program that took place on Sunday, October 11.

The Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest heightens awareness of Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo by challenging both new and experienced writers to write a story that showcases familiarity with the neighborhood and the people in it. The winners were presented in a virtual celebration, with dramatic readings of the winning stories by actors Derek Mio, Tamlyn Tomita, and Eijiro Ozaki on July 23. Check the video description for links to the stories published on JANM’s Discover Nikkei website.

Click here to see more upcoming virtual events.

Watch past public programs you may have missed on JANM’s YouTube channel.



Explore items from JANM’s permanent collection online.

Find educational resources online and to download that teach about the Japanese American experience.

A global community sharing stories and the experiences of Nikkei around the world. Read new stories added daily, watch life history video interviews, find Nikkei events, and more.

Watch films produced by JANM’s Watase Media Arts Center, plus videos from past public programs and exhibitions.

Visit for behind-the-scenes content, stories from JANM’s collections, and more.




Shop from the new JANM Store Catalog to find unique, cultural gifts—including JANM Store exclusives!

10% JANM Members discount!


Follow the JANM Store on Instagram: @shopjanmstore



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