Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — October 2015

All programs are free for JANM members and free with admission for non-members, unless otherwise noted. Events are subject to change.

Reservations are recommended for most programs; you may use the links below. You may also RSVP by emailing or calling 213.625.0414 at least 48 hours in advance. Please indicate the name, date, and time of the program, as well as your name and the number of people in your party. (RSVPs are not accepted for Family Festivals). For all ticketed events (classes, workshops, food tours, etc.), pre-payment is required to hold your space. Cancellations must be made 48 hours in advance or no refund will be issued.

Saturday, October 3, 2015
1:00 PM

Common Ground Exhibition Tour


Tour the ongoing exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community with JANM’s knowledgeable docents.

Free with museum admission.

In conjunction with the exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Sunday, October 4, 2015
10:00 AM—4:00 PM

7th Annual Kokoro Craft Boutique



Organized by JANM’s volunteers, the seventh edition of this annual boutique will feature dozens of vendors selling unique jewelry, kimono fabric fashions, handbags, ceramics, origami art, Giant Robot products, and more! Taiko performance by Yuujou Daiko at 1 p.m.

Proceeds benefit JANM’s education programs. Make a boutique purchase of $10 or more and receive free same-day museum admission plus 10% discount at participating Little Tokyo restaurants. For more information, email

Presented by Friends of the Museum.

Saturday, October 10, 2015
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

JANM Free Family Days: What's Cookin'?



Join us for a day of food and fun with a green/sustainability theme.



  • Decorate a re-useable lunch bag to take to school each day.

  • Put your own unique designs on a re-useable water bottle.

  • At Ruthie’s Origami Corner, learn how to make paper onigiri (Japanese rice ball treats).


    12 p.m.–3 p.m.: Balloon Monsoon will make and give away balloons in the shape of cupcakes and ice cream cones. Limit one balloon per child. Line ends at 2:30 p.m.

    12 p.m.–3:30 p.m.: Kidding Around the Kitchen will teach families how to make a delicious Mediterranean grain and vegetable salad. First come, first served; activity ends when supplies run out.

    12:30 p.m.: Kieren van den Blink will present a special preview reading of her forthcoming book, Yum. A selection of the author’s previous books will also be available for signing.

    1 p.m.: Learn how easy it is to grow your own tomatoes, and then make your own chunky tomato salsa with Kitchen Kid. Limited to 15 children; each child must be accompanied by an adult. Instructor must be notified in advance of any allergies. Sign-up sheet will be available at the information desk.

    2 p.m.: Award-winning children’s book author Allen Say discusses and signs his new graphic novel, The Inker’s Shadow, which tells the story of his own coming-of-age at a military academy and his discovery of what it means to be American.

    3 p.m.: Discover the benefits of gardening and composting in a fun hands-on workshop led by Hope Gardens. Limited to 20 children. Sign-up sheet will be available at the information desk.

    3:30 p.m.: Join a sing-along with environmentally conscious tunes provided by Em is for Music.


    Supported by 
    Saturday, October 10, 2015
    2:00 PM

    Author Discussion—The Inker’s Shadow by Allen Say



    Allen Say is the award-winning author and illustrator of many acclaimed children’s books, including Drawing from Memory, an autobiographical volume that explored his love of comic books through a collection of his own photographs and drawings. Say now offers a companion to that book in The Inker’s Shadow, a graphic novel that tells the story of his own coming-of-age.

    As a teenager in Southern California, Say was sent to an American military academy by his father so he could learn English and “become a success in life.” As the school’s first and only Japanese student, he immediately faced racism from his fellow cadets and teachers, who were all white; their complaints about his presence relegated him to a tool shed behind the mess hall. Determined to escape, Say saved up his money to buy a 1946 Ford for $50—and set out to find the America of his dreams.

    Say will be joined in conversation by Lori Benton, Vice President and Publisher for Scholastic Trade Publishing. Benton is a longtime publisher and promoter of children’s books, and has known Say as both an author and a friend for decades. Say will be available for signings after the talk.

    Seating is available first come, first serve. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

    The Inker’s Shadow is available at the JANM Store.

    Saturday, October 10, 2015
    5:30 PM—7:00 PM

    Giant Robot Biennale 4 Upper Level Members and VIP Reception


    JANM members at the Director’s Circle, President’s Circle, and Chairman’s Circle levels are invited to join curator Eric Nakamura and exhibiting artists for an exclusive preview and reception.

    Special souvenir buttons will be available for customizing with a design started by a Giant Robot artist and completed by you. Take a GRB4 commemorative photo on a festive set designed by Nerdbot Photo Booth. Deejay music provided by Dublab.

    Invitations were mailed in September. RSVP by October 2.

    Associate Sponsor: 


    In conjunction with the exhibition Giant Robot Biennale 4
    Saturday, October 10, 2015
    7:00 PM—10:00 PM

    Giant Robot Biennale 4 Opening Party



    The public is invited to celebrate the opening of Giant Robot Biennale 4 with a party!

      • First 500 guests will receive a limited edition Giant Robot pin. Limit one pin per person; guests must be present to receive a pin.

      • Special souvenir buttons will be available for customizing with a design started by a Giant Robot artist and completed by you.

      • Take a GRB4 commemorative photo on a special set designed by Nerdbot Photo Booth.

      • Enjoy complimentary Japanese American foods catered by Mama Musubi.

      • Drinks will be available at our no-host bar.

      • Deejay music provided by Dublab.

      • Remarks and artist introductions by JANM President and CEO Greg Kimura and exhibition curator Eric Nakamura at 8 p.m.

      • Live set by electronic musician Daedalus at 8:15 p.m.

    Don’t miss out on the fun!

    In conjunction with the exhibition Giant Robot Biennale 4
    Sunday, October 11, 2015

    Exhibition Opening: Giant Robot Biennale 4

    Public opening of the exhibition Giant Robot Biennale 4.

    Saturday, October 17, 2015
    10:30 AM

    Members Only Exhibition Tour: Giant Robot Biennale 4


    JANM members at the Contributing Level and above are invited to join curator Eric Nakamura for an intimate gallery tour.

    Limited to 25 members. RSVP to or 213.830.5646.

    In conjunction with the exhibition Giant Robot Biennale 4
    Saturday, October 17, 2015
    1:00 PM

    Members Only Meet and Greet with Sylvie and Hervé Claudon


    All JANM members are invited to an intimate reception with Sylvie and Hervé Claudon prior to their lecture and discussion on the World War II campaigns of the 100th/442nd in Vosges, France.

    Limited to 40 members. RSVP by October 9 to or 213.830.5646.

    Saturday, October 17, 2015
    2:00 PM

    Lecture and Discussion—The 100th/442nd’s Campaigns in Vosges, France


    Sylvie and Hervé Claudon will share their extensive research into the World War II liberation of their native Vosges Mountain region in France.

    As a young boy, Hervé was fascinated by WWII stories of courage and strength demonstrated by the French Resistance and also by “the Hawaiians,” the local name given to the Nisei soldiers who helped to liberate his hometown of Bruyères from a prolonged occupation by German troops.

    Since the 1980s, Hervé and his wife Sylvie have studied the Vosges Campaigns together and worked on a variety of commemorative projects. From interviews with the local French people as well as the Nisei soldiers, they have been able to map out the events that took place, and Hervé has organized plaques at specific locations to commemorate the heroic Nisei sacrifices. For example, working with Medal of Honor recipient Joe Sakato, Hervé located Hill 617, the hill Sakato charged as a diversionary tactic during the rescue of the Lost Battalion.

    Hervé and Sylvie’s presentation will offer a uniquely French perspective on the contributions of the 100th/442nd.

    Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

    Saturday, October 24, 2015
    2:00 PM

    A Samurai’s Life


    In honor of Family History Month, UC Santa Barbara Professor of History Luke Roberts will present a lecture on the life of samurai Yoshiki Mori (1768–1807), who was a retainer for the Yamauchi lord of the Tosa domain. The talk will draw from Mori’s diary, his letters, and historical records, and will include a discussion of challenges faced by Roberts while researching samurai family history.

    Roberts is a specialist in the history of the Japanese islands from ancient to modern times, with a focus on the period between the 1500s and the early 1900s. The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with two members of the Nikkei Genealogical Society (NikkeiGen). Melinda Yamane Crawford, the daughter of a MIS veteran, co-founded NikkeiGen in 2013 to help people of Japanese ancestry explore their genealogy through education, research, and networking. Barbara Horiuchi is a third-generation Japanese American writer and artist who creates pictorial, video, and installation work that addresses her own family history as well as sociopolitical issues related to the history of Japanese immigrants in America.

    Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

    Presented in partnership with the Nikkei Genealogical Society.

    Sunday, October 25, 2015
    4:00 PM

    Film Screening, Panel Discussion, and Reception—Off the Menu: Asian America


    Off the Menu: Asian America, a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Grace Lee, takes viewers on a road trip across the United States in an exploration of how family, history, faith, and geography shape people’s relationships to food and their communities. Lee travels from Houston, Texas, to Oak Creek, Wisconsin, to Oahu, Hawaii, seeking stories that reflect an evolving Asian Pacific America and the role food plays in peoples’ lives.

    “We wanted to find unexpected stories that embodied the Asian American experience,” says Lee. “Asian America is already such a vast, complex, and contested idea. Focusing on food was a way to explore the deeper connections of culture and family, and the ideas of authenticity and adaptation that link us all.”

    Screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Lee and local chefs and food writers, moderated by sociologist Oliver Wang. Reception to follow, featuring dishes inspired by the film.

    Tickets are available at

    Presented in partnership with Visual Communications.

    Saturday, October 31, 2015
    10:15 AM—12:15 PM

    Little Tokyo Walking Tour


    Relive history and learn about present-day Little Tokyo with JANM docents.

    $12 members, $15 non-members. Museum admission included. Comfortable walking shoes recommended. Weather permitting.

    Saturday, October 31, 2015
    2:00 PM

    Members Only JANM Ghost Stories


    It’s Halloween at JANM! Come hear ghost stories from near and far, including some that have taken place at the museum. Join actor Rodney Kageyama, artist Edwin Ushiro, and Cold Tofu Improv members Aaron Aoki, Jully Lee, and Helen Ota for a delightfully scary time!

    RSVP by October 28 to or 213.830.5646.



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