Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — May 2010

All programs are free for JANM members and included 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, May 1, 2010

Grateful Crane Ensemble Presents: Natsukashi No Kouhaku Uta Gassen

events/Kouhaku100_edited-1.jpg Saturday, May 01 * 11 AM & 3 PM
Sunday, May 02 * 2 PM
$23.00 members; $25.00 non-members. To purchase tickets, please call (323) 769-5503

It’s “Men versus the Women” in the Grateful Crane Ensemble’s delightful spoof of Japan’s New Year’s Eve singing contest, Kouhaku Uta Gassen. The show features nostalgic and classic Japanese songs and entertaining impressions of your all-time favorite Japanese singers.

Saturday, May 1, 2010
1:00 PM—2:00 PM

Exhibition Tour

events/commonground100_______________________.png Tour our ongoing exhibition Common Ground: Heart of a Community with experienced docents.

In conjunction with the exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Monday, May 3, 2010

The 26th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

events/VC100.jpg The 26th Annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival will be from April 29th to May 8th. Presented by Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s premier APA media arts center, screenings will premier and showcase Asian American and International Asian cinema in the nation. The film festival screens 150 films and videos from over 20 countries. 200 industry professionals including filmmakers, celebrities, and press are in attendance. In addition to screenings, the festival offers a wide range of activities including seminars, workshops, and special events. Every year, over 14,000 people attend this film festival, which launches the celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

The Tateuchi Democracy Forum will feature a number of screenings including S. Leo Chiang's award winning documentary, A Village Called Versailles and new media works by seniors from VC’s and Diskovery Center's Digital Histories program.

For tickets and program information, please visit

Saturday, May 8, 2010
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Target Free Family Saturday: Calling All Kids!

events/2007-07-14_TargetLogo____________________.JPG FREE ALL DAY!

Celebrate International Children’s Day at JANM! Fun crafts, readings, performances and food tastings for the whole family!

Generously sponsored by Target, these special Saturdays are filled with fun activities giving families unique ways to learn, play, and grow together. Media Sponsors: Los Angeles Downtown News, KSCI-TV LA-18, and The Rafu Shimpo

  • Create a fun and festive tanabata decoration using a variety of materials.

  • Maneki neko is a Japanese beckoning cat that is considered to be a lucky charm in Japan. Make one of your own to bring you good luck.

  • Design your own koi nobori (Japanese fish kite) to celebrate Children's Day

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Create your own Mother’s Day card!

    11 AM - Doors open

    11 to 2 PM – Spring has sprung and Kidding Around the Kitchen is here to show you how to make kid friendly fruit kebobs with yogurt dipping sauce

    1 PM – Try traditional Japanese Children's Day sweets from Fugetsu-do Sweet Shop!

    2 PM – Come see the special shadow puppet show, “Urashima Taro,” and hear, The Last Kappa of Old Japan, book reading with Sunny Seki.

    3 PM – Listen to the award-winning writer Naomi Hirahara read from her newest book Blood Hina (available to purchase through the Museum Store)

    4 PM - Doors close

    Kidding Around The Kitchen
    It is such a common problem in today's world that families rarely get to eat together anymore.

    Kidding around the Kitchen shows that families can make and eat food together without a lot of fuss or a huge time commitment. The family food demo helps families with tips on smarter shopping, fun recipe ideas, advice on how to incorporate healthier choices when possible and advice on how to delegate tasks in an age-appropriate way. This family food demo is a “how to” get everyone involved in the family meal.

    Kidding around the Kitchen is for families that have full plates in life as well as wanting a full plate of food to enjoy together. It's about time well spent. You'll see your kids get a we did it attitude!! This family food demo works on the try it premises all while empowering the kids and family. If we can do it, so can you!!

    Kidding around the Kitchen is an adventure in fun, food and family. We are not only making food, we are making memories.

    For more information on Kidding around the kitchen go to:

    Fugetsu-Do Sweet Shop
    Fugetsu-Do has been a family owned and operated confectionery store in Little Tokyo since 1903. Japanese rice cakes, more commonly known as mochi (rice cake) and manju (sweet bean-filled rice cake), are the staple. The shop, which is currently operated by Brian Kito, is located on East First Street, in the heart of the Historic District of Little Tokyo. Some of the family history was shared with me, and I welcome the opportunity to put down on paper one family's history in the United States.

    For more information on Fugetsu-Do Sweet Shop go to:

    Sunny Seki
    Sunny was born in Japan, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in photography. He then studied illustration at Pasadena Art Center College of Design, and operated a successful Portrait Studio for 30 years. His first book, The Tale of the Lucky Cat, was recognized with two prestigious awards. Sunny also teaches a Japanese poetry senryu group. He spends much time retelling and illustrating Japanese folktales, and also presents them with shadow puppetry. Recently Sunny’s craft was featured on The Disney Channel; this two-minute spot can be viewed at here. Sunny lives in San Gabriel with his wife and nine children.

    Sunny will also be signing two other books that he also wrote and illustrated. All three titles are available in the Museum Gift Store.
  • The Tale of the Lucky Cat (East-West Discovery Press, 2007) is a retold folktale about the Japanese origin of the Good Luck Cats (maneki neko) that we see in so many shops and restaurants. This bilingual children’s book combines love of animals, and the rewards of doing good deeds.

  • Gardeners’ Pioneer Story (Southern California Gardeners Federation, 2007) is a bilingual compilation of the senryu poems written by one century of Japanese gardeners in California. Through these poems, Sunny reveals the history, pain and joy of the gardeners who truly paved the way for today’s Japanese-American community.

  • For more information about Sunny, go to:

    Judy Seki
    Judy grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, and spent two years teaching English in Kyoto and Tokyo. Currently she teaches mathematics, English, and entrepreneurship at Soledad Enrichment Action Charter High School Girls Academy in Los Angeles.

    Urashima Taro
    “Urashima Taro” is a famous Japanese folktale that has been in existence for more than four hundred years. Sunny will present this story as a shadow puppet presentation. Sunny created the puppets, and he acts as the chief puppeteer, assisted by his son Mario. His wife Judy will be the narrator.

    The Last Kappa of Old Japan
    The Last Kappa of Old Japan (Tuttle Publishing, 2010) is an original story about the folklore creatures known as kappas. Through the last surviving kappa we learn a lesson about preserving our environment and we also understand the origin of a new kind of sushi called “Kappa Roll.”

    Blood Hina by Naomi Hirahara
    In Blood Hina, the fourth installment of Naomi Hirahara's highly acclaimed Mas Arai mystery series, Mas' best friend Haruo is getting married and Mas has grudgingly agreed to serve as best man. But then a hina doll display of Haruo's fiancee goes missing, and the wedding is called off with fingers pointed at Haruo. To clear his friend's name, Mas must first uncover a world of heartbreaking memories, deception, and murder. This mystery takes its readers to Montebello, the flower market in downtown Los Angeles and Imperial Valley. Blood Hina is the first hardcover book in the series.

    June – Uniquely You!

    July – On the Go!

    Oct 9: Theme Martial Arts:
    "Just for Kicks"

    Nov 13: Theme Fall
    "Fall into Fall”

    Dec 11: Theme: Origami
    “Fold, Crease, and Crinkle”

    Saturday, May 15, 2010
    1:00 PM—4:00 PM

    Unique Flowers: Straw Lei Workshop

    events/straw_lei100.jpg Learn how to make a beautiful fancy fur yarn lei using an ordinary drinking straw in this hands-on workshop with Elizabeth K Asawa. Limited to 15 participants, ages 12 and up. Advance reservations required. $9 members; $14 non-members, includes admission and supplies.

    This program was made possible by the generous support of the UCLA Paul I. & Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies

    Saturday, May 15, 2010
    7:00 PM—10:30 PM

    Legacy Series: Daniel Dae Kim

    events/cape_logo_red100.jpg Enjoy an evening of candid conversations with some of the most successful and influential leaders within the entertainment industry, the seminars are an opportunity to gain first-hand insights and perspectives in a master class setting reminiscent of Bravo's "Inside the Actor’s Studio."

    The first Legacy Series' first guest is Lost's Daniel Dae Kim in conversation with Giant Robot's Eric Nakamura.

    Presented in collaboration Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), Giant Robot, and the National Museum

    FREE to CAPE Members, $10 for guests. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Limited Seating. Reserve your seat online at

    7:00 - 7:30 pm Networking with Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres
    7:30 - 9:00 pm Daniel Dae Kim with Eric Nakamura
    9:00 - 9:30 pm Reception

    An RSVP is essential, since space is extremely limited. Please respond to ALL RSVP MUST BE SUBMITTED BY: Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5pm.

    Sunday, May 16, 2010
    11:00 AM—5:00 PM

    Film Screening & Panel Discussion: Beate Sirota Gordon: Women's Rights and the Constitution of Japan

    events/Beate100.jpg Beate Sirota Gordon The Visionary Leader Who Introduced Women’s Rights to Japan To Speak about her Fight for Equal Rights Beate Sirota Gordon, who worked under General Douglas MacArthur to help draft Japan’s Constitution, will discuss her own personal experiences and her advocacy for equal rights for Japanese women. Come and hear her first and only appearance in Los Angeles.

    11 AM –12:30 PM
    Film Screening: Sirota Family & the 20th Century Award Winning Documentary Film by Tomoko Fujiwara

    2 PM –3 PM
    Lecture by Beate Sirota Gordon

    Light reception to follow in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

    To make a reservation, please click here.

    $27 Museum members; $30 non-members. Advance ticket reservation and payment required.

    Sponsored by the Tateuchi Foundation and held in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010
    6:00 PM—8:00 PM

    Display of Student Work

    Come enjoy an evening at the Museum and view research projects and artworks by two local schools. Civitas School of Leadership and Ribet Academy will display projects which were inspired partly by their visits to the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy.

    Saturday, May 29, 2010
    10:15 AM—12:15 PM

    Little Tokyo Walking Tour

    events/2007-07-28_walkingtour___________________________.jpg Relive history and learn about present-day Little Tokyo with National Museum docents.

    $9 Members; $14 non-members, includes Museum admission. Comfortable walking shoes and clothes recommended. Weather permitting.

    Saturday, May 29, 2010
    11:00 AM—5:00 PM

    Asian Pacific Islander & Native American Heritage Festival

    events/APImonthlogosimple100.jpg API AND NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE FESTIVAL:
    A Community Benefit for the Japanese American National Museum

    Join us in celebration of Asian, Pacific Island, and Native American cultures through performance, documentary, and more!

    A 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' day! No one will be turned away.

    11 AM: Museum Opens
    12 PM: Screening of "Bento to Mixed Plate: Plantation Roots"
    12:30 PM” Japanese dance group LA Beat
    1 PM: Filmmaker and Director of Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center, Kat High
    1:30 PM: "Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Our Story"
    2 PM: CSU Northridge Asian American Studies professor, Allan Aquino
    2:30 PM: Filipino Dance Performance by the Shining Son
    3:00 PM: "Reaffirmation and Discovery: The First Pow-Wow on Hawaii"
    3:30 PM: Kawalea Polynesian Dance Group from Eagle Rock
    4:00 PM: Spoken Word by Miwa Lyric
    4:30 PM: Screening of "Stand up for Justice: The Ralph Lazo Story"
    5 PM: Museum Closes

    Activities for the program include:

    "From Bento to Mixed Plate"
    "Reaffirmation and Discovery: The First Pow-Wow on Hawaii"
    "Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Our Story"
    "Stand Up for Justice: The Ralph Lazo Story"

    Japanese dance group LA Beat
    Kawalea Polynesian Dance Group from Eagle Rock
    Spoken word artist Miwa Lyric

    CSU Northridge Asian American Studies professor, Allan Aquino
    Filmmaker and Director of Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center, Kat High

    Ruthie's Origami Corner
    Lei making activity
    Free food samples from Aloha Cafe (12pm to 2pm)

    Community organizations will be tabling and speaking about their causes, their organizations, and about their future events.

    Participating Community Organizations include:
    Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA)
    Chinatown Service Center (CSC)
    Hecho de Mano
    American Indian Community Council
    AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA)
    Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center
    Southern California Indian Center InterTribal Entertainment
    Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC)
    Filipino American Historical Society - Los Angeles (FANHS L.A.)

    Other May 29 happenings:
    Take a guided tour of COMMON GROUND: The Heart of Community with museum docents

    See our temporary exhibits Mixed: Portraits of Multiracial Kids by Kip Fulbeck and Textured Lives: Japanese Immigrant Clothing from the Plantations of Hawaii'

    Saturday, May 29, 2010
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    Korean War Veterans Panel

    events/JA_Living_Legacy100.jpg THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED.

    In recognition of the on-going service of Japanese Americans in the armed forces, hear from a distinguished panel of Korean War veterans who will share their important stories.

    Presented in collaboration with JA Living Legacy.

    Sunday, May 30, 2010

    Exhibition Closing -- EXTENDED TO AUGUST 22


    Textured Lives: Japanese Immigrant Clothing From the Plantations of Hawai'I has been extended to August 22.

    Sunday, May 30, 2010
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    Picture Brides

    events/picture_brides100.jpg Dr. Michiko Midge Ayukawa will shed light on the lives and histories of picture brides—Issei women who came to North America to marry husbands they knew only from photographs— and how they affected the community.

    Michiko Midge Ayukawa was born in Vancouver, B.C. During World War II, she was incarcerated for four years at Lemon Creek, in the Slocan Valley, Canada. Her family resettled in Hamilton, Ontario. After obtaining her BSc and MSc at McMaster University, she worked at the National Research Council in Ottawa. Later she taught undergraduate Chemistry laboratory classes at Carleton University and the University of Victoria. In the mid-80s, she began to study history and obtained a Doctorate in 1997 at the University of Victoria. Ayukawa has written a number of articles on Japanese Canadians, in particular, Japanese picture brides. She has co-authored with Audrey Kobayashi “The Japanese Canadians” in Akemi Kikumura-Yano, ed., Encyclopedia of Japanese Descendants in the Americas, Altimira Press, 2002 and is also co-author with Patricia Roy of “The Japanese,” in Paul Robert Margosi, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada’s Peoples, University of Toronto Press, 1999. A book based on her dissertation, Hiroshima Immigrants in Canada, 1891-1941 was published in November 2007 by UBC Press.

    This program was made possible by the generous support of the UCLA Paul I. & Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies



    Jump to Top of Page Japanese American National Museum

    Copyright © 1998-2019 Japanese American National Museum
    100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles California 90012   ▪   phone: (213) 625-0414