Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — April 2011

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, April 2, 2011
1:00 PM—2:00 PM

Exhibition Tour

events/commonground100_3.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
Saturday, April 2, 2011
2:00 PM—5:00 PM

Discover Nikkei Presents: From Newsprint to New Media. The Evolving Role of Nikkei Newspapers


Nikkei community newspapers served an important role for a century as the glue that held together groups of immigrants with news and information about their communities as well as the latest from Japan. Later, their place in the community evolved as they served English-speaking Nisei and Sansei. But in recent years, the media industry has been in an upheaval, and many Nikkei community newspapers have shut down.

Join us as we celebrate the history, discuss the current state, and ponder the future of Nikkei community newspapers in America.

Moderator: Gil Asakawa. Confirmed panelists: Gwen Muranaka of The Rafu Shimpo, Kenji G. Taguma of the Nichi Bei Foundation / Nichi Bei Weekly, Shigeharu Higashi of Cultural News, and George Johnston of Nikkei Nation.

This program is presented by the Japanese American National Museum with The Rafu Shimpo, Nichibei Foundation, Cultural News, and Nikkei Nation.

Sunday, April 3, 2011
2:00 PM—5:00 PM

Special Screening of Hogoz by John Powers

events/Princess_vs_baseball_player100.jpg Hogoz (pronounced “hoe-goes”) is an online comedy series that debuted on September 20, 2010. The series is a satiric view (think South Park) of life in a fictional citizen isolation center (think Leupp). Scenes from the first five episodes will be screened with the series’ creator.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
4:30 PM—7:30 PM

Fighting for Democracy Pre-visit Workshop

Sign-up for a FREE Pre-Visit Workshop

Thursday, April 7, 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM (Dinner provided)

For hundreds of years people have sought a home and future in the United States of America. They came, and still come, in pursuit of freedom and democracy. Yet, the dream of democracy is not without its struggle. Against the backdrop of World War II, a segregated America, and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, ordinary people—through the decisions they made and actions they took—extended democracy’s reach for all.

FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY is an experiential exhibition based on the lives, actions, and decisions of a diverse group of individuals who sought equal rights for their families and communities during World War II.

Aimed at middle and high school students, FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY offers hands-on experience in exploring about how women and minorities have expanded the meaning of "we" in "we, the people."

When visiting FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY, teachers, and group leaders facilitate their students' experience in the exhibition space, allowing educators to custom-tailor an educational focus to meet their curricular goals and to deepen their students' understanding of democracy.

Before bringing student groups to FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY, educators are strongly encouraged to sign up for a free professional development workshop. These workshops will provide an orientation to the exhibition, preparation on facilitating an interactive experience, and introduction to activity ideas from the FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY Educator's Resource Guide that can be done before, during and after a visit to the exhibition.

Transportation and free admission is provided for educators who attend the pre-visit workshop on a first-come, first-serve basis. To RSVP for the workshop and book a visit, contact Lynn Yamasaki at or call 213.830.5660.

Visits to FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY are reserved for school and youth groups, by appointment only, Tuesday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. Appointments must be made at least 3 weeks in advance by using our online reservation form or by calling 213.830.5660.

Saturday, April 9, 2011
2:00 PM—3:00 PM

Asian Pacific American Workers’ Rights Hearing

events/APALA_Logo100.jpg FREE!

Asian Pacific American union members have been an integral part of the U.S. labor movement—but have often been overlooked. Please join us to hear personal stories directly from local Asian American and Pacific Islander workers and youth in the fight for workers rights, immigrant rights, civil rights.

Presented in partnership with Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Los Angeles Chapter, UCLA Labor Center, and the National Museum.

Saturday, April 9, 2011
2:00 PM—5:00 PM

Lost & Found: Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration


In November of 1994, the Japanese American National Museum opened its second major exhibition, America’s Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience to both critical and popular acclaim. The exhibition utilized innovative inter-active displays of the 11 government-run camps, installed a fragment of an original barracks building used to hold Japanese Americans and encouraged former inmates to express their feelings, some for the first time since World War II.

Curator Karen Ishizuka will discuss the collaborative development of this landmark exhibition and read from her book, Lost & Found: Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration.

Purchase the book from the Museum Store >>

Saturday, April 16, 2011
5:30 PM—10:00 PM

2011 Gala Dinner & Silent Auction

Saturday, April 16, 2011
JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE
Los Angeles, California

The Japanese American National Museum’s 2011 Gala Dinner & Silent Auction will be held at the dazzling new JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live. The Gala Dinner is one of the Japanese American community's most special annual events, drawing more than 1,100 people in celebration. The 2011 Dinner will highlight the Museum's work as it prepares to serve the next generation of audiences.

Many sponsorship opportunities are available. This year's event will again feature a Silent Auction and a Lexus Opportunity Drawing, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.--offering participants a chance to win a beautiful new Lexus vehicle.

Click here for more info about the Gala Dinner, sponsorship opportunities, and Lexus Opportunity Drawing >>
Sunday, April 17, 2011

Exhibition Closing

American Tapestry: 25 Stories From the Collection closes.

In conjunction with the exhibition American Tapestry: 25 Stories from the Collection
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
1:00 PM—2:00 PM

SPECIAL EVENT: Ladder to the Moon by Maya Soetoro-Ng

events/Ladder_cover_art100.jpg Please note: The time has been changed from 10:30 am to 1 pm. We apologize for the inconvenience.

From Maya Soetoro-Ng, sister of President Obama, comes a lyrical story relaying the loving wisdom of their late mother to a granddaughter she never met. Come hear Mrs. Soetoro-Ng read from her new book, Ladder to the Moon.

Space is limited. RSVP are HIGHLY encouraged.

Little Suhaila wishes she could have known her grandma, who would wrap her arms around the whole world if she could, Mama says. And one night, Suhaila gets her wish when a golden ladder appears at her window, and Grandma Annie invites the girl to come along with her on a magical journey. In a rich and deeply personal narrative, Maya Soetoro-Ng draws inspiration from her mother s love for family, her empathy for others, and her ethic of service to imagine this remarkable meeting. Evoking fantasy and folklore, the story touches on events that have affected people across the world in our time and reaffirms our common humanity. Yuyi Morales s breathtaking artwork illuminates the dreamlike tale, reminding us that loved ones lost are always with us, and that sometimes we need only look at the moon and remember.

About the Author and Illustrator

Maya Soetoro-Ng says that Ladder to the Moon was inspired by her young daughter Suhaila’s questions about her late grandmother, Ann Dunham, who is mother to Maya as well as to President Barack Obama. Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, the author later moved with her family to Honolulu. She has traveled extensively, speaks Spanish and Indonesian, and has a long and rich background in cultures and education. After attending Barnard College and the University of Hawai’i, she was awarded a master’s degree in secondary education from New York University. From 1996 to 2000, she taught at and developed curriculum for public middle schools in Manhattan. She then moved back to Hawaii to pursue her PhD in international comparative education; she also taught at a charter public school and a girls’ high school. Maya Soetoro-Ng is currently an education specialist for the East-West Center, where she facilitates educational exchange and cross-cultural understanding between Asia and the United States. She is also a lecturer at the University of Hawai’i’s College of Education, where she teaches multicultural education and the history of education.

Since emigrating from Mexico in 1994, Yuyi Morales has drawn strongly from her Mexican heritage to create some of the most celebrated books for children. As a Spanish-speaking immigrant and new mother, she struggled with English and with her sense of loneliness in the foreign culture. Taking solace in public libraries, she practiced English with her son by reading children’s books. In her library visits, she found a renewed interest in stories, inspiring her to enroll in evening writing classes to learn how to tell stories in English. She also bought her first set of paints and brushes and, while studying the picture books she loved, began learning how to paint. Less than a decade later, the self-taught artist’s illustrations for Kathleen Krull’s Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez skyrocketed her work to the top of best-books-of-the-year lists. Her artwork also earned her a Pura Belpré Honor, as well as a Christopher Award and a Jane Addams Award. The first author-illustrator to be recognized by the Pura Belpré Committee three times for her work, Yuyi Morales now lives with her husband and teenage son in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she continues to create acclaimed books for children.

Friday, April 29, 2011
2:30 PM—4:30 PM

Community Gathering: Moment of Remembrance

The Japanese American National Museum with the support of the Little Tokyo Community Council (LTCC) will hold a "Moment of Remembrance" community gathering for the victims of Japan’s natural disasters on Friday, April 29, in the Museum’s plaza, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The memorial gathering will include brief remarks and reflections by Rev. Noriaki Ito of Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple and Rev. Mark Nakagawa of Centenary United Methodist Church. The ceremony will conclude with a minute of silence at 2:46 p.m., the time in Japan on March 11 when the 9.0 magnitude Tohoku earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan. The event created the enormous tsunami that caused unprecedented destruction.

Little Tokyo has already organized two community gatherings in March in the aftermath of the disaster, including an inter-faith ceremony at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) and a vigil in the plaza of the Museum, organized by Centenary United Methodist Church, Koyasan Buddhist Temple, and the Nisei Week Foundation.

April 29 will be 49 days since the disaster caused that the death of thousands of Japanese. In Buddhism, gathering together after 49 days is a traditional way to mourn the passing of loved ones. Even non-Buddhists in Japan mark this particular occasion. This date also follows the Christian Holy Day of Easter (April 24), which signifies hope in the face of death.

Saturday, April 30, 2011
10:15 AM—12:15 PM

Little Tokyo Walking Tour

events/2007-07-28_walkingtour___4.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, April 30, 2011
1:00 PM—4:00 PM

Craft Class with Ruthie Kitagawa: Boy's Day/Children's Day Cards

events/crafts-workshops-icon-purple-green-70px__2.jpg *Please note: This class has been moved from April 23.

Make Boy’s Day and Mother’s Day greeting cards for your friends and family. $9 members; $14 non-members, includes admission and supplies.

RSVP is required. Maximum 12 people.

Saturday, April 30, 2011
2:00 PM—5:00 PM

Bainbridge Film Festival. Films by Lucy Ostrander

events/Fumi100.jpg This is a one-day film festival about Bainbridge, an island located near Seattle. Find out more about it’s unique history and people. A filmmaker Q&A will follow the last screening.

Please note that each film is about 10 minutes.

Port Blakely: Memories of a Milltown
This documentary depicts the rise and fall of the largest sawmill in the world and how its legacy affects Bainbridge Island, Washington. This raw seaport and mill attracted immigrants from all over the world who were searching for a job and a better life. Stories and memories reveal the surprising histories of the Native American, Scandinavian, and Japanese communities that once thrived alongside each other in this bustling town.

The Red Pines
This companion piece portrays the struggle of Japanese American immigrants on Bainbridge Island, and the legacy of their culture in the present-day community. From the laws preventing Asians from purchasing land to the incarceration during World War II, the Japanese Americans had to exert an extraordinary amount of spirit and hard work to prosper.

Island Roots
This film focuses on the Filipinos who came to Bainbridge, mostly working on Japanese American owned strawberry farms in the 1920s and ‘30s. It is the story of their relationship not only with other Island residents, but in particular to the Japanese American farmers and Canadian First Nation migrant workers, many of whom married the Filipino bachelors.

Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol
A photograph taken of Fumiko Hayashida, holding her 13-month old-daughter, as she waited to be taken off the Island by armed military escorts, has since become a lasting iconic symbol of the internment experience. This documentary is both a historical portrait of Fumiko and her family as well as a contemporary story of how the iconic photograph became the impetus for Fumiko to publicly lobby against the injustices of the past.

A Special Screening of: Honor and Sacrifice: Nisei Patriots in the MIS
A documentary about the Japanese American men who were incarcerated in concentration camps, enlisted in the U.S. military, and volunteered to become linguists in the Military Intelligence Service in the Pacific Theater of WWII. The film focuses on the experience of Roy Matsumoto and his personal journey–from being born an American, raised in Japan, sent to Jerome, Arkansas concentration camp as a young man, to enlisting in the U.S. Army and becoming a hero in fighting the Japanese Army in Burma as part of the U.S. military unit known as Merrill's Marauders. Produced for Washington State's Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.



Jump to Top of Page Japanese American National Museum home   ▪   Privacy Policy
Copyright © 1998-2019 Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles California 90012   ▪   phone: 213.625.0414