Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — July 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.

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, July 2, 2011
1:00 PM—2:00 PM

Exhibition Tour

events/commonground100_6.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, July 9, 2011

Exhibition Opens

The Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo opens.

In conjunction with the exhibition Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo
Saturday, July 9, 2011
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Target Free Family Saturday: Once Upon A Time

events/Target_05__75__PMS186_4.JPG FREE ALL DAY!

Help us celebrate The Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo with a day of comics, anime, and stories for the whole family. Keep checking back for more information!

Generously sponsored by Target, these special Saturdays are filled with fun activities giving families unique ways to learn, play, and grow together.

  • Have your picture taken in a special cutout designed by artist Stan Sakai and decorate a picture frame to go with it!

  • Hop to it! Make some fun rabbit ears to wear then check out the Museum’s galleries to see if you can find all of the rabbits on display!

  • Decorate a sketchbook to capture your imaginative stories and drawings.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Taking inspiration for Usagi Yojimbo, learn how to fold a samurai helmet.

    11 AM - Doors open

    11 AM – 5 PM – Visit our newest exhibition and celebrate the opening of The Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo

    12 – 4 PM – Special continuous screening of vintage anime films from the 1920s and 1930s, the Golden Age of Japanese silent film

    1 PM – We Tell Stories performs “Let Them Eat Books” -- Classic literature & poems by Sandburg, Carroll and Twain

    1 - 4 PM - Kidding Around the Kitchen is happy to show how to make a broccoli carrot slaw fit for a bunny, a prince or princess or just a hungry chef

    2 PM – Stan Sakai, author and artist of the graphic novel Usagi Yojimbo, will give a talk, demonstration, and will sign copies of his latest compilation book, Usagi Yojimbo Volume 25: Fox Hunt.

    3 PM – Storytelling Tea Party! Come listen! Come Tell! A storytelling tea party with tasty treats, tea, art, movement, and telling stories with each other!

    4 PM - Doors close

    We Tell Stories
    We Tell Stories is a multi-ethnic group of artists that seeks to educate, nurture, and strengthen communities by reconnecting young audiences with the ancient powers of storytelling and theatre.

    For more information, visit

    Kidding Around The Kitchen
    Kidding Around the Kitchen (KATK) brings a “hands on” cooking experience and lesson to the classroom in which the kids actively participate in the preparation of recipes. The result of their cutting, measuring cooking and then eating their creations is more than simply a lesson in health. They get to see, touch, smell and taste the fruits, vegetables, nuts, cheeses, eggs, meats and other ingredients that they may never have previously see in their raw form. The classes reinforce math, science, reading and vocabulary all within a one hour lesson. Measuring cups and spoons help with fractions. Multiplication and division are used when recipes are reduced or increased. Solids become liquids, bread rises, pancakes expand, and science is suddenly edible. Pronouncing ingredient names and reading recipes help to enlarge vocabulary. Studying food labels promotes an awareness of natural and "not so natural" ingredients used in everyday items.

    At KATK we recognize that children often drive the eating habits of paring a meal, their choices instinctively move to more natural and less processed ingredients. At home, armed with a cookbook from each session, the kids ask to recreate what they’ve learned in class, (often using the same ingredients that only days before were “yuck!”).

    For more information on Kidding around the kitchen, visit:

    Patricia Bulitt
    Patricia Bulitt is a dancer/ interdisciplinary artist and storyteller from Berkeley, California. Having produced 14 years of an annual storytelling tea party, we are happy to have her for our Target Day today. Honored with numerous grants and awards including The Aurora Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and California Arts Council, Patricia was honored as guest artist in Japan in 1984 and 2010.

    October 08: Up in the Air

    November 12: Planet Power

    December 10: That’s a Wrap

    13th Annual Summer Festival on the Courtyard!

    In conjunction with the exhibition Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo
    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Little Tokyo Design Week: Future City

    events/LTDW-LOGO-color-100px.jpg Little Tokyo Design Week: Future City celebrates the power of cutting edge design and technology now emerging from Japan and its intersection with current trends materializing in Los Angeles. Design’s ability to move us towards a more sustainable and creative urban lifestyle is at the heart of this five-day festival, which will include exhibitions, symposiums, film screenings, and designer installations.

    @JANM: Wednesday, July 13 – Wednesday, July 20, 2011
    Ultra Expo is a primary component of Little Tokyo Design Week: Future City, a multi-institutional event that will include artists, designers, architects and other contemporary Japanese cultural protagonists. Curated by Sylvia Lavin, Chair of the Ph.D. in Architecture program and Professor of Architectural History and Theory at UCLA, Ultra Expo will explore aspects of the Osaka Exposition of 1970, the first world exposition to be held in Japan. One of the best attended expos in history, it did not so much expose Japanese culture to the rest of the world as stage a veritable implosion of East and West, high art and popular culture as well as new technology and traditional ways of life. As did the 1970 event, Ultra Expo will seek to go beyond conventional exhibition formats to create an unorthodox way of displaying historic material, emphasizing its contemporary currency rather than nostalgic exactitude. Of particular emphasis in the exhibition installation will be the use of film, video, and photography to produce anew the no longer extant atmospheres of this once exemplary architecture of the future.

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Exhibition Opens

    Year of the Labbit Custom Show opens.
    In conjunction with the exhibition Year of the Labbit Custom Show
    Thursday, July 14, 2011
    6:30 PM—9:00 PM

    Year of the Labbit Opening Night


    Join us to celebrate the opening of the Year of the Labbit Custom Show!

    It’s FREE and you’ll have an opportunity to meet many of the artists—including Stan Sakai, Kip Fulbeck, Christina Conway, Kathy Yoshihara, and Edwin Ushiro!

    In conjunction with the exhibition Year of the Labbit Custom Show
    Saturday, July 16, 2011
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    Imprisoned in Paradise: Japanese Internee Road Workers at the World War II Kooskia Internment Camp by Priscilla Wegars

    events/Imprisoned_cover_100.jpg Come find out about the Kooskia Internment Camp, an obscure and virtually forgotten World War II detention facility that was located in a remote area of north central Idaho. Kooskia held men of Japanese ancestry who were termed "enemy aliens," even though most of them were long-time U.S. residents, denied naturalization by racist U.S. laws.

    For more information on the Kooskia Internment Camp and on Imprisoned in Paradise, including links to some reviews and an interview, please visit visit

    Purchase the book from the Museum Store >>

    Thursday, July 21, 2011
    7:00 PM—10:00 PM

    Summer Classic Anime Film Series (Part 1)

    events/Animedisc100.jpg Pay-What-You-Can!

    For four exciting nights, the Tateuchi Democracy Forum will screen vintage anime titles from the 1920s and 1930s, the Golden Age of Japanese silent film.

    The anime classics we will be screening:

  • Mighty Taro's Reckless Training (1928)

  • Momotaro the Undefeated (1928)

  • Benshi narration: Midori Sawato

  • The Tiny One Makes It Big (1929)

  • The Black Cat (1929)

  • The Stolen Lump (1929)

  • Taro’s Toy Train (1929)

  • The Bat (1930)

  • The Monkey Sword Masamune (1930)

  • Harvest Festival (1930)

  • Taro Urashima (1931)

  • Our Baseball Match (1931)

  • The National Anthem Kimigayo (1931)

  • In conjunction with the exhibition Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo
    Saturday, July 23, 2011
    11:00 AM—1:00 PM

    How to Succeed in Baseball

    events/Hasegawa100.jpg Growing up in Japan, Shigetoshi Hasegawa was not the most talented pitcher on his high school baseball team. But, he was determined to become a professional player and play in the American major leagues. Likewise, Sansei Scott Akasaki knew he would like to work for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He, too, had a plan that included his moving to Japan in preparation. Hasegawa pitched for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Seattle Mariners before retiring and Akasaki is the traveling secretary for the Dodgers. Learn how both succeeded in this presentation organized as part of the Tateuchi Foundation Public Program series.
    Saturday, July 23, 2011
    1:00 PM—3:00 PM

    Craft Class with Ruthie Kitagawa: Kusudama

    events/crafts-workshops-icon-purple-green-70px_2.jpg Make kusudama (paper balls) inspired crafts for your friends and family. $9 members; $14 non-members, includes admission and supplies.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    From Minidoka to Minnesota: A Carleton College Story of the Japanese American Internment by Fred Hagstrom

    events/Careleton_college100jpg.jpg This talk focuses on an artist’s book recently completed by Fred Hagstrom, Rae Schupak Nathan Professor of Art at Carleton College in Minnesota. The artist’s book is titled deeply honored and tells the story of Frank Shigemura, who came to Carleton College in 1943.

    Carleton participated in the student relocation project, a program that allowed Japanese American students to leave internment camps and continue their educations. Frank Shigemura was the first student to come to Carleton under that program. He left school to serve in the 442nd and was killed in France. His parents began a life long series of generous contributions to the College in appreciation for the help the College had offered their son.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011
    7:00 PM—10:00 PM

    Summer Classic Anime Film Series (Part 2)


    For four exciting nights, the Tateuchi Democracy Forum will screen vintage anime titles from the 1920s and 1930s, the Golden Age of Japanese silent film.

    Please note: This screening is part of an on-going four part series. However, each program stands on its own and does not require you have seen the previous film(s).

    The anime classics we will be screening:

  • Animal Sumo (1931)

  • Momotaro's Sky Adventure (1931)

  • The Unlucky Butterfly (1931)

  • Home Alone Mice (1931)

  • Spring Song (1931 or 1932)

  • Momotaro's Underwater Adventure (1932)

  • The Plane Cabby's Lucky Day (1932)

  • Olympic Games on Dankichi Island (1932)

  • Sports Day at Animal Village (1932)

  • Sanko and the Octopus: A Fight Over a Fortune (1933)

  • The Larks' Moving Day (1933)

  • Belly Drum Dance at Shojoji Temple (Unknown)

  • Private 2nd Class Norakuro (1933)

  • In conjunction with the exhibition Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo
    Saturday, July 30, 2011
    10:15 AM—12:15 PM

    Little Tokyo Walking Tour

    events/2007-07-28_walkingtour___7.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, July 30, 2011
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    The Shifting Grounds of Race by Scott Kurashige

    events/Kurashige_ShiftingRevised100.jpg Los Angeles has attracted intense attention as a "world city" characterized by multiculturalism and globalization. Yet, little is known about the historical transformation of a place whose leaders proudly proclaimed themselves white supremacists less than a century ago. In The Shifting Grounds of Race, Scott Kurashige highlights the role African Americans and Japanese Americans played in the social and political struggles that remade twentieth-century Los Angeles.

    Linking paradigmatic events like Japanese American internment and the Black civil rights movement, Kurashige transcends the usual "black/white" dichotomy to explore the multiethnic dimensions of segregation and integration. Racism and sprawl shaped the dominant image of Los Angeles as a "white city." But they simultaneously fostered a shared oppositional consciousness among Black and Japanese Americans living as neighbors within diverse urban communities.

    Kurashige demonstrates why African Americans and Japanese Americans joined forces in the battle against discrimination and why the trajectories of the two groups diverged. Connecting local developments to national and international concerns, he reveals how critical shifts in postwar politics were shaped by a multiracial discourse that promoted the acceptance of Japanese Americans as a "model minority" while binding African Americans to the social ills underlying the 1965 Watts Rebellion. Multicultural Los Angeles ultimately encompassed both the new prosperity arising from transpacific commerce and the enduring problem of race and class divisions.

    This extraordinarily ambitious book adds new depth and complexity to our understanding of the "urban crisis" and offers a window into America's multiethnic future.

    Scott Kurashige is associate professor of history, American culture, and Asian/Pacific Islander American studies at the University of Michigan.



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