Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — May 2012

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, May 5, 2012

2012 Gala Dinner & Silent Auction -- Transforming a Forgotten Story


JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live

With a special tribute to The Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, in recognition of his continuing fight for civil rights, including the critical leadership role that he played on and after 9/11.

Visit the 2012 Dinner site for information >>

* * *

2012 Lexus Opportunity Drawing
Win an All-New 2013 Lexus GS 450h hybrid

Download the Opportunity Drawing order form (PDF) >>

Saturday, May 5, 2012
1:00 PM—2:00 PM

Common Ground Exhibition Tour

events/commonground100_15_1.png Tour our ongoing exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community with experienced docents.

In conjunction with the exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Friday, May 11, 2012

Member Appreciation Days


Members receive 20% discount in the Museum Store & Plus, free admission & 20% store discounts at 19 other Southland institutions!

See more info & a list of participating institutions >>

Saturday, May 12, 2012
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Target Free Family Saturday: Celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage

events/Target_05__75__PMS186_10_1.JPG FREE ALL DAY!

May is Asian Pacific Heritage month. Celebrate with fun arts, crafts, and food 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.

  • Customize a re-useable lunch bag for carrying tasty treats!
  • Construct & embellish your own decorative paper lantern
  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: origami balloons

    11AM – Doors open

    11 AM - 4 PM - Mighty Boba Truck will be giving away mini-sized boba milk teas (For children only, while supplies last)

    12 PM A sushi tasting with Toshi Sushi (For children only, while supplies last)

    1 PM – A Hawaiian food tasting with Aloha Cafe (For children only, while supplies last)

    1 - 4 PM – Make Asian Fusion Chicken noodle soup with Kidding Around the Kitchen

    2 PM – A Korean roti (bread) tasting with Cafe Dulce (For children only, while supplies last)

    3 PM – A Japanese pastry tasting with Mikawaya (For children only, while supplies last)

    4PM – Doors close

    Kidding Around The Kitchen
    Kidding Around the Kitchen (KATK) brings a “hands on” cooking experience and lesson 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 seen in their raw form.

    For more information on Kidding Around the Kitchen,

    The Mighty Boba Truck
    The Mighty Boba Truck offers main dishes, known as Mighty Heroes, featuring Buttermilk Popcorn Chicken, Island Pork Chop, Taiwanese Sweet Sausage, and Marinated Tofu Steak. In addition, we serve sides (namely Sidekicks) such as Sweet Butter Toast, Consensed Milk Toast, and Honey Sweet Potato Fries. We also invent Specials of the Month items to add to the variety of flavors.

    Most importantly, The Mighty Boba Truck delivers TASTE-omizable Mighty Concoctions, made-to-order tapioca Boba Tea beverages. Choose from Black Tea, Green Tea, several Milk Teas (Regular, Honey, Almond) and many Refreshing Teas (Passion Fruit, Honey, Mango), with or without sweet gummy boba balls. Yum…Special requests (less sugar/milk, etc) are welcome; if we can do it, we’ll do it. And just like our food selection, we introduce new Flavor of the Month to stimulate different taste buds. ^_^v

    For more information on the Mighty Boba, visit

    Toshi Sushi
    Owner Chef Toshihiko Seki is one of a few Edomae (traditional) sushi chefs. He was trained in Japan, and has more than 30 years of experience.

    For more information on Toshi Sushi, visit:visit Toshi Sushi's Facebook page.

    Aloha Cafe
    Aloha Cafe has been proudly serving Hawaiian food since 1996. Originally located in Monterey Park, Aloha Cafe prides itself on bringing you authentic island-style cuisine in a laid back atmosphere. Come visit our new location in Little Tokyo, inside Honda Plaza (across from Office Depot).

    For more information on Aloha Cafe, visit

    Cafe Dulce
    Located in the Japanese Village Plaza, Cafe Dulce is one of Little Tokyo's newest coffee shops. For more information about Cafe Dulce, visit

    Since 1910 Mikawaya has taken pride in the manufacture and sales of traditional Japanese pastries known as "Wagashi"

    For more information about Mikawaya, visit

    July 14: Faces + Places

    14th Annual Summer Festival on the Courtyard: Japanese American Olympics
    Asian Pacific Islander Festival: Conscience and the Constitution: May 12, 2012- May 12, 2012, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA
    Saturday, May 12, 2012
    11:00 AM—12:30 PM

    Asian Pacific Islander Festival: Conscience and the Constitution


    Award-winning film by Frank Abe that provoked controversy nationwide for documenting the untold story of the largest organized resistance to the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans, and the suppression of that resistance by Japanese American leaders. Screening includes new featurette, “The JACL Apologizes.”

    Q&A with the filmmaker and DVD signing will follow the screening.

    Purchase the DVD from the Museum Store >>

    Saturday, May 12, 2012
    12:30 PM—2:00 PM

    Asian Pacific Islander Festival: Act of War—The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation

    events/act_of_war-01still100.jpg This moving documentary tells the story of the United State’s involvement in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893. Stylized re-enactments, archival photos and film, political cartoons, historic quotes, and presentations by Hawaiian scholars tell Hawaiian history through Hawaiian eyes.

    Saturday, May 12, 2012
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    Asian Pacific Islander Festival. Fact to Fiction: API Authors Panel

    events/writing100.jpg Join a remarkable panel of novelists featuring New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), Kristina McMorris (Bridge of Scarlet Leaves), Margaret Dilloway (How to Be an American Housewife), and Paula Yoo (Good Enough). Topics will include the influence of Asian American history on today’s literature, weaving true and personal accounts into fiction, and cultural education through storytelling.

    Saturday, May 19, 2012
    1:00 PM—3:00 PM

    Sogetsu Ikebana Workshop for Beginners

    events/Ikebana100_1.jpg Ikebana (“living flower”) is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Sogetsu Ikebana is a three dimensional artistic expression composed of flower and plant material arranged in a container. This workshop will introduce the student to the basic technique and style that are the foundation of many Ikebana arrangements. Instructor Mikiko Ideno will teach you how to arrange using lines and space. Flowers used in the workshop are yours to take home and are included in the lesson fee.

    $30 members; $35 non-members, includes admission and supplies. RSVP early, 10 students max.

    Saturday, May 19, 2012
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    Great Grandfather’s Drum


    This documentary celebrates Japanese American culture and history in Hawaii. Told through an intimate and joyful portrait of Maui Taiko, descendants of plantation workers, and by elders who lived this history. Experience Maui Taiko’s dynamic performances on the giant drums, and travel with them on a heartfelt journey back to rural Japan to seek their ancestral roots. Q&A with the filmmaker will follow the screening.

    Purchase the DVD from the Museum Store >>

    Saturday, May 26, 2012
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: The Modern Science of Origami. A Lecture by Robert Lang

    events/Robert_Lang100.jpg This program is FREE!

    The last decade of this past century has been witness to a revolution in the development and application of mathematical techniques to origami, the centuries-old Japanese art of paper-folding. The techniques used in mathematical origami design range from the abstruse to the highly approachable. In this talk, I will describe how geometric concepts led to the solution of a broad class of origami folding problems – specifically, the problem of efficiently folding a shape with an arbitrary number and arrangement of flaps, and along the way, enabled origami designs of mind-blowing complexity and realism, some of which you’ll see, too. As often happens in mathematics, theory originally developed for its own sake has led to some surprising practical applications. The algorithms and theorems of origami design have shed light on long-standing mathematical questions and have solved practical engineering problems. I will discuss examples of how origami has enabled safer airbags, Brobdingnagian space telescopes, and more.

    Co-sponsor: Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

    Special: Robert Lang will lead an informal gallery talk after his lecture.

    Robert J. Lang is recognized as one of the foremost origami artists in the world as well as a pioneer in computational origami and the development of formal design algorithms for folding. With a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech, he has, during the course of work at NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Spectra Diode Laboratories, and JDS Uniphase, authored or co-authored over 80 papers and 45 patents in lasers and optoelectronics as well as authoring, co-authoring, or editing 12 books and a CD-ROM on origami. He is a full-time artist and consultant on origami and its applications to engineering problems but keeps his toes in the world of lasers, most recently as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics from 2007–2010. He received Caltech’s highest honor, the Distiguished Alumni Award, in 2009.

    In conjunction with the exhibition Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami



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