Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — August 2015

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, August 1, 2015

Display Opening: Jidai

Opening day for Jidai: Timeless Works of Samurai Art. Closes August 30, 2015.

Saturday, August 1, 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
Saturday, August 1, 2015
2:00 PM

Panel Discussion and Screening: Lil Tokyo Reporter: Sei Fujii's Fight for Nikkei Rights


Lil Tokyo Reporter is a short film inspired by the true story of Sei Fujii, a community leader who looked out for the interests of Japanese American people in Southern California during the first half of the 20th century.

Fujii is best known for building the much-needed Japanese Hospital and for overturning the California Alien Land Law in 1952. Set during the Great Depression, the film shows Fujii using his radio program and newspaper to promote his community’s accomplishments and confront corrupt business practices.

Screening will be followed by a talk with John G. Tomlinson, retired Associate Dean of the USC Gould School of Law, and Superior Court Judge Bruce G. Iwasaki.

This program is free with admission, but RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Purchase the Lil Tokyo Reporter DVD at the JANM Store.

Learn more about the legal struggle to build the Japanese Hospital in this biographical essay about Sei Fuji’s legal partner J. Marion Wright, written by his daughter Janice LaMoree, on Discover Nikkei.

Saturday, August 8, 2015
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Two-Day Workshop: Indigo and Shibori in the 21st Century


This program is sold out.

Saturday–Sunday, August 8–9
11 a.m.–4 p.m. on both days

Enjoy two days of indigo dyeing with a focus on learning how the dye takes to different textiles. Shibori techniques to be explored include arashi, itajime, and nui, as well as combined and invented techniques.

Material kits will include handouts, threads, and many types of vintage kimono silks as well as some cottons, bamboo, hemp, and other natural fibers. Samples, books, and videos will be on hand for inspiration.

$72 members, $90 non-members, plus $40 materials fee due to instructor at beginning of class (cash only). Fabrics, dyes, and use of tools and equipment included. Limited to 20 participants.

Saturday, August 8, 2015
11:00 AM—12:30 PM

Members Only Family History Workshop


JANM members and their children, grandchildren, parents, and/or grandparents are invited to explore their family history together in this new workshop inspired by the Sugar/Islands exhibition.

After a brief tour of the exhibition, your family will create sun prints using one or two family photos that you bring along (photos will not be damaged) and family records that will be prepared for you ahead of time.

This event has reached capacity; no additional reservations can be accepted.

Saturday, August 8, 2015
2:00 PM

Compassion and Charity—and Chocolates: The Nisei Soldier Contribution to Rebuilding Japan


Early August marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the beginning of the Allied occupation of Japan. This panel discussion will focus on the role of the mostly-Nisei branch of the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) in the rebuilding of Japan after the war.

MIS veterans will discuss the duties of the Nisei soldiers and how their acts of kindness and charity toward the Japanese people helped to heal the country and turn it into a strong ally for the United States. The panel will be moderated by Kristine Dennehy, PhD, Professor of History at California State University, Fullerton, and a specialist in postwar Japanese history.

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

Presented with the Go For Broke National Education Center.

Photo courtesy of Bonnie and Ken Kasamatsu and the US Army Signal Corps.

Saturday, August 15, 2015
10:00 AM

Members Only Tour: Jidai: Timeless Works of Samurai Art


Members Only tour of Jidai: Timeless Works of Samurai Art, a special display of historically significant samurai swords on view during the month of August.

This event has reached capacity; no additional reservations can be accepted.

In conjunction with the exhibition Jidai: Timeless Works of Samurai Art
Saturday, August 15, 2015
11:00 AM—5:00 PM

Natsumatsuri Family Festival



Our popular annual summer celebration features Japanese and Japanese American performances, crafts, and activities for the whole family.

• Enjoy stimulating performances by Minyo Station, Random Ninjas, and TAIKOPROJECT with Quetzal

• Impress the crowd at our Karaoke Open Mic

• Take a basic taiko drumming lesson with docent Hal Keimi

• Join our community bon odori dance

• Participate in a variety of family arts and crafts projects

• Get a custom screen-printed Natsumatsuri t-shirt for your child, while supplies last

…and more!

Check for complete schedule.

Natsumatsuri is held in conjunction with Nisei Week Festival (August 15–23), Little Tokyo’s biggest annual event. Make your plans early!


Saturday, August 15, 2015
2:00 PM

Jidai Japanese Samurai Sword Lecture


Curators Michael Yamasaki and Darin S. Furukawa present an introductory lecture on Jidai: Timeless Works of Samurai Art.

Learn about the unique forging process and special properties of the Japanese samurai sword and see how the distinctive armor of the warrior class functioned not only as protection, but as a reflection of the wearer’s personality.

Presented as part of Natsumatsuri Family Festival. Reserved seating will be available for JANM members.

We anticipate high attendance for this program. Seating is available first come, first serve. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

In conjunction with the exhibition Jidai: Timeless Works of Samurai Art
Thursday, August 27, 2015
7:00 PM

JANM Summer Night Concerts



JANM’s new series of summer evening concerts featuring Asian American performers continues. Tonight’s showcase focuses on electronic music. The featured artist is Paul Dateh, a multi-talented musician, host, and educator who is well known for his contemporary take on violin playing.

Also appearing are noted composer, producer, and “professional music technologist” Mike Gao and experimental producer and guitarist Go Yama.

Event hosted by Will Pacarro (YELLOWPACO) with deejay music provided by TRAKTIVIST.

Frach’s Fried Ice Cream will be on site, along with a beer garden sponsored by JANM’s Young Professionals Network.

Saturday, August 29, 2015
9:00 AM—7:00 PM

Kollaboration EMPOWER Conference

At the EMPOWER Conference, young Asian Pacific Islander professionals from all over the country are invited to learn directly from some of the community’s most inspirational leaders. Attendees will be able to explore a variety of creative career paths and industries, as well as best practices to apply toward making their dreams a reality.

The conference will include keynote speeches, panel discussions, mentoring sessions, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities. This unique experience is aimed at bridging communities, generations, industries, and innovative minds.

visit to register and for more details.

Saturday, August 29, 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, August 29, 2015
8:30 PM—10:00 PM

Disoriented Comedy at the Comedy Comedy Festival


The first-ever (mostly) female Asian American standup comedy tour presents an evening of live standup and special guest performers.

Visit for more details and to purchase tickets.

A limited number of discounted tickets are available for JANM members. Contact or 213.830.5646 for discount codes.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Display Closing: Jidai

Closing day for the special display Jidai: Timeless Works of Samurai Art.



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