Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — September 2018

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, September 1, 2018
1:00 PM

Common Ground Exhibition Tour


Take a tour of JANM’s core exhibition with our knowledgeable docents. This is a great opportunity for first-time visitors, long-time museum members, and everyone in between.

Included with museum admission.

In conjunction with the exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Sunday, September 2, 2018
11:00 AM

Common Ground Exhibition Tour in Japanese




In conjunction with the exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Sunday, September 2, 2018
1:00 PM—3:00 PM

A Celebration of Life: Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga


Join family and friends as they gather to celebrate the life of Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga: warrior, activist, researcher, friend, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother.

Details and RSVP on Facebook.

Saturday, September 8, 2018
10:00 AM—2:00 PM

Edible Adventures: Little Tokyo Sushi Graze



Dive deep into one of Los Angeles’s most historic neighborhoods while grazing on sushi made by Little Tokyo’s talented chefs. Begin with our “Sushi 101” class to learn about the history and etiquette of this cuisine, then proceed on to stops at several neighborhood restaurants.

$64 members; $80 non-members. Food and museum admission included. Limited to 10 participants.

Saturday, September 8, 2018
10:30 AM

Members Only Exhibition Tour: – 15 years of the hapa project


Join exhibition creator Kip Fulbeck for a gallery tour of Space is limited to 25 participants.

RSVP by September 4 using the link below. You can also contact or 213.830.5646.

In conjunction with the exhibition – 15 years of the hapa project
Saturday, September 8, 2018
11:00 AM—2:00 PM

Maihashi: Make Your Own Reusable Chopsticks



Versatile and timeless, chopsticks are a fundamental utensil for many Asian cuisines. In this workshop led by local woodworker Steve Hatanaka, attendees will create their own personal reusable chopsticks, also known as maihashi. Reusable chopsticks speak to the Japanese concept of mottainai, an effort to not be wasteful.

Open to ages 8 and older, but minors must be accompanied by an adult. $12 members, $15 non-members. Museum admission included. Limited to 20 participants.

This workshop is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs.

In the Koichi & Toyo Nerio Education Center

Saturday, September 8, 2018
2:00 PM

Hapa Writers in Conversation


If you missed the program, you can watch it online on JANM’s YouTube channel.


In conjunction with JANM’s exhibition, creator and photographer Kip Fulbeck will moderate a conversation with hapa writers covering topics including Asian American identity, drawing from personal stories, and how cultural education influences their storytelling.

The panel will include New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Love and Other Consolation Prizes) and award-winning playwright, essayist, poet, author, editor, and screenwriter Velina Hasu Houston. catalog signing to follow.

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

In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

In conjunction with the exhibition – 15 years of the hapa project
Friday, September 14, 2018
7:00 PM—9:00 PM

Upper Level Members and VIP Reception: Kaiju vs Heroes


Members at the Sustaining Level and above are invited to preview Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys before it opens to the public. See hundreds of dazzling vintage and contemporary Japanese vinyl toys, providing a feast for the eyes and the imagination. Program with a light reception to follow. Invitations were mailed in early August.

Friday, September 14, 2018
7:30 PM

ZOCALO—Can U.S. Democracy Survive Russian Information Warfare?


A Zócalo/Japanese American National Museum Event at JANM’s National Center for the Preservation of Democracy

Moderated by Warren Olney, Host, KCRW’s “To the Point”

American intelligence services have unanimously concluded that the Russian government intervened in the 2016 US elections, and seeks to meddle again this fall. One of Russia’s methods was to use social media to distribute disinformation.

What’s the big-picture strategy behind this style of attack, and how badly is it damaging our society and politics? Does disinformation have lasting effects on how voters engage with democracy? What vulnerabilities in American society did Russia exploit in its disinformation campaign? And how can the U.S. best fight back?

Former FBI counterintelligence special agent and Yale senior lecturer Asha Rangappa, film producer and Russian Media Monitor founder Julia Davis, and Virginia Commonwealth University behavioral scientist and media researcher Caroline Orr visit Zócalo to discuss the power and peril of weaponizing information.

In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Opening Day: Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata's Journey through the World of Japanese Toys


Kaiju translates to “strange creature” in English but has come to mean “giant monster” referring to the creatures like Godzilla and Mothra that inhabited the postwar movie and television screens of Japan. The advent of these monsters brought about the creation of characters to combat them—hence the emergence of pop-culture heroes like Ultraman and Kamen Rider.

Immerse yourself in a colorful universe of vintage and contemporary kaiju and hero toys from Mark Nagata, a toy designer and fervent toy collector.

Saturday, September 15, 2018
10:30 AM

Members Only Exhibition Tour: Kaiju vs Heroes


In California in the 1970s, Mark Nagata was living an all-American childhood when an aunt and uncle serving on a US military base in Japan sent him a box filled with colorful kaiju and hero toys. For Nagata, those toys and the artwork of their packaging inspired him to study art, to zealously collect vintage Japanese vinyl toys, and to become a toy designer himself.

Join Mark Nagata for a gallery tour during which he’ll share more about his passion and his collection of toys. Limited to 25 participants.

RSVP by September 12 using the link below. You can also contact or 213.830.5646.

Saturday, September 15, 2018
2:00 PM

Kaiju vs Heroes Opening Day Panel and Signing


If you missed the program, you can watch it online on JANM’s YouTube channel.


In conjunction with the opening of Kaiju vs. Heroes, toy designer and collector Mark Nagata and Marusan toy company President Eiji Kaminaga will participate in a discussion about kaiju toy history, the world of Japanese toy collecting, and their companies’ histories (Nagata is the founder of Max Toy Company). The Marusan toy company created some of the first vinyl kaiju and hero toys of the 1960s and these toys make up a significant part of Nagata’s collection.

The conversation will be moderated by Brad Warner, who worked for 15 years at Tsuburaya Productions, the makers of the Ultraman television shows. Warner is now an author and teacher of Zen Buddhism.

Following the discussion, Mark Nagata will sign copies of Toy Karma, an accompanying book by and about Nagata, as well as a 13" x 19" print (10" x 17" image size) featuring a kaiju and hero image by toy photographer Brian McCarty, who will also be signing the print. The book is $24.95 and the print is $50. Both can be purchased the day of the event.

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

In the George & Sakaye Aratani Central Hall

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day


Free admission to JANM all day!

In the spirit of the Smithsonian Museums, which offer free admission every day, JANM is offering FREE admission all day as part of the annual Museum Day event.

Saturday, September 29, 2018
10:15 AM—12:15 PM

Little Tokyo Walking Tour


Learn about past and present-day Little Tokyo on a walking tour led by an in-the-know JANM docent. From murals to monuments, explore both the popular and lesser-known gems of this bustling neighborhood.

$12 members, $15 non-members. Museum admission included. Comfortable walking shoes recommended. Weather permitting. Limited to 20 participants.

Saturday, September 29, 2018
11:00 AM—1:00 PM

Origami with Ruthie Kitagawa: Floral Cards


Learn from JANM’s resident origami expert Ruthie Kitagawa how to make a card adorned with cheerful origami flowers.

Space is limited to 15 participants. Advance purchase of a ticket is required. $12 non-members, free for JANM members. Museum admission included.

This workshop is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs.

In the Nancy K. Araki Community Education Center

Saturday, September 29, 2018
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Two-Day Workshop: Shibori On!


Saturday–Sunday, September 29–30
11 a.m.–4 p.m. (both days)

In this two-day workshop led by Glennis Dolce, continue practicing itajime, arashi, nui, and other shibori dyeing techniques on a broad selection of fabrics, and learn about dyeing threads for stitching. Bring scissors and a seam ripper.

$72 members, $90 non-members, plus $40 materials fee due to instructor at the beginning of class (cash only). Limited to 20 participants. Museum admission included.

In the Koichi & Toyo Nerio Education Center

Saturday, September 29, 2018
1:00 PM

From Japan to Mexico: A Nikkei Story from Veracruz


Julio Mizzumi Guerrero Kojima and Belen Torres Morales are descendants of immigrants who left Japan to work in the sugar plantations in Veracruz, Mexico, in the early 1900s. They are musicians with expertise in the Fandango, a tradition specific to Veracruz that is rooted in community convening and participation. They also are part of an environmental/community gardening project in Veracruz called Jardin Kojima. They will share their expertise in Fandango as well as talk about their environmental project.

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

This program is presented in partnership with FandangObon Project and Discover Nikkei.

In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum



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