Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — November 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, November 3, 2018
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Jewelry Workshop—The World of Washi: Beginner Class



Saturday–Sunday, November 3–4
11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Instructor Reiko Nakano will teach participants how to make a necklace of hand-made washi beads floating on a silk thread anchored by tiny knots, along with a playful keychain. Techniques will include washi-wrapping, looping, and wrapping wire.

Please bring sharp scissors, a shoebox for supplies, a snack, and a desire to learn. Additional materials provided. $64 members, $80 non-members, plus $25 materials fee due to the instructor at the beginning of class (cash only). Museum admission included. Limited to 12 participants.

This workshop is sold out. To be placed on a waitlist, please email

In the Nancy K. Araki Community Education Center

Saturday, November 3, 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
Saturday, November 3, 2018
2:00 PM

No-No Boy: A Multimedia Concert


No-No Boy is a multimedia concert performed by Julian Saporiti and Erin Aoyama. Taking inspiration from interviews with World War II Japanese American incarceration camp survivors, his own family’s history living through the Vietnam War, and many other stories of Asian American experience, Saporiti has transformed his doctoral research at Brown University into folk songs in an effort to bring these stories to a broader audience. Alongside Aoyama, a fellow PhD student at Brown whose family was incarcerated at one of the 10 Japanese American concentration camps, No-No Boy aims to shine a light on experiences that have remained largely hidden in the American consciousness.

In addition to their multimedia concert, Saporiti and Aoyama are often asked to visit college and high school classrooms to put on workshops that explore topics such as immigration, refugees, war, trauma, and how they use art and scholarship to navigate these issues in today’s society. They will be embarking on a national tour in the fall of 2018.

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

In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

Sunday, November 4, 2018
11:00 AM

Common Ground Exhibition Tour in Japanese




In conjunction with the exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Saturday, November 10, 2018
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

JANM Free Family Days: Superheroes!



This full day of crafts, performances, and other activities will be inspired by real-life heroes as well as the fictional characters of Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys.


  • Superhero Capes: Attention all crime-fighting kids and their grown-up sidekicks! Make your own superhero cape and unleash your hidden powers.

  • Superhero Masks: Keep your secret identity under wraps with a handcrafted hero- or kaiju-inspired mask.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Fold an Ultraman superhero!

  • Superhero Selfies: Grab your cape and mask, strike a powerful pose, and snap a selfie in your new super outfit! Selfie sticks provided by JANM for this activity.

  • Save a Life with A3M: Become a real hero by seeing if you’re a bone marrow donor match. Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) focuses on recruiting marrow donors in ethnic communities because the odds of finding a match is much more likely within one’s own racial or ethnic group.

  • Veterans Day Letters: Write a letter of appreciation to a veteran, to be delivered by Operation Gratitude. It only takes a few minutes to write a letter, but it will bring lasting joy to the person who receives it!


    11:30 a.m.–12 p.m.: Ukuleles for Little Tokyo Performance
    U4LT engages Japanese and Japanese American seniors while providing free ukulele instruction in Japanese and English. Reserved seating for members.

    11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.: Superhero Training
    Our friends from Terasaki Budokan will help kids transform basketball fun into fantastical feats of physical fitness worthy of free prizes. Run at the speed of light, fly to slam dunk, make jaw-dropping no-look passes, and sink amazing far-away shots.

    12 p.m.–12:45 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.–2 p.m.: Superhero Drawing Workshop:
    Any mild-mannered child can transform into a fantastic superhero by joining artist and art educator Sylvia Lopez for this interactive workshop. Learn how to quickly sketch and draw a basic human form to create your very own hero character. All levels welcome! Reserved seating for members.

    12 p.m.–3 p.m.: Superhero Caricatures
    Watch yourself be turned into a superhero with a caricature drawn by an artist from Taylor Entertainment. For children only. Line ends at 2:30 p.m. Express line for members.

    12:30 p.m.–1 p.m.: Sho Tokyo Kendo Demonstration
    Sho Tokyo Kendo of LA Minobusan Beikoku Betsuin will deliver a captivating demonstration of kendo, a traditional Japanese martial art that utilizes bamboo swords and protective armor. Reserved seating for members.

    3 p.m.–3:15 p.m.: Kizuna Taiko Performance
    Enjoy a performance from Kizuna Taiko, a group made up of children and adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities and their parents and siblings from the Japanese Speaking Parents Association of Children with Challenges (JSPACC). Reserved seating for members.

    3:30 p.m.–3:45 p.m.: WizStars Performance
    Check out WizStars, a hip-hop dance ensemble featuring individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities and their parents or siblings from the JSPACC. Reserved seating for members.

    Please check back for updates.

    Sponsored by Dwight Stuart Youth Fund.

    Friday, November 16, 2018

    Okaeri 2018: A Nikkei LGBTQ Gathering


    Friday, November 16: 7 p.m.–9 p.m.

    Saturday, November 17: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

    Okaeri” is a common greeting in Japanese meaning “Welcome home!” All are welcome to attend the third biennial Okaeri conference to build acceptance, support, healing, and connections for LGBTQ Nikkei, as well as to help undo the continuing homophobia and transphobia that members of the Nikkei LGBTQ community experience. Although the conference will focus on Nikkei LGBTQ people, everyone is invited to attend.

    $35 general admission, $20 students/seniors. Scholarships available. JANM members receive a 20% discount (please bring your current membership card when checking in at the event). For more info:

    Read a 2014 interview with Okaeri lead organizer Marsha Aizumi on Discover Nikkei.

    Saturday, November 17, 2018

    Opening Day: Gambatte!


    Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit features modern and historical photographs documenting the stories of Japanese Americans who were forcibly incarcerated during World War II. Large-format contemporary photos taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Paul Kitagaki Jr. are displayed next to images shot 75 years ago by such noted photographers as Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and others; each pairing features the same individuals or their direct descendants as the subject matter. Inspired by the Japanese concept of gambatte—to triumph over adversity—the exhibition chronicles the strength and legacy of a generation of Japanese Americans who persevered over unimaginable hardship.

    For more information, visit

    Friday, November 23, 2018

    Member Appreciation Days: Holiday Edition


    Friday–Sunday, November 23–25, 2018

    Members enjoy a 20% discount at the JANM Store and They also receive free museum admission and a 20% discount at several other Southern California institutions. Visit in October for details, restrictions, and a list of participants.

    November 25 is also the second annual Museum Store Sunday; check back for details on special opportunities.

    Saturday, November 24, 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.

    This tour is sold out. Our next scheduled tours are on December 22, December 29, and January 26.

    Sunday, November 25, 2018
    1:00 PM

    Museum Store Sunday—Ishiro Honda Book Signing


    November 25 is the second annual Museum Store Sunday! We join over 700 museum stores from all fifty states, ten countries, and three continents to provide a special shopping experience.

    Author Steve Ryfle will be at JANM to sign copies of his book Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa. Join us for some kaiju-themed refreshments!

    Ishiro Honda was arguably the most internationally successful Japanese director of his generation, with an unmatched succession of science fiction films that were commercial hits worldwide. With Godzilla (the first kaiju), Mothra, Rodan, The Mysterians, King Kong vs. Godzilla, and many others, Honda’s films reflected postwar Japan’s real-life anxieties and incorporated fantastical special effects, a formula that appealed to audiences around the globe and created a popular culture phenomenon that spans generations. Authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski shed new light on Honda’s work and the experiences that shaped it—including his days as a reluctant Japanese soldier, witnessing the aftermath of Hiroshima, and his lifelong friendship with fellow filmmaker Akira Kurosawa.

    In addition to the book signing, select JANM products and publications will be 25% off on 11/25/18, on-site only. (Discount cannot be combined with existing discounts and applies to applicable merchandise only.)

    Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa is available at the JANM Store.

    Visit to find other participating museums.

    Thursday, November 29, 2018
    7:30 PM

    ZÓCALO—What Does the Life of Frederick Douglass Tell Us About America?


    A Smithsonian/ASU “What It Means to Be American” Event at JANM’s National Center for the Preservation of Democracy

    Moderated by Baratunde Thurston, cultural critic, comedian, and author of How to Be Black

    American icon Frederick Douglass died in 1895, but he still makes the news. Indeed, he represents an increasingly rare sort of hero—one whose story is invoked across the political spectrum. Perhaps that’s because his life was so large, grand, and complex. He was among the most photographed and well-traveled people of the 19th century and had so many varied roles—radical and traditionalist, diplomat and revolutionary, author and subject—that he contains multitudes.

    How should Americans best understand Frederick Douglass? How do we engage with his legacies? And what does our relationship to Douglass say about how Americans use the past to define who we are? Yale historian David W. Blight, author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, visits Zócalo to examine the extent to which the Douglass story—as the slave who gains freedom and even fame—defines America.

    In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

    Photo: A daguerreotype of Frederick Douglass, circa 1855. Courtesy of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.



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