Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — September 2019

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.

Sunday, September 1, 2019
11:30 AM

Common Ground Exhibition Tour in Japanese




In conjunction with the exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Saturday, September 7, 2019
1:00 PM—2:00 PM

Members Only Meet-and-Greet with Naomi Hirahara


All members are invited to meet Naomi Hirahara before her author discussion at 2 p.m. about her book, Iced in Paradise.

Space is limited. RSVP by September 3 using the link below. You can also contact or 213.830.5646.

In the Koichi & Toyo Nerio Education Center

Saturday, September 7, 2019
2:00 PM—4:00 PM

Iced in Paradise—Naomi Hirahara’s New Hawai‘i Mystery


Iced in Paradise is the newest book from Edgar Award-winning author Naomi Hirahara. In this mystery, follow Leilani Santiago and her family on the island of Kaua‘i as they manage a shave ice shack. When Leilani goes to work one morning, she stumbles upon a dead body, a young pro surfer who was being coached by Leilani’s estranged father. As her father soon becomes the prime murder suspect, Leilani must find the real killer and somehow safeguard her ill mother, little sisters, and grandmother while also preserving a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend in Seattle.

Join Naomi Hirahara for a discussion about her love of shave ice and why she made the Garden Isle the location of her new novel. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo, Hirahara has published several nonfiction books on the Japanese American experience in addition to her mystery novels and books for younger readers.

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

Iced in Paradise is available at the JANM Store.

Read our interview with Naomi Hirahara about Iced in Paradise on Discover Nikkei.

In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

Saturday, September 14, 2019
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Two-Day Jewelry Workshop: The Wonderful World of Washi


Saturday–Sunday, September 14–15
11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Washi is a traditional Japanese handmade decorative paper that dates back to the seventh century. Unlike machine-made paper from wood pulp, washi is made from the inner bark of plants such as mulberry, bamboo, and wisteria and hemp. The intertwining of fibers results in a paper that is strong, durable, washable, and acid-free. Its thin, smooth, soft surface can be printed with vivid colors and complex designs.

In this workshop led by Reiko Nakano, create a washi collage necklace in which the designs of two different washi patterns will be integrated onto one set of differently shaped wooden beads. These beads will then be enhanced with commercial components to form a truly unique neck ornament. The second project will be a coordinated washi wood bracelet.

Please bring a pair of sharp scissors, a snack, and a desire to create new designs. Everything else will be supplied. $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.

In the Nancy K. Araki Community Education Center

Thursday, September 19, 2019
7:00 PM

REFLECTIONS/REFRACTIONS—Ten Works Inspired by At First Light



An ad man coined the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” in the 1920s to emphasize the power of graphics to compel the viewer to adopt an idea or buy a product. But a picture can also be the springboard for new interpretations and the reimagination of the physical object, people, or places depicted. In that spirit, we reached out to ten literary arts practitioners to visit the At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America exhibition and select one still or moving image sequence on display that resonates with them and sparks their creative juices. They were then asked to compose an original five-minute performance piece based on that image.

Musicians Dom Magwili and Tajii Miyagawa will provide the opening and closing for this special evening where the power of words, images, and performance meld into an experience of invention, reflection, and inspiration.

ARTISTS: Teresa Mei Chuc, Naomi Hirahara, Miya Iwataki, traci kato-kiriyama, Kenji Liu, Koji Steven Sakai, Irene Soriano, Amy Uyematsu, Eric Wat, and Stan Yogi.

This program is presented in conjunction with At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America. It is free, but RSVPs are recommended. For more information about the program and the participants, read the press release. For updates, please visit

Photo: Members of UCLA’s Nikkei Student Union sing to demand tenure for the school’s sociology professor Don T. Nakanishi during a May 1988 rally at the front steps of historic Campbell Hall, near the exact location where Black Panther Party members and UCLA honors students “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins were gunned down in January 1969. (Abraham Ferrer/Visual Communications Photographic Archive)

In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

In conjunction with the exhibition At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America
Saturday, September 21, 2019

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 21, 2019
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Two-Day Workshop: Shibori Plant Dye (Kusakizome)


Saturday–Sunday, September 21–22
11 a.m.–4 p.m. (both days)

Learn about Kusakizome, which translates to “plant dyeing,” in a two-day workshop led by Glennis Dolce.

Kusakizome has a long tradition in Japan with in-season plant materials collected regionally and used for different purposes. For this workshop, you will use a variety of locally sourced plant materials on a variety of silks with simple mordants. There will be a light indigo vat available to “shift” colors and simple shibori binding techniques will be used to test the plant dye materials. Each participant will also make a test sample notebook for reference during future crafting projects.

$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 21, 2019
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Hanashi Oral History Pop Up



Come see a selection of Go For Broke National Education Center’s Hanashi (“to talk”) Oral Histories. GFBNEC has been recording interviews of Nisei veterans of World War II as well as their contemporaries in the armed forces for over twenty years. Stay for as many interviews as you like; this day-long opportunity does not have formal presentations or introductions.

Presented in partnership with Go For Broke National Education Center.

In the Aratani Central Hall

Saturday, September 21, 2019
1:30 PM—3:30 PM

Detained in America: Children Speak


FREE and open to the public

JANM Plaza: 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Screenings (17 min each): 12:30 p.m. • 3:40 p.m. • 4:10 p.m.

Conceived and created by Amy Cohen and Claudia Sobral, “Detained in America: Children Speak” is a program of child voices describing the trauma inflicted by US government policies on the young and innocent. Hosted by the Japanese American National Museum, the program’s organizers include The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), Immigrant Families Together (IFT), and Bend the Arc.

Demonstrating how American policies that cruelly target children and families echo from one century to the next, the program will feature Japanese American children reading excerpts from archival letters by those imprisoned in concentration camps. Then, local children will read quotes from the declarations of their asylum-seeking age-mates, recently taken from their families and incarcerated in detention facilities and immigration camps.

Also to be screened three times (12:30 p.m./3:40 p.m./4:10 p.m.) will be the clay animation film, Estrella, written and produced by 7th grade students from Keewanee, Illinois. The afternoon’s program will close with a presentation by the film’s student narrator and the teacher who guided his students through this project of education, empathy, and creative child empowerment.

For more information on “Detained in America: Children Speak,” please contact Amy Cohen at or Claudia Sobral at

Museum admission is free as part of the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day.

Image courtesy of American Pediatrics Association

Saturday, September 28, 2019
9:00 AM—3:30 PM

Making Waves: A Changing Tides Mental Health Conference


This day-long conference will offer a safe space for the API community to address, examine, and understand mental health in its various forms. Conference plenaries will be interspersed with workshops and small group discussions that focus on specific topics related to mental health.

The conversation around mental health within the API community is one that has been and continues to be highly stigmatized due to several external and internal factors. The goal of this event will be to shed a positive light on these topics and allow for a space where open conversations about mental health can be held.

General Admission: $15
JANM members/Students: $12

Lunch will be provided. JANM members—contact or 213.830.5646 for discount code.

Please check for information about Changing Tides.

Saturday, September 28, 2019
10:15 AM—12:15 PM

CANCELLED: Little Tokyo Walking Tour


CANCELLED—Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have had to cancel this tour. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.

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.

$16 members, $20 non-members. Museum admission included. Comfortable walking shoes recommended. Weather permitting. Limited to 20 participants.



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