Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — October 2020

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, October 10, 2020
2:00 PM—3:30 PM

JT Sata: A Japanese Immigrant in Search of Western Art


Suggested donation $10

Kagoshima 9066 Westridge, cowritten by Frank Sata and Naomi Hirahara, traces the life of Sata’s father, J.T. Sata, through his photographs, sketches, paintings and sculptures. A man committed to a life of art—not necessarily as a profession, J.T. emigrated to America from Kagoshima in 1918. In Los Angeles, he was active with the Issei photo community while working odd jobs. During World War II, J.T., his wife, Yoshie, and Frank were incarcerated at Santa Anita Assembly Center and the concentration camps in Jerome, Arkansas, and Gila River, Arizona. Kagoshima 9066 Westridge includes artwork completed in all three detention centers as well as candid snapshots J.T. took after World War II on the campus of Westridge, an exclusive girls’ school in Pasadena, where he worked as a janitor until his retirement.

Frank Sata will discuss the impact of his father’s art and why he felt compelled to publish this book in this moment with Bryan Takeda of the Nikkei Federation. Co-writer Naomi Hirahara will also be presenting selections from the book and discussing the process of creating this visual history. Yvonne Ng, Librarian at the Arcadia Public Library, and Shawn Iwaoka, Collections Assistant at JANM, will highlight the history of the Santa Anita Park racetrack, where Sata was incarcerated, and how the library and museum’s collections preserve that history.

This project was fulfilled with support from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Grant, a program of the California State Library, and is in partnership with the Arcadia Public Library.

Kagoshima 9066 Westridge will be available in limited quantities through the JANM Store

Programs like this are made possible with your support. Thank you for your generosity. Please use the additional donation option on the next page to add your pay-what-you-wish amount for this program. (Suggested donation is $10)

Sunday, October 11, 2020
2:00 PM—3:30 PM

A Celebration of Bronzeville’s Finale Club



In March 1946, an important moment in jazz history took place when Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, two all-time jazz greats, performed together at the Finale Club in Bronzeville/Little Tokyo. During World War II, forced removal of Japanese Americans into concentration camps left Little Tokyo largely empty. African Americans coming West for defense jobs moved into Little Tokyo—one of the only neighborhoods without restricting housing covenants. Bronzeville was born.

Dozens of all night “Breakfast Clubs” sprang up in Bronzeville, patronized by jazz musicians and aficionados eager to continue listening to and making music after hours. One of these was the Finale Club which opened in the fall of 1944 at 230 ½ E. First Street, Los Angeles. This year, the Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) unveiled the historic LA City plaque for the Finale Club on First Street to memorialize the extraordinary and rare performance of jazz greats Charlie Parker and Miles Davis at the Finale Club and to honor the continued relationship between the Black and Japanese American communities.

LTHS invites you to experience the rich artistic and musical history of Little Tokyo during the Bronzeville Era in a celebration of live music, Bronzeville scholars, photos, and videos. Performers and speakers will include the Ron Kobayashi band and historians Hillary Jenks and Kirk Silsbee, along with brief remarks by Miles Davis’ son, Erin Davis.

This program is presented in partnership with Little Tokyo Historical Society.

This live public program is free and open to all. Go to JANM’s YouTube channel at 2:00 PM (PDT) on October 11th to watch it live:

We encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you will be notified when the video is streaming live. You can also follow us on social media (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram).

Image credit: William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
6:00 PM—7:30 PM

Tea & Letter Writing: Letters of Connection


$10 suggested donation

Gather with us in the comfort of your own home to share tea and conversation! We will be writing letters of solidarity to Little Tokyo seniors or special elders in our lives and spending some time in personal reflection. Prompts will be provided by special guests and traci kato-kiriyama, former Little Tokyo +LAB Artist-in-Residence at JANM. Make yourself a cup of tea, get comfortable, and join us online for this interactive program! All ages are welcome to participate.

RSVPs are required using the form below. You will be emailed links and instructions to join our conversation on Zoom. Please confirm that the email that you register with is the best way to reach you. Contact if you have any additional questions or specific access concerns.

Programs like this are made possible with your support. Thank you for your generosity. Please use the additional donation option on the next page to add your pay-what-you-wish amount for this program. (Suggested donation is $10).

This program was launched through the +LAB Artist Residency program presented by the Little Tokyo Service Center in partnership with JANM and continues now in partnership with Tuesday Night Project’s TNTalks initiative.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

2020 JACSC Education Conference: Connecting, Empowering, & Transforming Our Communities



Please join the Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium (JACSC) for the first virtual JACSC education conference.

Founded on the idea that we are stronger together than on our own, JACSC aims to bring together practitioners in preservation, education, and advocacy related to the Japanese American experience. This free opportunity includes educational sessions and inspiring conversations with our national community of thought leaders and experts, empowering attendees to stay connected in these challenging times, transform their fields, and be agents for social change. Join us for one session, or all weekend!

This program is hosted by JANM and brought to you by the Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium

The Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium (JACSC) is comprised of organizations committed to collectively preserving, protecting, and interpreting the history of the World War II experiences of Japanese Americans and elevating the related social justice lessons that inform current issues today.

Saturday, October 24, 2020
5:00 PM—6:30 PM

Haunted Little Tokyo: Virtual Ghost Tour



Go on a journey through Little Tokyo’s haunted past and present with a special, virtual guided tour of historical buildings, ghostly tales, and paranormal experiences in this over 100-year-old historic and cultural neighborhood. Join Little Tokyo Historical Society ghost reporter, Bill Watanabe, as he walks us through four unique spots with reported paranormal activity in the neighborhood and is joined by eyewitnesses of these eerie events.

Check out the sites of paranormal activity on this ghost map of Little Tokyo and get the full stories during the tour! CLICK HERE

This program is presented in partnership with Little Tokyo Historical Society, Little Tokyo Community Council, and Visual Communications, as part of Haunted Little Tokyo 2020.

You will be emailed links and instructions to join the conversation on Zoom Webinar. Contact if you have any additional questions or specific access concerns.

JANM Members receive a 20% discount off the ticket price. Email to access the discount code.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020
5:00 PM—5:30 PM

Discover Nikkei’s Nima Voices: Episode 1—Chuck Tasaka



Discover Nikkei is JANM’s international community-based web project sharing stories and the experiences of Nikkei around the world. “Nima” are members of the Discover Nikkei online community. Hailing from all around the world, they each bring unique experiences and perspectives to the site’s rich archive of stories.

We are thrilled to be launching “Nima Voices,” a series where we uplift our Nima through brief, but enlightening, interviews! In this inaugural episode, hear from Discover Nikkei contributor Chuck Tasaka as he is interviewed by our guest host, actor and comedian Kyle Mizono.

Chuck Tasaka is a Japanese Canadian who grew up in Greenwood, British Columbia. Since October 2015, he has shared many vivid stories about his and his family’s experiences, as well as the history of Japanese in Canada before, during, and after World War II. Read Chuck's work here before tuning in for this live interview and Q&A on the Discover Nikkei YouTube channel.

Kyle Mizono is a comedian based in Los Angeles who recently made a Comedy Central digital series called “Girl Kyle.” She’s also been featured on NPR’s This American Life, Viceland, FreeForm, and Adult Swim.

The term “Nima” comes from combining Nikkei and nakama (Japanese for “colleagues”, or “fellows”, or “circle”). Join our Nima-kai community and share your stories about the Nikkei experience! Explore more stories at

Click the button below to watch the program live on October 27, 2020 at 5 p.m. (PDT)

We encourage you to subscribe to the Discover Nikkei YouTube channel so you will be notified when the video is streaming live.

Thursday, October 29, 2020
4:00 PM—5:00 PM

GOTV: The Role of the Artist



What is the role of art as we get out the vote and build larger movements for change? In this national conversation with engaged artists, hear about the importance of voting in both local and national elections, using art to challenge and shift culture, and how we build powerful, and beautiful, movements. Hear from Glenn Kaino, conceptual artist, Kristina Wong, performance artist and elected official, and Claudia Peña, interim Executive Director of For Freedoms, in a conversation moderated by Caroline Klibanoff, Program Manager of Made By Us.

This program is a collaboration between JANM, MOCA, Made by US, and For Freedoms.

About the panelist:

Glenn Kaino
Glenn Kaino was born in 1972 in Los Angeles. Kaino’s works, often functioning as poetic contradictions, aim to reconcile conflicting ideologies, opposing systems, and strict dichotomies in material and experiential ways.Conceiving his practice as conceptual kitbashing, akin to a model maker’s way of appropriating readymade kits to assemble unique models, Kaino reconfigures the conditions of distinct cultural spheres into ecologies of making in which seemingly disparate materials and ideas are brought into contact. His studio practice includes sculpture, painting, filmmaking, performance, installation, and large-scale public work. He also operates outside the traditional purview of contemporary art, instigating collaborations with other modes of culture—ranging from tech to music to political organizing.

Caroline Klibanoff
Caroline Klibanoff is the program manager for Made by Us, a cross-institutional collaboration from America’s leading history organizations to engage the public, especially young people, with history and civic participation, connecting them with the past to power our future as we commemorate 250 years of the American experiment and look ahead to the next 250. She manages a steering committee including the National Museum of American History, the National Archives Foundation, Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Monticello, the Atlanta History Center, the Senator John Heinz History Center, HistoryMiami, and the New York Historical Society.

Claudia Pena
Claudia Peña serves as the Executive Director of For Freedoms, an artist-led platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States. She is on faculty at UCLA School of Law and in the Gender Studies department, and also affiliated with the Prison Education Program which creates innovative courses that enable faculty and students to learn from, and alongside, participants who are currently incarcerated. She's a member, and also on staff, of the Guild of Future Architects which is a home, refuge and resource for people collaboratively shaping a kind, just, inclusive, and prosperous world. Claudia is the Co-Founder of Repair, a Los Angeles-based organization focused on the health and the disabling effects of inequity, violence, exploitation. Prior to that, Claudia was the Statewide Director of the California Civil Rights Coalition (CCRC) for over five years. While there, she focused on racial justice, gender equity, voting rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, equal opportunity, progressive taxation, policies, housing rights and coordinating ballot initiative efforts. She was previously Equal Justice Society’s Judge Constance Baker Motley Civil Rights Fellow where she researched and presented on issues of implicit bias and equal protection.

Kristina Wong
Kristina Wong was featured in the New York Times’ Off Color series “highlighting artists of color who use humor to make smart social statements about the sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious ways that race plays out in America today.” She is a performance artist, comedian, writer and elected representative who has been presented internationally across North America, the UK, Hong Kong and Africa. She’s been awarded artist residencies from the MacDowell Colony, New York Theater Workshop, the San Diego International Airport and Ojai Playwrights Festival. She’s created viral web series like How Not to Pick Up Asian Chicks and just launched the second season of the award winning Radical Cram School. Her rap career in post-conflict Northern Uganda is the subject of her last solo theater show The Wong Street Journal which toured the US, Canada and Lagos, Nigeria (presented by the US Consulate). Her long running show Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest looked at the high rates of depression and suicide among Asian American women and is now a concert film. Her newest performance project is “Kristina Wong for Public Office”– a simultaneous real life stint as the elected representative of Wilshire Center Koreatown Sub-district 5 Neighborhood Council and rally campaign show. Kristina’s current pandemic project is the Auntie Sewing Squad, a national network of volunteers sewing masks for vulnerable communities.



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