Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Books & Conversations Past Events


Saturday, January 23, 2016
2:00 PM

Author Discussion—The Japanese American Story by S. Floyd Mori


This book is a collection of speeches and articles that were written and presented by S. Floyd Mori while he was representing the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the nation’s oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization, as National Executive Director and CEO, Director of Public Policy, and National President.

The book tells the story of the wrongful incarceration of 120,000 Japanese American citizens during World War II in order to ensure that such a violation of citizens’ rights is never repeated. Mori also discusses civil rights issues and the history of the JACL and the Japanese American community. Proceeds from book sales will benefit Japanese American and civil rights organizations.

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

The Japanese American Story is available at the JANM Store.

Read an interview with Floyd Mori about his book on Discover Nikkei.

Saturday, January 9, 2016
2:00 PM

Author Discussion—Taken from the Paradise Isle by Heidi Kim


George and Tamae Hoshida and their children were a Japanese American family who lived in Hawai‘i. In 1942, George was arrested as a “potentially dangerous alien” and incarcerated in a series of camps over the next two years. Tamae sought to reunite with George, and was eventually sent to the Jerome Relocation Center in Arkansas with her three of her daughters, including a newborn. She was forced to leave her handicapped eldest daughter behind in a nursing home. George and Tamae regularly exchanged letters during this time, and George maintained a diary including personal thoughts, watercolors, and sketches.

Taken from the Paradise Isle tells the story of the Japanese American incarceration through selections from George Hoshida’s memoir, diary, letters, and artworks. These first-person sources are bolstered by extensive archival documents and editor Heidi Kim’s historical contextualization. The book provides a new and important perspective on the tragedy of the incarceration as it affected Japanese American families in Hawai‘i, adding to the growing body of literature that illuminates the violation of Nikkei civil rights during World War II.

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

Taken from the Paradise Isle is available at the JANM Store.

View drawings and watercolors from George Hoshida’s diary online.

Read an interview with Taken from the Paradise Isle editor Heidi Kim on Discover Nikkei.

Read an overview of George Hoshida’s WWII incarceration experience on Discover Nikkei.

Saturday, November 21, 2015
2:00 PM

Author Discussion—Infamy and The Train to Crystal City


Utilizing survivor interviews, private letters and memoirs, and historical archives, Richard Reeves’ Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II is a sweeping narrative of the U.S. government’s forced imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.

Jan Jarboe Russell’s The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II tells the shocking and never-before-heard story of a secret, FDR-approved World War II prisoner exchange program in which German, Japanese, and Italian immigrants and their American-born children were traded for “more important” American prisoners of war stuck behind enemy lines.

Both authors will discuss their works. Copies of both books will be available for purchase and signing.

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

Both books are available from the JANM Store:
The Train to Crystal City

Saturday, November 7, 2015
2:00 PM

Lecture and Book Signing—San Jose Japantown: A Journey


San Jose’s Japantown is one of only three Japantowns remaining in the United States. Begun as an outgrowth of the city’s last Chinatown, Japantown San Jose has a 125-year history that spans two world wars, the Great Depression, Japanese American incarceration and resettlement, and the present day.

Authors Curt Fukuda and Ralph Pearce will present a program on the creation of their book, San Jose Japantown: A Journey. Incorporating over 100 interviews and 500 photographs, the book is the culmination of 15 years of research, photo-gathering, and writing. A book signing will follow the presentation.

San Jose Japantown: A Journey is published by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and was written with the support of project members June Hayashi, Jim Nagareda, and Janice Oda.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below. The book is available for sale at the JANM Store.

Saturday, October 10, 2015
2:00 PM

Author Discussion—The Inker’s Shadow by Allen Say



Allen Say is the award-winning author and illustrator of many acclaimed children’s books, including Drawing from Memory, an autobiographical volume that explored his love of comic books through a collection of his own photographs and drawings. Say now offers a companion to that book in The Inker’s Shadow, a graphic novel that tells the story of his own coming-of-age.

As a teenager in Southern California, Say was sent to an American military academy by his father so he could learn English and “become a success in life.” As the school’s first and only Japanese student, he immediately faced racism from his fellow cadets and teachers, who were all white; their complaints about his presence relegated him to a tool shed behind the mess hall. Determined to escape, Say saved up his money to buy a 1946 Ford for $50—and set out to find the America of his dreams.

Say will be joined in conversation by Lori Benton, Vice President and Publisher for Scholastic Trade Publishing. Benton is a longtime publisher and promoter of children’s books, and has known Say as both an author and a friend for decades. Say will be available for signings after the talk.

Seating is available first come, first serve. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

The Inker’s Shadow is available at the JANM Store.

Saturday, September 19, 2015
2:00 PM

Writing Little Tokyo in Crime and Rhyme


The Japanese American experience, both past and present, is rarely tackled in mainstream literature. Two award-winning authors, mystery writer Naomi Hirahara (A Grave on Grand Avenue) and poet Amy Uyematsu (The Yellow Door), have incorporated both their ethnic heritage and a strong sense of place into their works.

Once members of the same writing group, Pacific Asian American Women Writers-West (PAAWW-W), these two women will discuss the various cultural and literary influences that have shaped their writing and their Japanese American identity. Excerpts from their most recent works will be read while images of people and places that have inspired their creative growth are shown. A signing will follow, with books available for purchase.

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

Read about Amy Uyematsu and Naomi Hirahara on Discover Nikkei: A Poet, a Mystery Novelist, and Writing in Japanese America




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