Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Books & Conversations Past Events


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

Saturday, February 7, 2015
2:00 PM

Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp by Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey


In this creative memoir, Havey combines vintage photographs with her own paintings and writings to tell the story of how she grew from a ten-year-old girl into a teenager while living in Santa Anita Assembly Center and Amache Relocation Center during World War II.

Havey will read from and discuss her book. Audience Q&A to follow. Free with general museum admission.

The book is available at the JANM Store.

  • Read a review by Art Hansen of the book.
  • Read stories by Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey, including early excerpts from Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp.
  • Saturday, January 31, 2015
    2:00 PM

    China Dolls by Lisa See


    Bestselling author Lisa See will discuss her new book, China Dolls, a WWII-era drama of friendship and betrayal amongst three Chinese American women whose lives cross in the glamorous nightclubs of San Francisco’s Chinatown.

    The women’s fortunes take a turn after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the book includes detailed accounts of the World War II imprisonment of Japanese Americans. See will also talk about her family’s personal connections to the Japanese American incarceration experience and her grandfather’s early efforts to exhibit art by Asian Americans.

    Audience Q&A to follow.

    Free with general admission. The book is available at the JANM Store.

    Read an interview with Lisa See on Discover Nikkei>>




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