Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Virtual Programs Past Events

Enjoy public programs and events from JANM from anywhere in the world! Please check the program descriptions for access instructions. Some require an RSVP to participate.

Funding has been provided by California Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan of 2020.


Saturday, January 23, 2021
2:00 PM—3:30 PM

The Claudia Kishi Club Reunion


$10 or FREE for members

Join filmmaker, Sue Ding, and the cast of the documentary The Claudia Kishi Club, Naia Cucukov, Sarah Kuhn, Gale Galligan, CB Lee, Yumi Sakugawa, and Phil Yu, in a discussion of the legacy of Claudia Kishi, the iconic Japanese American character from the hit Baby-Sitters Club book series. These Asian American artists, writers, and creatives will discuss how Claudia inspired them, a generation of young readers of color, to create new stories of their own. Clips from the documentary short will be shown and discussed.

The Claudia Kishi Club, available now on Netflix, is a love letter to Claudia Kishi. With nostalgic readings, personal recollections, and DIY style stop motion collages, this film is a timely and unique exploration of the importance of representation in media.

Sue Ding - Director, The Claudia Kishi Club
Naia Cucukov - Executive Producer, The Baby-Sitters Club Netflix Series
Gale Galligan - Graphic novelist, The Baby-Sitters Club
Sarah Kuhn - Author and comic book writer, Heroine Complex and Batgirl
CB Lee - Author, The Sidekick Squad
Yumi Sakugawa - Artist and author, Fashion Forecasts
Phil Yu - Writer and podcast host, Angry Asian Man and They Call Us Bruce

RSVPs are required using the link below. You will be emailed links and instructions to join the conversation on Zoom. Contact if you have any additional questions or specific access concerns.

Sunday, January 17, 2021
2:00 PM—3:30 PM

A Taste of Home: Dining Out in Japanese America



Japanese immigrants have worked in, owned, and sustained restaurants in the U.S. for over a century and Japanese restaurants continue to be as integral a part of Japanese America as home cooking. In this third and final part of A Taste of Home, we will examine the past, present, and future of Japanese American restaurants and dining through a conversation with Chef Akira Hirose and Jo Ann Maehara (Azay Little Tokyo) and Chef Niki Nakayama (n/naka) moderated by Professor Samuel H. Yamashita. We will also hear from graphic novelist Sam Nakahira on her new book on 1970s California cuisine and local food movements through the story of Bill Fujimoto and explore the legacy of Japanese cuisine and restaurants with a presentation of items from JANM’s collection.

This program is part of the series “A Taste of Home,” supported by the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles.

Saturday, January 9, 2021
1:15 PM—1:50 PM

Members Only Meet-and-Greet with Shirley Ann Higuchi, Tamlyn Tomita, and David Ono



All Japanese American National Museum members and Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation members and supporters are invited to a conversation with author Shirley Ann Higuchi, filmmaker and television anchor David Ono, and actress Tamlyn Tomita during this digital Members Only Meet-and-Greet. Higuchi is the author of the new book Setsuko’s Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration that explores the Japanese American experience through personal and collective histories. Members will have a chance to ask Higuchi, Ono, and Tomita about their own stories and reflections on the book.

This program is FREE for all members, but RSVPs are required in advance at the link below, by email to, or phone at 213.830.5646. Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation members should email to RSVP. Space is limited so RSVP today!

Not a current member? Join or renew today!

Join us for the book discussion after the meet-and-greet at 2:00 pm (PST): Sparking Stories: Author Discussion with Shirley Ann Higuchi and Tamlyn Tomita PLEASE NOTE: you must sign up for these events separately.

Saturday, January 9, 2021
2:00 PM—3:30 PM

Sparking Stories: A Conversation with Shirley Ann Higuchi & Tamlyn Tomita



"Poignant. How the power of an untold secret can affect how one lives and, with its revelation, can spark others to tell their own. With a good story, we can change ourselves, our country, our world for the better. Setsuko's Secret is one of the good stories." -- Tamlyn Tomita

Setsuko’s Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration by Shirley Ann Higuchi blends personal and political histories into a powerful and inspirational narrative. Join author Shirley Ann Higuchi in a conversation and Q&A with actress Tamlyn Tomita, moderated by filmmaker and news anchor David Ono.

As children, Shirley Ann Higuchi and her brothers knew Heart Mountain only as the place their parents met. As they grew older, they would come to recognize the name as a source of great sadness and shame for the generation of Japanese Americans forced into the hastily built concentration camp during WWII. Only after a serious cancer diagnosis did Shirley’s mother, Setsuko, share her vision for a museum at the site of the former camp, where she had been donating funds and volunteering in secret for many years. After Setsuko’s death, Shirley skeptically accepted an invitation to visit the site, a journey that would forever change her life and introduce her to a part of her mother she never knew.

Navigating the complicated terrain of the Japanese American experience, Shirley patched together Setsuko’s story and came to understand the forces and generational trauma that shaped her own life. Moving seamlessly between family and communal history, Setsuko’s Secret offers a clear window into the “camp life” that was rarely revealed to the children of the incarcerated. This volume powerfully insists that we reckon with the pain in our collective American past.

Shop the JANM store!

Setsuko’s Secret by Shirley Higuchi

The Legacy of Heart Mountain produced by David Ono

RSVPs are required using the link below. You will be emailed links and instructions to join the conversation on Zoom. Contact if you have any additional questions or specific access concerns.

Friday, January 8, 2021
1:00 PM—2:00 PM

MEMBER EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes at Azay!


FREE for members

Get an exclusive, behind the scenes tour of a restaurant during the busiest holiday of the year! Azay Little Tokyo, with Chef Akira Hirose, will show the process of developing and preparing their special Oshogatsu menu. Only for members!

RSVPs are required using this form or by contacting or 213.830.5646 by Tuesday, January 5.

This event is presented in conjunction with the 2021 Oshogatsu Virtual Family Festival.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

2021 Oshogatsu Virtual Family Festival


January 3–8, 2021


Join JANM for a week of virtual, kid-friendly activities to celebrate Oshogatsu (New Year’s Day)! From interactive, offline festivities for all ages to multi-lingual story times and play performances, welcome the Year of the Ox with JANM!

Visit for schedule of events.

This virtual festival is sponsored in part by the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Los Angeles and The Nissan Foundation. Media Sponsor: The Rafu Shimpo.


Oshogatsu Community Photo Activity

In conjunction with Oshogatsu Virtual Family Festival, JANM’s Discover Nikkei project is compiling photos to share its global Nikkei community’s New Year traditions. We want to see all your favorite dishes, family gatherings, or special traditions that you use to ring in the new year! Photos can be from past years or to share how you are finding ways to celebrate this year despite the pandemic.

To participate, photos must be submitted with descriptions by January 8, 2021 to or uploaded directly to the Nikkei Album.

Click here for complete submission guidelines or to check out submitted photos.




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