Japanese American National Museum
Current Exhibitions

Current Exhibitions

Asahachi Kono,

Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920–1940
February 28 - June 26, 2016

In the 1920s and ’30s, Japanese Americans produced and exhibited a body of critically acclaimed art photography, much of it modernist in style and sensibility. Tragically, many of those photographs were lost during the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans by the U.S. government following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920–1940 takes an in-depth look at this lost legacy, presenting 103 surviving works from that period alongside artifacts and ephemera that help bring the era to life. The exhibition examines issues of artistic and personal freedom as well as Japanese American contributions to modern art. Making Waves is curated by photography historian and educator Dennis Reed. The exhibition is accompanied by a 160-page catalog featuring an essay by the curator.

Common Ground: The Heart of Community

Incorporating hundreds of objects, documents and photographs collected by the National Museum, this exhibition chronicles 130 years of Japanese American history, beginning with the early days of the Issei pioneers through the World War II incarceration to the present.


Traveling Exhibitions

Tattoo by Horikiku. Photo by Kip Fulbeck.

ON THE ROAD at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens: Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World
February 26 - May 8, 2016


Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Delray Beach, FL

Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World is a groundbreaking photographic exhibition that explores the master craftsmanship of traditional Japanese tattoos and their enduring influence on modern tattoo practices.

ON THE ROAD at the EMP Museum—Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty
November 14, 2015 - May 15, 2016


EMP Museum
Seattle Center
Seattle, WA

The Japanese American National Museum is now traveling Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty, the first large-scale Hello Kitty museum retrospective in the United States.

Organized as part of the global icon’s 40th-anniversary celebrations, the exhibition examines the colorful history of Hello Kitty and her influence on popular culture. Hello! includes an extensive product survey, with rare and unique items from the Sanrio archives, alongside a selection of innovative contemporary artworks inspired by Hello Kitty and her world.



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