Japanese American National Museum
Past Exhibitions

Object Lessons: Exploring the Permanent Collection

August 2, 2003 - January 4, 2004

With over 47,000 artifacts donated by more than 5,000 individuals, families, and organizations, the National Museum has the largest collection of Japanese American materials in the world. This exhibition showcases a range of compelling objects from the permanent collection, some of which have never been displayed before.

Exhibition highlights include a seven-story-long American flag sewn by the Monterey Bay Japanese American community for a 1930s July 4th parade, relics from America’s concentraton camps, and a turn-of-the-century picture bride’s kimono made from fabric that was hand-dyed and woven from home-grown silkworms. The exhibition encourages visitors to consider how material objects “speak” through the stories they embody and the evidence they bear of the diverse experiences of Japanese Americans.

Past Events

Sunday, January 4, 2004

Closing of the exhibition Object Lessons: Exploring the Permanent Collection

Closing of the exhibition Object Lessons: Exploring the Permanent Collection

Saturday, December 20, 2003
2:00 PM

Object Lessons Gallery Talk

The exhibition Object Lessons: Exploring the Permanent Collection features a wide range of artifacts that serve as concrete evidence of history. Join Associate Curator Sojin Kim and Assistant Curator Lisa Itagaki Assistant Curator as they share the stories behind the objects.

Saturday, November 29, 2003
2:00 PM

Fugetsudo 100th Anniversary of Little Tokyo Confection Shop

In honor of the 100th anniversary of this Little Tokyo landmark, a slide show presentation and conversation with the family of Fugetsudo will explore the history of this confectionary business and its impact on the community. It will also shed light on how a Japanese American family-run business has endured for a century, overcoming the World War II incarceration and other obstacles.

A mochi pounding and fortune cookie mold demonstration will follow the program. Fugetsudo lays claim to the invention of the fortune cookie. A cookie mold is currently on display in the exhibition Object Lessons.

Saturday, November 8, 2003
2:00 PM—4:00 PM

Mago's: Feeding a Generation of Japanese American Activists

Mago’s Famous Hamburgers fast food place, founded on Centinela Avenue in West Los Angeles, served as the gathering place for a generation active in the social and political activities of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.

The history and life of Mago’s is inextricably tied to the political and social climate of the era. That story will be will be shared in a slide show presentation celebrating Mago’s, which closed a decade ago. Following the show will be a reading by Japanese American patrons who wrote poems upon the restaurant’s closing, and a cooking demonstration of one of the popular fusion foods on Mago’s menu.

The Mago’s restaurant sign, 10' x 8', is currently featured in the exhibition Object Lessons.

Sunday, October 19, 2003
1:30 PM

Author Discussion—Footprints in My Rearview Mirror: An Autobiography and Christian Testimony of George Oiye by George Oiye

Join author George Oiye as he reads selected passages from his autobiographical work, Footsteps in My Rearview Mirror. Oiye recounts key moments of his life and has included photos from an album documenting his service with the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion during World War II (currently on display in Object Lessons and featured on the National Museum's website). Oiye also describes how these pivotal moments shaped his spiritual journey, leading him to become a Christian Bible Teacher/Evangelist. Each anecdote elaborates on how his faith helped him to face life's challenges, including his military service. A Q&A session and book signing will follow the reading and photo album discussion.

Sunday, September 7, 2003
1:30 PM

Preserving Your Family's History: Basic Collection's Care

Learn how to preserve your family images for generations to come. This workshop, presented by the National Museum's Associate Collections Manager Nikki Chang and Assistant Archivist Robert Dirig, will provide helpful guidelines to improve the care of your family's home movie collection and photographs/photo albums. With the understanding that optimal preservation conditions are quite costly, this workshop will inform you about what is ideal and how you can work towards achieving what is possible with limited resources. Fees are $5 for National Museum members and $11 for non-members, includes National Museum admission. Reservations are highly recommended.

Saturday, August 16, 2003
2:00 PM

Monterey Flag: A Symbol of Community Unity, Strength, and Determination

Members of the Monterey, California, community will proudly share memories of parading this historic flag in Central and Coastal California. This 40' x 70' flag was created in 1938 to demonstrate the community's patriotism in the Monterey Fourth of July Parade. The stars and stripes banner traveled throughout the West Coast, disappearing during the 1950s and 60s. When it was rediscovered in 1971, the banner continued to appear regularly in the Monterey Fourth of July Parade until it was carried for the last time in the 2001 Nisei Week Parade in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. In 2001, the flag was donated to the National Museum's collection by the Monterey JACL.

Saturday, August 2, 2003

Opening of the exhibition Object Lessons: Exploring the Permanent Collection

Opening of the exhibition Object Lessons: Exploring the Permanent Collection



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