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 Japanese American National Museum
Past Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions

What We Carried: Fragments & Memories from Iraq & Syria
May 19 - August 5, 2018

Since 2003, several million Iraqis and Syrians have left their war-torn homes and relocated in hopes of creating a better future for themselves and their families. Approximately 140,000 of these refugees have immigrated to the United States, the majority with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and a small memento to remind them of home.

What We Carried: Fragments & Memories from Iraq & Syria documents the life-changing journey of these refugees and sheds light on the trials and tribulations they experienced in their search for stability. Renowned freelance photographer and author Jim Lommasson invited Iraqi and Syrian refugees to share a personal item significant to their travels to America, such as a family snapshot, heirloom dish, or childhood toy. He photographed each artifact and then returned a 13" x 19" archival print to each participant so that they could write directly on the image to explain why they chose this item, above all others, to remind them of the lives they left behind. All texts are presented in both Arabic and English.

Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection
January 7 - April 8, 2018

SPECIAL DISPLAY

Allen Hendershott Eaton’s historic 1952 book, Beauty Behind Barbed Wire: The Arts of the Japanese in Our War Relocation Camps, explored art and craft objects created by persons of Japanese descent while wrongfully incarcerated in the World War II American concentration camps. It was one of the first books to examine any aspect of the lives of the 120,000 inmates. In the course of conducting research for the book and a never-realized exhibition of camp artifacts, Eaton amassed a significant personal collection of such artifacts.

After many years of lying forgotten in storage, the collection was inherited by a family friend of Eaton’s, who in April 2015 attempted to put it up for auction. An outcry arose from Japanese American community leaders and activists, who rallied successfully to stop the insensitive sale of these important artifacts of Japanese American history. Ultimately, the collection was transferred to the Japanese American National Museum for safekeeping. With support from the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program, the collection has now been conserved and will be exhibited in the museum’s Hirasaki National Resource Center (HNRC) as a special display titled Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection.

Eduardo Tokeshi, <em>Bandera Uno</em>, 1985, latex on canvas.

Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo
September 17, 2017 - February 25, 2018

Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo will examine the experiences of artists of Japanese ancestry born, raised, or living in either Latin America or predominantly Latin American neighborhoods of Southern California. Their methods of making art are diverse, from traditional to experimental, and the work itself illustrates perspectives of the Japanese Latin American experience directly, metaphorically, and/or abstractly. The exhibition will show how homeland, ethnic communities, racial mixing, and cosmopolitanism inform the creativity and aesthetics of this hybrid culture. It will also provide a visual record of contemporary Japanese Latin American art and contribute to the understanding of identity in a world where the meaning of race and ethnicity are constantly evolving.

ON THE ROAD at Fullerton Arboretum—Before They Were Heroes: Sus Ito’s World War II Images
September 10 - October 29, 2017

TRAVELING EXHIBITION

Fullerton Arboretum
Fullerton, CA

Susumu “Sus” Ito’s WWII photographs were taken while on a tour of duty through Europe as a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team’s 522nd Field Artillery Battalion. While Ito participated in such dramatic events as the rescue of the Lost Battalion, these rare and breathtaking images capture the humble daily lives of a group of young Japanese American soldiers.

Tattoo by Horikiku. Photo by Kip Fulbeck.

ON THE ROAD at Canterbury Museum, New Zealand: Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World
May 20 - August 13, 2017

TRAVELING EXHIBITION

Canterbury Museum
Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND

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 Harvard Medical School—Before They Were Heroes: Sus Ito’s World War II Images
May 3 - June 26, 2017

TRAVELING EXHIBITION

Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA

Susumu “Sus” Ito’s WWII photographs were taken while on a tour of duty through Europe as a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team’s 522nd Field Artillery Battalion. While Ito participated in such dramatic events as the rescue of the Lost Battalion, these rare and breathtaking images capture the humble daily lives of a group of young Japanese American soldiers.

By Jamie Noguchi.

New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei
March 12 - August 20, 2017

New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei explores the life and career of pioneering actor, activist, and social media icon George Takei. By examining Takei’s diverse experiences and achievements, this entertaining and interactive exhibition creates a portrait of a unique individual while offering an innovative means of engaging with the social history of America.

Photo by Jack Iwata, ca. 1942-1945. Gift of Jack and Peggy Iwata.

Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066
February 18 - August 13, 2017

On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which paved the way for the forced removal and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast following Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of this historic miscarriage of justice, the Japanese American National Museum presents Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066, an educational and interactive exhibition designed to engage visitors in critical discussions of the Japanese American World War II experience and its continuing relevance today.

Tattoo by Horikiku. Photo by Kip Fulbeck.

ON THE ROAD at Newcastle Museum, Australia: Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World
February 9 - April 30, 2017

TRAVELING EXHIBITION

Newcastle Museum
Newcastle, AUSTRALIA

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.

Only the Oaks Remain: The Story of Tuna Canyon Detention Station
December 10, 2016 - April 9, 2017

SPECIAL DISPLAY

Only the Oaks Remain: The Story of Tuna Canyon Detention Station tells the true stories of those targeted as dangerous enemy aliens and imprisoned in the Tuna Canyon Detention Station, located in the Tujunga neighborhood of Los Angeles, by the US Department of Justice during World War II. Photographs, letters, and diaries bring the experiences of prisoners—who included Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and Japanese Peruvians—to life.

 

 

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