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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 25, 2018

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Leslie Unger - lunger@janm.org - 213-830-5690

JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM ANNOUNCES HONOREES FOR 2018 GALA DINNER

Los Angeles

The Japanese American National Museum will hold its annual Gala Dinner and Silent Auction on April 21, 2018, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, Los Angeles. The evening’s theme will be Service to Democracy and the honorees will be Senator Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii and political activist Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga. Both women will receive the museum’s Award of Excellence.

“Senator Hirono and Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga truly epitomize our Gala Dinner theme of Service to Democracy and I look forward to honoring them in April,” said Norman Y. Mineta, Chair of the JANM Board of Trustees. “Each of these women is inspirational to people of all ages and backgrounds and I know our Gala attendees will leave the event feeling like they too want to step up their commitment to democracy and act to make a difference in our country.”

Hirono was elected to the Unites States Senate in 2012 and sworn in as Hawaii’s first female senator and the country’s first Asian American woman senator. She serves on the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. She is also the ranking member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks.

Born in Fukushima, Japan, Hirono was nearly eight years old when her mother brought her and her siblings to Hawaii to escape an abusive husband and seek a better life. Hirono served in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 1981 to 1994 and earned a reputation as an advocate for consumers and workers. After being elected as Hawaii’s lieutenant governor in 1994, Hirono led efforts to support Hawaii’s tourism industry through visa reform. Voters in Hawaii’s second congressional district elected Hirono to serve in the US House of Representatives in 2006.

Among other legislative accomplishments, in 2015, Hirono introduced a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the Filipino veterans of World War II, in recognition of their service. It was enacted in 2016. In December 2017, Hirono and her fellow Senator Tammy Duckworth introduced the Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act of 2017. It is intended to ensure that no individual is imprisoned or detained based on a legally protected characteristic such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Essentially, it is intended to prevent what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II from happening again.

Herzig Yoshinaga was a high school senior when she was incarcerated with her family in the concentration camp for Japanese Americans at Manzanar during World War II. After the war, while living in New York in the 1960s, she became involved with Asian Americans for Action (AAA). This was the start of her political involvement.

After moving to Washington, DC, Herzig Yoshinaga began looking through National Archives records on the wartime exclusion and incarceration. Over several years, with the help and support of her husband Jack Herzig, she retrieved and cataloged thousands of significant documents. In 1980, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) was created, which was to be the foundation for legislative redress. The same year, Herzig Yoshinaga joined the National Council for Japanese American Redress (NCJAR) and her extensive research supported its class-action lawsuit seeking reparations from the government. The following year, she was hired by the CWRIC and became its lead researcher.

Crucial to the cause of redress was Herzig Yoshinaga’s discovery of the tenth and only still-existing copy of the original printing of the 1942 Final Report on Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, which provided proof that the army had seen no military necessity to deprive 120,000 individuals of their rights. Herzig Yoshinaga was an important contributor to the CWRIC’s 1983 final report, Personal Justice Denied. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988, signed by President Ronald Reagan, finally brought redress and a formal apology from the government to survivors of the incarceration.

The Gala Dinner evening will include JANM’s popular Lexus Opportunity Drawing, for which a new 2018 Lexus NX 300h vehicle will be the prize. Opportunity Drawing tickets are $25 each, $100 for five tickets, and $500 for thirty tickets. They may be requested by calling 213.830.5669, sending an email to galadinner@janm.org, or downloading an order form from janm.org/dinner2018.

Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities for the Gala Dinner honoring Sen. Mazie K. Hirono and Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga are also available. Send an email to galadinner@janm.org for details. Individual tickets for the event will go on sale in March. Information is also available at janm.org/dinner2018.

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NOW ON VIEW AT JANM:

Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo
Through February 25, 2018
Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo examines the experiences of artists of Japanese ancestry born, raised, or living in either Latin America or predominantly Latin American neighborhoods of Southern California. By looking at the work of Japanese Latin American artists, the exhibition shows how ethnic communities, racial mixing, and the concepts of homeland and cosmopolitanism inform the creativity and aesthetics of this hybrid culture. Transpacific Borderlands is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a Getty-led initiative exploring Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, and is made possible through grants from the Getty Foundation. The presenting sponsor of PST: LA/LA is Bank of America.

 

Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection
Special display through April 8, 2018
Following its successful removal from the auction block by dedicated Japanese American community leaders and activists, the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection of art and craft objects created by Japanese Americans during their World War II incarceration in American concentration camps was transferred to the Japanese American National Museum in 2015. It was conserved with help from the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program and will now be on view at JANM prior to traveling to several other venues in the United States. Through this display tour, the museum hopes to collect more information on each artifact so that it can continue to preserve and catalog this important collection. Contested Histories is on view in the Hirasaki National Resource Center. Please check the HNRC web page for its hours.

 

Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Ongoing
Incorporating hundreds of objects, documents, and photographs collected by JANM, this exhibition chronicles 130 years of Japanese American history, from the early days of the Issei pioneers through the World War II incarceration to the present.

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About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)

Established in 1985, the Japanese American National Museum promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite and traveled 17 of its exhibitions to locations around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America.

JANM is located at 100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles. Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. General admission is $12 adults, $6 students and seniors, free for members and children under age five. Admission is free to everyone on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and every third Thursday of the month from noon to 8 p.m. General admission prices and free admission times may not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. Closed Monday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For more information visit janm.org or call 213.625.0414.

 

 

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