Japanese American National Museum
Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 11, 2018

Leslie Unger - - 213-830-5690


Los Angeles

The Japanese American National Museum has received a bequest in excess of $525,000 from the estate of Setsuko Oka, a longtime museum member who died in October 2017. The funds will go toward educational initiatives as well as exhibitions and programs focused on Japanese artistic and cultural heritage in the United States, through the soon-to-be-established Setsuko Oka Japanese Heritage Fund. A plaque honoring Shiotaro and Tatsuno Oka, Setsuko’s parents, also will be placed at JANM per the terms of the bequest.

“The Japanese American National Museum is honored to have been part of Setsuko Oka’s estate planning. We are deeply grateful for her generous bequest and faith in our mission. The funds will go toward programming and activities that speak directly to the museum’s mission and which expand our ability to impact people in a meaningful way on a daily basis,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM. “Bequests like Setsuko’s are an important part of the museum’s financial health and I cannot emphasize enough how grateful we are to receive deferred gifts of any size.”

“Setsuko Oka’s love and admiration for the Asian culture inspired her to donate funds to the Japanese American National Museum so that many others might appreciate the depth and beauty of the culture,” said Oka’s lifelong friend and companion Harry N. Taddeo.

Oka first became a museum member in 1993.

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NOW ON VIEW AT JANM: – 15 years of the hapa project
Through October 28, 2018
Artist Kip Fulbeck continues his project, begun in 2001, of photographing persons who identify as “hapa”—of mixed Asian/Pacific Islander descent—as a means of promoting awareness and positive acceptance of multiracial identity. As a follow-up to kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa, his groundbreaking 2006 exhibition, pairs the photographs and statements from that exhibition with contemporary portraits of the same individuals and newly written statements, showing not only their physical changes in the ensuing years, but also changes in their perspectives and outlooks on the world. In addition, includes portraits of hundreds of new participants and an interactive section where, on select days, viewers can join the community by having their portrait taken and writing their own personal statement.

Common Ground: The Heart of Community
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. In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, the final section of Common Ground has been reimagined to further emphasize the redress movement, the landmark passage of the Act, and its relevance today. Two pages of the original Civil Liberties Act will be on display through September 23, 2018, on loan from the National Archives.

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 80 exhibitions onsite and traveled 20 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 or call 213.625.0414.



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