The mission of the Japanese American National Museum is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.
As the national repository of Japanese American history, JANM creates groundbreaking historical and arts exhibitions, educational public programs, award-winning documentaries, and innovative curriculum that illuminate the stories and the rich cultural heritage of people of Japanese ancestry in the United States. JANM also speaks out when diversity, individual dignity and social justice are undermined, vigilantly sharing the hard-fought lessons accrued from this history. Its underlying purpose is to transform lives, create a more just America and, ultimately, a better world.
The Japanese American National Museum started as a dream, but without funding or a site. Within 20 years of its incorporation, JANM built a campus, traveled exhibitions internationally, became a Smithsonian Affiliate, secured its community’s history and changed how Americans think about Japanese Americans. Learn about JANM’s story.
JANM’s campus includes a former Buddhist temple building, a Pavilion designed by famed architect Gyo Obata, and a versatile 200-seat theater connected by a plaza (use link below for architectural descriptions and history).
The facilities are available for private, community, and corporate event rentals as well as a film location.
A global community sharing stories and the experiences of Nikkei around the world. Read new stories added daily, watch life history video interviews, find Nikkei events, and more.
Explore tributes to those whose lives were forever changed by the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.
JANM’s Board of Trustees oversees the institution’s direction while ensuring its sustainability. Its Board of Governors provides national input and support.
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and AAM accredited, the Japanese American National Museum is recognized as one of the nation’s premier cultural museums. Dedicated to enhancing appreciation for America’s ethnic and cultural diversity through sharing the Japanese American experience, JANM provides a friendly work environment, flexible scheduling, salaries based on experience/qualifications, and benefits for its staff. During the summer we also frequently offer undergraduate internship opportunities.