Two young girls being filmed as they wait to board a train that will take them to Manzanar

Current Exhibition

BeHere / 1942

A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration

BeHere / 1942 augmented reality app logo

About the BeHere / 1942 Augmented Reality App

The BeHere / 1942 exhibition inside JANM is complemented by a groundbreaking augmented reality (AR) installation between the Museum’s Historic Building and Pavilion on the JANM Plaza.

Created by the visionary Japanese media artist Masaki Fujihata, the installation is inspired by the March and May 1942 photographs of Los Angeles-based incarcerees being taken to Manzanar or the Santa Anita temporary detention facility.

The installation is accompanied by the BeHere / 1942 AR app, which lets visitors walk around in the recreation among Japanese Americans on the verge of leaving for the camps. Realized with the participation of members of the local Japanese American community, this recreation includes three people who themselves experienced life in the camps as children.

Visitors can check out iPads at JANM to participate in the experience. iPads can be checked out for 20 minutes to allow others to participate in this activity. If visitors enjoy the AR experience on the iPads, they can download the AR app onto their personal iOS device for their own purposes.

The BeHere / 1942 AR app and AR experience will continue to be accessible after the close of the exhibition. Share the experience on social media using #BeHere1942

JANM plaza through the augmented reality app

May 07 - October 09, 2022

Japanese American National Museum

100 North Central Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90012

MASAKI FUJIHATA

It is hereby ordered that from and after 12 o’clock noon, P.W.T., of Saturday, May 9, 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry, both alien and non-alien, be excluded from that portion of Military Area No. 1 described as follows…

On Saturday May 9, 1942, the lives of Japanese Americans in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, were forever changed. They were given until noon to dispose of their homes and possessions; then they were made to leave. In the euphemistic language of U.S. government policy, Japanese Americans all along the West Coast—some 120,000 individuals, 37,000 of whom resided in Los Angeles—were “evacuated” to “relocation centers.” In reality, they were put on buses and trains and shipped off to concentration camps where they would live for years, in some cases until after the end of the war.

Opening exactly 80 years after that Saturday in May when Little Tokyo’s streets were emptied, BeHere / 1942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration mobilizes a variety of media forms to let visitors engage in new ways with this dark historical moment. The forced expulsion of Americans of Japanese descent from Los Angeles and other cities was extensively documented by professional photographers; images of families waiting to be taken off to the camps have come to stand as icons of the incarceration. Through careful curation of little-known photographs by Dorothea Lange and Russell Lee, some presented in hyper-enlarged form or reimagined as video, BeHere / 1942 invites visitors to see things in the photographic archive that they never knew were there. Cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) technology takes the discovery a step further, inviting visitors to become photographers themselves, actually participating in the scene.

The exhibition inside JANM is complemented by a groundbreaking public AR installation in the plaza between the Museum’s main campus and the historic Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. Here, a dedicated BeHere / 1942 app lets visitors step into the past, and walk among Japanese Americans on the verge of leaving for the camps. Realized with the participation of members of the local Japanese American community, this recreation includes three people who themselves experienced life in the camps as children.

Created by the visionary Japanese media artist Masaki Fujihata and co-presented by JANM and the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities at UCLA and Waseda University, Tokyo, BeHere / 1942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration is an exhibition you won’t want to miss. A catalog created to accompany the exhibition will be available at the JANM Store and through the Yanai Initiative webpage.

 

Major Sponsor: Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities at UCLA and Waseda University, Tokyo. Associate Sponsor: National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Telling the Full History Preservation Fund. Additional support is provided by the UCLA Arts Initiative, Japan Foundation, and Asahi Shimbun Foundation.

Media Sponsor: The Rafu Shimpo

 

Image above: Two young girls being filmed as they wait to board a train that will take them to Owens Valley (Manzanar). Photograph by Russell Lee, Los Angeles, California, April 1942. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, loc.gov/resource/fsa.8a31184.

#BeHere1942

May 07 - October 09, 2022

Japanese American National Museum

100 North Central Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90012

MASAKI FUJIHATA

It is hereby ordered that from and after 12 o’clock noon, P.W.T., of Saturday, May 9, 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry, both alien and non-alien, be excluded from that portion of Military Area No. 1 described as follows…

On Saturday May 9, 1942, the lives of Japanese Americans in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, were forever changed. They were given until noon to dispose of their homes and possessions; then they were made to leave. In the euphemistic language of U.S. government policy, Japanese Americans all along the West Coast—some 120,000 individuals, 37,000 of whom resided in Los Angeles—were “evacuated” to “relocation centers.” In reality, they were put on buses and trains and shipped off to concentration camps where they would live for years, in some cases until after the end of the war.

Opening exactly 80 years after that Saturday in May when Little Tokyo’s streets were emptied, BeHere / 1942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration mobilizes a variety of media forms to let visitors engage in new ways with this dark historical moment. The forced expulsion of Americans of Japanese descent from Los Angeles and other cities was extensively documented by professional photographers; images of families waiting to be taken off to the camps have come to stand as icons of the incarceration. Through careful curation of little-known photographs by Dorothea Lange and Russell Lee, some presented in hyper-enlarged form or reimagined as video, BeHere / 1942 invites visitors to see things in the photographic archive that they never knew were there. Cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) technology takes the discovery a step further, inviting visitors to become photographers themselves, actually participating in the scene.

The exhibition inside JANM is complemented by a groundbreaking public AR installation in the plaza between the Museum’s main campus and the historic Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. Here, a dedicated BeHere / 1942 app lets visitors step into the past, and walk among Japanese Americans on the verge of leaving for the camps. Realized with the participation of members of the local Japanese American community, this recreation includes three people who themselves experienced life in the camps as children.

Created by the visionary Japanese media artist Masaki Fujihata and co-presented by JANM and the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities at UCLA and Waseda University, Tokyo, BeHere / 1942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration is an exhibition you won’t want to miss. A catalog created to accompany the exhibition will be available at the JANM Store and through the Yanai Initiative webpage.

 

Major Sponsor: Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities at UCLA and Waseda University, Tokyo. Associate Sponsor: National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Telling the Full History Preservation Fund. Additional support is provided by the UCLA Arts Initiative, Japan Foundation, and Asahi Shimbun Foundation.

Media Sponsor: The Rafu Shimpo

 

Image above: Two young girls being filmed as they wait to board a train that will take them to Owens Valley (Manzanar). Photograph by Russell Lee, Los Angeles, California, April 1942. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, loc.gov/resource/fsa.8a31184.

#BeHere1942
Anchor Tag
behere1942-app-janm

Experience the BeHere / 1942 App at JANM

Check Out iPads from JANM

screemshot from BeHere / 1942 augmented reality app at JANM

To enjoy the BeHere / 1942 AR app in the JANM Plaza, please follow these steps: 

  1. Check out an iPad at JANM by signing a release form and leaving an official form of identification such as a driver’s license or passport with JANM staff.

  2. Walk outside into the JANM Plaza with the iPad. Swipe up on the iPad to access the home screen.

  3. Tap the BeHere / 1942 icon to open the AR app.

  4. The question “Are you in the plaza outside the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles?” will appear on the screen. Tap “Yes.” The iPad will enter camera mode and 3D AR models will appear on the screen.

  5. Walk around the JANM plaza to explore the BeHere / 1942 AR installation. Walk up to the 3D models to animate them on the iPad screen.

Download to Your Personal Device

If you prefer to download the app to your personal iOS device:

  1. Download the BeHere / 1942 AR app from the Apple App Store on a personal device. 

    The app is only available on the Apple App Store. It is compatible with iPhone 12 Pro and iOS 15.5. Please note that the AR app is 922.9 MB and that the documents and data for the app will take up an additional 2–6.5 GB of storage, depending on the version you install (as of 5/10/22).

  2. Find the BeHere / 1942 icon on your device’s home screen to open the AR app.

  3. Download one of two BeHere / 1942 AR experiences listed below. Both allow visitors to experience a sample of the complete AR installation at JANM. 

    • A “Standard” set of 3D models—requires about 2 GB of free storage and gives the 3D models brief movements.

    • An “Extended” set of 3D models—requires about 6.5 GB of free storage and gives the 3D models more movement.

  4. The question “Are you in the plaza outside the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles?” will appear on the screen.

    Tap “Yes,” which will allow the BeHere / 1942 app to access the AR scene in the JANM Plaza. The personal device will enter camera mode and 3D AR models will appear on the screen.

  5. Walk around the JANM plaza to explore the BeHere / 1942 AR installation. Walk up to the 3D models to animate them on your device.

  6. Use the photo or video options on your device to share your experience with others. Share the experience on social media using #BeHere1942

Experience from Anywhere in the World

Download to Your Device

BeHere / 1942 AR app model of kids with suitcase

Download the BeHere / 1942 AR app onto your personal iOS device to experience the augmented reality models from anywhere in the world.

  1. Download the BeHere / 1942 AR app from the Apple App Store on a personal device. 

    The app is only available on the Apple App Store. It is compatible with iPhone 12 Pro and iOS 15.5. Please note that the AR app is 922.9 MB and that the documents and data for the app will take up an additional 2–6.5 GB of storage, depending on the version you install (as of 5/10/22).

  2. Find the BeHere / 1942 icon on your device’s home screen to open the AR app.

  3. Download one of two BeHere / 1942 AR experiences listed below. Both allow visitors to experience a sample of the complete AR installation at JANM. 

    • A “Standard” set of 3D models—requires about 2 GB of free storage and gives the 3D models brief movements.

    • An “Extended” set of 3D models—requires about 6.5 GB of free storage and gives the 3D models more movement.

  4. The question “Are you in the plaza outside the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles?” will appear on the screen.

    Tap “No.” The BeHere / 1942 AR app will access individual 3D AR models. They can be placed anywhere in the world around the user. 

  5. Scan the area around you until a red box appears on the screen. The shape and color of the box indicates how accurately the app can place 3D AR models.

    Example of red boxes in BeHere / 1942 AR app

  6. Once the app indicates a high degree of accuracy, tap the red box. This will place a 3D model from BeHere / 1942 at that location. Walk around the model to explore the AR experience. If you would like to see a different 3D model, tap the screen again.

FAQs

What if a red box does not appear on the screen?

Continue to scan the area around you until the red box appears on the screen. It may appear as a faint red color instead of a rich red.

Do the animated 3D models speak?

No, they only move when you walk towards them.

What devices is the BeHere / 1942 app available on?

The app is only available for iOS devices on the Apple App Store. It requires iOS 15.0 and later. The device requirements differ based on the type of experience you choose to download, but iPhone 12 Pro or higher is recommended.

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