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"Common Ground: The Heart Of The Community" - Exhibition Fact Sheet

Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles
Opening: January 23, 1999

Curator: Glen Kitayama
Exhibition Coordinator: Cayleen Nakamura

This exhibition presents the personal life histories of multiple generations of the Japanese American community to trace this diverse community’s development over the past 130 years. It explores how Americans of Japanese ancestry resettled and forged their identity, contributing to the redefinition of this country.

On view will be artifacts, photographs, moving images, letters, and other ephemera from the turn of the century through World War II. Representing the universality of the Japanese American experience, the exhibit will include: documentation of the reclaimed Heart Mountain barracks, where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during WWII; a western-style wedding dress made of Japanese silk; a Japanese American’s Dodgers baseball uniform; artifacts from a dry goods store opened in Oregon by Japanese American brothers; a Japanese American soldier’s senninbari waistband from Hawai‘i with 1,000 stitches that represent his family; and a Japanese American Civil Liberties banner from a 1963 march in Washington, D.C. In addition, an internet chat room and a multiple-screen video presentation with music by the jazz-fusion group Hiroshima will be featured.