JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
June 2010 - Vol. 3, Issue 4
In This Issue
JAMsj Docent Training
New Museum Exhibits
JAMsj/Yu-Ai Kai Book Club
Volunteer Opportunities
JAMsj Calendar
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
JAMsj Docent Training
JAMsj Docents

JAMsj Docent Training

Saturday, August 7 & 14
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street,
San Jose, CA 95112

JAMsj volunteers have been busy with new and returning exhibits in preparation for our grand opening. More docents and docent training are essential to the success of the expanded collection.

JAMsj Curator Jimi Yamaichi shares his vision of the new Museum

Curator Jimi Yamaichi communicates his vision of the exhibit display space to board members and volunteers.

What is a docent?

Docents are volunteer educators who interpret and communicate our educational message to the public during museum tours. There are no prerequisites to be a JAMsj docent. All we want are dependable and enthusiastic people who are willing to learn.

Why become a docent?

In addition to the satisfaction of providing a valuable community service, you'll receive continuing education with expert instruction, a broad assortment of instructional materials, access to our research library, and special invitations to docent events.

Introduction for prospective docents

Curator Jimi Yamaichi and Education Director Aggie Idemoto will provide docent training for new and experienced docents on Saturday, August 7, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at JAMsj. The session will be repeated the following week, Saturday, August 14, at the same time and place.

The national museum standards for "interpretation" will guide docent development for the sharing of Japanese American art, history, and culture. Because quality exhibits extend beyond photos and captions, docents will learn interactive strategies to enhance the visitor's experience.

Interested in becoming a JAMsj docent?  You can access our Web site, www.jamsj.org and complete the volunteer application form. For further information or if you would like to register for docent training, contact Aggie Idemoto at (408) 268-4440 or aggie@jamsj.org.

New Museum Exhibits: The Story of Resistance

Expanding the Japanese American Story:
The Story of Resistance
By Will Kaku

Heart Mountain resister trial

The newly reopened Japanese American Museum provides a larger exhibit space for its permanent and rotating collections and will allow JAMsj to tell a more expansive story of Japanese American history.  All told, there is 6,400 square feet of interior space.

Paul DeWittOne of the stories that is not often told and sometimes avoided is the story of resistance during the incarceration period. Paul DeWitt, a JAMsj board member since 2005, is currently preparing a new exhibit display for the Museum to highlight this controversial subject.

"People do not want to talk about so-called negative things," Mr. DeWitt said. "People have always wanted to present what they believe is a positive image of Japanese American history to the public. Even Japanese Americans do not want to talk about resistance and maybe do not even know about it. "
Mr. DeWitt acknowledges that the topic of resistance is a broad and complicated one and that it is impossible to present a comprehensive story of resistance in a single exhibit display. Examples of the various candidate topics for the new display include the various Supreme Court cases, the Coram Nobis cases, draft resistance, "No-No" boys, repatriation, expatriation, renunciation, deportation, the Hoshi-dan, and even resistance poetry.

Mr. DeWitt became interested in the topic of Japanese American World War II incarceration while he was a social science teacher and later department chairperson at Newark Memorial High School.   After conducting extensive research on the subject and building an impressive collection of documents and exhibit materials, he established educational programs on Japanese American incarceration for his school. His work later expanded into leading educational workshops throughout the country in cooperation with Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR) and the California Council for the Social Studies. The quality of his research and his strong commitment to educating his students in innovative ways did not go unnoticed. Mr. DeWitt was awarded the Teacher of the Year in Alameda County. 
Read the rest of this article...

JAMsj/Yu-Ai Kai Book Club
Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei

Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a SanseiJAMsj/Yu-Ai Kai Book Club

Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei
David Mura

August 6, 2010

1:00 pm
Yu-Ai Kai Community Senior Services Center
588 N. Fourth Street
San Jose, CA 95112

About author David Mura

"Turning Japanese reads like a fascinating novel you can't put down . . . The strength and eloquence of Mura's book resides in his ability to capture and speak to the Japanese-American experience across generations, and perhaps, more importantly, to present the tools and insights for people across cultures and ethnicities to examine, reexamine and reclaim their sense of history and identity ." -- Asian Week


"In his memoir Turning Japanese , the poet David Mura brings an intriguing perspective to the New World quest for enlightenment from this ancient and ascendant culture, being himself a sansei--a third generation Japanese-American...Drawing on his own history of repressed racial self-consciousness, Mr. Mura is quite good on the sexual politics of race...His general observations on the landscape and customs can be fresh and revealing...Ultimately, Mr. Mura seems to have acquired a sense of ease, and of inspiration--like a man who has discovered a fertile atoll in mid-Pacific." --Jay McInerney, The New York Times

The book club meets the first Friday of every other month and is always open to new members. Selections are chosen collaboratively at the end of each meeting and align with the JAMsj mission -- the celebration of Japanese American art, history, and culture. Books are readily available at San Jose public libraries. If you have questions, please contact Aggie Idemoto at  (408) 268-4440 or aggie@jamsj.org

Volunteer Opportunities

Photo: volunteers

As we get ready for our grand opening, we will need many more volunteers to help with various activities. Help is desired in many exciting areas:
  • Administrative services
    • Event planning
    • Fund development
    • Marketing communications
    • Mail distribution coordinator
    • Information technology
    • Facility and grounds maintenance
  • Business services
    • Office manager
    • Administrative assistants
    • Data processing/transcribing
    • Retail
    • Finance
  • Educational services
    • Docents for the Museum and Japantown tours
    • Library maintenance
    • Exhibit preparation
  • Human Resources
    • Volunteer coordinator
    • Board secretary
Click here for more information about our exciting opportunities.

Become a part of the JAMsj family as we enter this exciting period! Contact Aggie Idemoto at aggie@jamsj.org or (408) 268-4440..

JAMsj Calendar

July 3-5, 2010: Tule Lake Pilgrimage
July 10-11, 2010: San Jose Obon Festival
August 6, 2010: JAMsj Book Club
August 7 & 14, 2010: JAMsj Docent Training
JAMsj Logo

Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj)
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Tel: (408) 294-3138
Email: mail@jamsj.org