JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
October 2010
In This Issue
JAMsj Grand Opening
Camp Days Special Exhibition
JAMsj Docent Training
Jimi Yamaichi and the Japanese American Experience
JAMsj Winter Boutique
JAMsj/Yu-Ai Kai Book Club
Volunteer Opportunities
Calendar of Events
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JAMsj Grand Opening
San Jose Japantown's
Newest Attraction

Japanese American Museum of San Jose

Grand Opening Ceremony: 1:00 pm

The day has finally arrived. At 1:00 pm on Saturday, October 16th, we will unveil San Jose Japantown's newest attraction. The grand opening ceremony will feature entertainment by the internationally known San Jose Taiko,  a birthday celebration for 88 years-young, JAMsj curator, Jimi Yamaichi, and a "ribbon cutting" ceremony that will surprise you.

Open House: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

To show our appreciation to the community, we are offering free admission days during the grand opening weekend. Because we anticipate large crowds on October 16, please register for a time slot by calling the JAMsj office (408) 294-3138 or by registering online. You do not have to register if you only plan on attending the opening ceremony.

Watercolor Demonstration and Camp Days Exhibition

Camp Days Special Exhibition Presentation
Watercolor Demonstration
October 17, 2010

Camp Days: Folding Stools
Carrying Our Folding Stools.

"All this -- the anguish, the struggles, the found happiness, and most of all, her hauntingly girlish wonder at life behind barbed wire, are movingly depicted in her paintings. Chizuko's art is a powerful narrative of a shameful event in our history. It is also an evocative personal chronicle of the survival of a loving and resilient family."
-- George Takei, actor and community activist

At 1:00 pm, Sunday, October 17, 
artist Chiz Judy Sugita de Queiroz will discuss her inspiration and offer her insight on JAMsj's first traveling exhibit, "Camp Days." At 2:30 pm, Chiz will provide a hands-on watercolor demonstration for people who want to learn about her special technique.

Originally, the demonstration was only open to students. We are now opening up the demonstration to all ages. Space is limited for the watercolor demonstration, so please preregister by calling the JAMsj office at (408) 294-3138
. You do not have to register for the 1:00 pm presentation, but space may be limited.

1:00 pm: "CAMP DAYS: 1942-1945" Exhibit Presentation
2:30 pm: Watercolor Hands-On Demonstration
Click here for more information.

JAMsj Docent Training

VolunteersJAMsj Docent Training
 October 19, 2010
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA 95112

Photo: Rohwer camp
Rohwer WRA camp in Arkansas.

"The Rohwer internment camp had a climate that was very different from many of the other camps in that the camp was constructed in a wooded swampland. Former internees remembered the fierce heat and humidity, the sudden rains, and the ubiquitous mosquitoes and chiggers."

The new Japanese American Museum of San Jose will feature displays of the 10 WRA internment camps and the Crystal City Department of Justice camp.

New and experienced docents are invited to attend a workshop to develop and/or polish their skills on Tuesday, October 19, at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm at the all-new JAMsj facility.

 You do not need previous experience to be a JAMsj docent and the time commitment can be as little as several hours per month.  As a trainee, you will be gradually brought along by our experienced docents and professional educators.  As a JAMsj docent, you will learn many life-long communication skills and you will have the opportunity to form many new friendships.


Please contact Aggie Idemoto at (408) 268-4440 or aggie@jamsj.org  if you have questions or to register for the workshop.

Jimi Yamaichi and the Japanese American Experience

At the JAMsj grand opening event, there will be an 88th birthday celebration for JAMsj curator, Jimi Yamaichi. The following article is a story about his  life, written by one of JAMsj's newest volunteers, Janet Grant.

Jimi Yamaichi and the Japanese American Experience
By Janet Grant

JAMsj curator Jimi Yamaichi
JAMsj curator Jimi Yamaichi oversees the implementation of his vision for the Japanese American Museum of San Jose..

I didn't know what to expect when meeting Jimi Yamaichi for the first time. This man I had heard so much about is a legend in the Japanese American community. First of all, his biography is quite impressive.  He was in the construction business for more than 60 years, as the owner of a construction company and cabinet shop.

Prior to his retirement eight years ago, Jimi was general manager of many domestic and overseas construction projects for multinational corporations. He has also been a founder or board member of most of the major organizations within San Jose Japantown, including the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj).


What I found in meeting Jimi was a vigorous and vital elder whose colorful and varied life seemed to mirror the Japanese American experience in California. From his journey beginning on farms in San Jose to the tragedy of the WWII internment camps and ultimately to the grand opening of the new Japanese American Museum of San Jose, Jimi epitomizes the hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance of the Nisei generation.
JAMsj Curator Jimi Yamaichi
In his 88th year, most volunteers cannot keep up with Jimi's high energy level and his fast-paced construction schedule for the new Japanese American Museum of San Jose..

We met on the eve of his "beiju,"  the special and culturally significant 88th birthday. Jimi, who is the co-founder, curator, historian, and construction manager of the JAMsj, told me the highlights of his story. 

Read rest of story...

JAMsj Winter Boutique
JAMsj Winter Boutique

2010 JAMsj Winter Boutique
Saturday, November 13, 2010

9 am - 10 am JAMsj Members
10 am - 4 pm General Public
San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin
640 N. Fifth Street,
San Jose, CA 95112

The 2010 JAMsj Winter Boutique will feature annual favorites including Japanese-style collages, clothing and accessories made from vintage Japanese kimono, hand-crafted jewelry, Japanese folk dolls, washi crafts, stationery, hand-dyed silk scarves and many more specialty gifts!

Donation Prizes: 1st Prize, $1,000; 2nd Prize,  $500; 3rd Prize, $300.

Many more prizes will be provided by artisans and merchants.  Winners need not be present at the time of the drawing.

JAMsj members have the added benefit of entering the Winter Boutique an hour earlier than the general public.  If you sign up to be a member at the event, you, too, can gain early entrance privileges.

JAMsj/Yu-Ai Kai Book Club
Summer of the Big Bachi

Image: Summer of the Big BachiJAMsj/Yu-Ai Kai Book Club

Summer of the Big Bachi
Naomi Hirahara

December 3, 2010
1:00 pm
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA 95112

Note: The Book Club now meets at the new JAMsj facility.

"An original and exciting mystery...[A] poignant story of loyalty and betrayal."

-- Chicago Tribune

Naomi Hirahara's website

A spellbinding mystery played out from war-torn Japan to the rich tidewaters of L.A.'s multicultural landscape, this stunning debut novel weaves a powerful tale of family, loyalty, and the price of both survival and forgiveness.

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

JAMsj VolunteersJAMsj 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.
We have immediate openings for:
  • Museum store staff
  • Docents
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Event coordinators and event assistants
  • Online communication developers
There are many other positions that are available. Click here for more information about our exciting opportunities.

Become a part of the JAMsj family by becoming a volunteer! Send email to VolunteerAdmin@jamsj.org, fill out an online volunteer form, or call our office at (408) 294-3138.

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