JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
March 2011
In This Issue
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief
JAMsj Docent Training
Docent Spotlight: Rich Saito
Nikkei Matsuri and JAMsj Children's Day
From Our Land Exhibition
JAMsj/Yu-Ai Kai Book Club
Volunteer Opportunities
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
JAMsj Blog (NEW)
JAMsj Youth Page

Find us on facebook

JAMsj Store

Need to find a unique gift? Visit the new museum store.

JAMsj Hinamatsuri Event
Children enjoyed the Hinamatsuri arts and crafts
Hinamatsuri Dolls
Click here to see more photos of our recent Hinamatsuri event.

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief 

The Japantown Community Congress of San Jose will host a vigil and fund drive for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on Thursday, March 17, 2011.

Vigil for Victims of the Tsunami in Japan

6:00 p.m to 6:30 p.m, March 17, 2011

Meet in front of the San Jose Buddhist Temple 

640 North 5th Street, San Jose, CA 95112


Donations will be collected at the event.  Checks should be made to JCCsj with "Tsunami Earthquake Relief" in the memo.  100% of donations will go directly to relief efforts.

If you cannot attend the vigil, donations can be sent to:

Japantown Community Congress of San Jose

c/o Yu-Ai Kai
588 North 4th Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Note: Tsunami Earthquake Relief


JAMsj Docent Training 

JAMsj Docent Training

Photo: JAMsj volunteers

April 9 and April 30, 2011

Japanese American Museum of San Jose

535 N. Fifth Street

San Jose, CA 95112  

Do you want to be a history interpreter? Volunteer to be a JAMsj docent and sign up for one or both of these training opportunities:


Museum Gallery Exhibit Docent

Saturday, April 9, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  


Japantown Walking Tour Docent

Saturday, April 30, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

In addition to content information, you will learn about the various strategies that you can use to connect with visitors, reinforce learning, and leave visitors begging to come back for more. Docents learn from visitors, too.


If you have questions or wish to register for either workshop, contact Aggie Idemoto, Education Director at aggieidemoto@gmail.com or (408) 268-4440. If you would like to become a JAMsj volunteer, submit the online volunteer registration form or request a hard copy of the form by contacting the JAMsj office at (408) 294-3138. 

  JAMsj Docent Spotlight: Rich Saito 

San Jose Police Officer Keeps  

Giving Back to His Community


By Will Kaku 


JAMsj docent Rich Saito gives a tour to museum visitors
JAMsj docent Rich Saito gives a tour to museum visitors.


Although some JAMsj docents have advanced degrees in education or in Asian American Studies, a large majority of them do not.  Coming from many diverse life experiences and ethnic backgrounds, these JAMsj docents enrich the museum visitor's experience by incorporating their own personal insights into their roles as historical interpreters.  The volunteer docents are trained to provide a visitor experience that is both educational and entertaining.


Rich Saito is a former San Jose police officer who recently signed on to be a JAMsj docent. "When I learned the new museum facility was opening and seeking volunteers, I wanted to get involved," Saito said. "I wanted to get involved for three reasons: I wanted to serve the community by contributing to the sense of community, I wanted to learn about our community's history, and I wanted to preserve Japantown as a cohesive Japanese American community for future generations."


Rich loves the highly interactive exchanges with museum visitors that are encouraged by the JAMsj docent training workshops. "I love learning with people," Saito stated.  "I try to learn something from everyone who comes into the museum. As a docent, I try to create a sharing relationship with others where we exchange not only facts, but also emotions and perspectives about the Japanese American experience....Read rest of article on the. JAMsj blog 


Nikkei Matsuri Festival and JAMsj Children's Day Celebration

Children's Day
Koinobori: Traditional carp kites are flown during Children's Day

JAMsj Children's Day Celebration

Nikkei Matsuri Festival 

May 1, 2011

Japanese American Museum of San Jose

535 N. Fifth Street

San Jose, CA 95112   



Children's Day (kodomo no hi) will be celebrated at JAMsj on Sunday, May 1. The event will be a part of the Nikkei Matsuri Festival. Bring your children to JAMsj and take part in creating colorful kites, constructing origami samurai helmets, and other exciting crafts.  JAMsj will be open during the festival from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. 



From Our Land Exhibition

From Our Land Exhibition
From Our Land runs from April 4 to June 29, 2011




"From Our Land" Exhibition 


A special exhibition by Yuki Nishinaka


April 4 - June 29, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library

Second Floor Exhibit Area

San Jose State University 

One Washington Square

San Jose, CA 95192



 Click here for library operating hours



Set against California's bucolic agricultural scene, From Our Land celebrates the story of the nikkei farm experience from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day. The exhibit also examines the nikkei's response to the changing political climate, examining the periods before the 1900s and after the passage of Executive Order 9066 in 1942.

JAMsj/Yu-Ai Kai Book Club
The Street of a Thousand Blossoms


The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama

JAMsj/Yu-Ai Kai Book Club


The Street of a Thousand Blossoms


Gail Tsukiyama

April 1, 2011

1:00 pm

Japanese American Museum of San Jose

535 N. Fifth Street

San Jose, CA 95112


"Gail Tsukiyama weaves so much into this quiet book filled with introspection as tragedy, loneliness, fear, depression, and uncertainty meld with love, success, and the beauty of nature. Not a happy book, but well worth reading for the saga of history and culture and for the range of interesting characters and excellent writing. "The flowers whirl away in the wind like snow. The thing that falls away is myself."

- Linda Austin, MoonBridgeBooks.com 

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 and also available for purchase in the JAMsj museum store. If you have questions, please contact Aggie Idemoto at  (408) 268-4440 or aggie@jamsj.org

Volunteer Opportunities

JAMsj Volunteers
JAMsj volunteers have many rewarding experiences 

"The Japanese American Museum of San Jose
is perhaps the most solidified organization that documents the history of the East-West experience in San Jose." - San Jose Metro "Best of 2011" 

We have a special request for friendly and enthusiastic volunteers for our new museum store. There are no required skills besides having a great attitude and a passion for telling the Japanese American story.  If you are interested in helping out at the museum store, please contact laujeanette@gmail.com.

Volunteering for the museum is a great way to add valuable work experience to your resume when you are between jobs.   

Help is desired in many exciting areas.
We have immediate openings, as follows:
  • Museum store staff
  • Docents
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Event coordinators and assistants
  • Online communication developers
Other positions are also available. Click here for more information about our exciting opportunities.

Join the JAMsj family by becoming a volunteer!  Submit the online volunteer form from our website or call our office at (408) 294-3138 to request a hard copy of the application form.

JAMsj Calendar  

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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