JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
December 2011
In This Issue
JAMsj Winter Boutique
The Buddha in the Attic
Reflections on Camp Days
JAMsj Jack Matsuoka Signature Wines
Yesterday's Farmer: Eiichi Sakauye
Congressional Gold Medal
JAMsj Calendar of Events
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Photo: JAMsj Volunteers
Are you interested in becoming a JAMsj volunteer? Contact  volunteeradmin@jamsj.org
or visit our volunteer page.

JAMsj will be closed on December 24, 25, 31, and January 1st.

We wish you the best for this holiday season!

The Fordson F tractor will be on display in the new agricultural exhibit. Photo courtesy of Will Kaku.
During World War I, Henry Ford became involved with producing tractors for the UK Ministry of Munitions (MOM). The unmarked MOM tractor subsequently became the legendary Fordson F. Ford's mass-production facilities allowed him to produce tractors far cheaper than other producers. It was the first affordable tractor for the Japanese American farming community.

Consider making an end of year, tax deductible donation to JAMsj! Click here.

 Agricultural Exhibit Grand Opening   

S. Ariki farm located on Hostetter Road, San Jose in 1914
Yesterday's Farmer:
Planting an American Dream
Agricultural Exhibit
Grand Opening 

December 10, 2011
10:00 a.m. 


Wesley United Methodist Church
566 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA 95112 
Please do not contact the Wesley United Methodist Church for information. If you need additional information, please contact the JAMsj office at (408) 294-3138 or email mail@jamsj.org.

JAMsj will unveil a unique agricultural exhibit,"Yesterday's Farmer: Planting an American Dream," on Saturday, December 10, 2011. This exhibit provides a nostalgic look back to the early 1900s, when Japanese immigrant families first established permanent residency in the Santa Clara Valley.

More than 100 pieces of vintage farming equipment and vehicles will be on display, including a Model T truck, wagons, and tractors from 1902 to 1917. These artifacts were generously donated by members of the valley's Japanese American farming community, including items from the ranches of the late Eiichi Sakauye, historical preservationist, author, and agriculturalist who helped spearhead the formation of JAMsj.

The Issei (first generation) adapted intensive farming techniques, resulting in high yields achieved by creating the best conditions possible in a limited space. Their considerable success led to hostility, which contributed to the passage of the Alien Land Act in 1913 (preventing ownership of land by aliens ineligible for citizenship).

The exhibit launching will be preceded by a reception and keynote address by Dr. Gary Y. Okihiro, a founding member of JAMsj and co-author of Japanese Legacy: Farming and Community Life in California's Santa Clara Valley. In addition, there will be a reading of a special poem written by Janice Tao, dedicated to her husband's family, who farmed in San Jose's Berryessa area prior to World War II. The reception will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Wesley United Methodist Church, 566 N. Fifth Street (across the street from the museum). Limited parking is available in the church parking lot on N. Sixth Street.

Following the reception, visitors can tour the museum and be among the  first to view the new
agricultural exhibit. 
JAMsj/Yu-Ai Kai Book Club

The Buddha in the Attic

Julie Otsuka

January 6, 2012
1:00 pm 
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112




From the publisher:


Julie Otsuka's long-awaited followup to When the Emperor Was Divine is a tour de force of economy and precision, a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as "picture brides" nearly a century ago.


In eight incantatory sections, "The Buddha in the Attic" traces the picture brides' extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war.


In language that has the force and the fury of poetry, Julie Otsuka has written a singularly spellbinding novel about the American dream.


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, online book retailers, and the JAMsj museum store. If you have questions, please contact Aggie Idemoto at (408) 268-4440 or aggie@jamsj.org



Reflections on Camp Days 1942-1945
camp days: Lonely camp
Lonely Camp
Sometimes camp was the loneliest place of the most desolate feelings

The following article was written by JAMsj docent, Will Kaku. He reflects on the Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz Camp Days 1942-1945 exhibit that will be closing on December 30, 2011.


The Emotional Journey into Camp Days


By Will Kaku 




When JAMsj reopened in October 2010, I used to start my tours like many docents do: in chronological order starting with the story of Chinese and Japanese immigration, the insatiable appetite for cheap labor by agribusiness and industrialists, the impact of racial attitudes and anti-Asian exclusionary laws, and the transition of an immigrant population from a "bachelor society" to one of permanence in San Jose's Japantown. To me, to start from the beginning was the only way to tell this story.


That is how many of us learned history in school.  We were often immersed in historical timelines, the identification of key events, influential innovations, political leaders and movements, and the study of causality. There were many facts that had to be understood, necessitating a firm grasp on the "who, what, why, when, and where" of history.


When it came to Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz' watercolor art exhibit, Camp Days 1942-1945, it just didn't seem to fit my linearly constructed, fact-driven narrative. I often concluded my tours informing my tour group that we also had an art exhibit room which they could walk through and enjoy at their own leisure.


I just didn't get it. Read rest of article...


JAMsj Jack Matsuoka Signature Wines

Looking for a unique gift for the holidays? Consider spreading holiday cheer with our special JAMsj Jack Matsuoka Signature Napa Valley wines. Not only will you be getting fabulous wines, your purchase will also benefit JAMsj.

"The JAMsj Chardonnay is a versatile, delicious partner for everything from sauteed shellfish or salmon to roast pork and cream-based pasta dishes. It pairs well with a wide variety of cheeses such as Brie or Comté. The JAMsj Syrah is the perfect partner for simple, rustic fare like wild game, slow cooked dishes and grilled sausages. With its origins in the south of France, syrah complements the flavors of the region particularly well."
Eva Yamamoto, a JAMsj Board Member and host of JAMsj's wine and food pairing event. 
Jack Matsuoka holds up the JAMsj wine
Artist Jack Matsuoka holds up a bottle of JAMsj Syrah with the special label that he designed

Click  here if you would like to purchase these remarkable Napa Valley wines that are decorated with the collectible Jack Matsuoka label.

HOLIDAY SPECIAL -  Orders placed by Friday, December 9 will receive free shipping to JAMsj; wine(s) may then be picked up at JAMsj beginning Sunday, December 18 during regular museum hours (Thursdays through Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m).

To specify that you would like to pick up wines at JAMsj for the freee shipping special, select "Free Pick Up in Napa" from the "Ship Via" menu selection on the  web page where you supply your payment information. One of our dedicated volunteers will pick up your wine  order in Napa.  Note that we will be closed on December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1.


Orders placed after December 9 or delivery to your desired location will incur a shipping charge.

Yesterday's Farmer: Eiichi Sakauye
As we make final preparations for the opening of our new agricultural exhibit, "Yesterday's Farmer: Planting an American Dream," we also reflect on the life of JAMsj cofounder, Eiichi Sakauye. Eiichi and his family donated most of the farming equipment that will be on display in the new exhibit. The following article about Eiichi by JAMsj vice president, Joe Yasutake, was originally published in 2008.

Photo: Eiichi Sakauye
Eiichi Sakauye.  San Jose, California. 7/9/45.
Photographer: Iwasaki, Hikaru 

Yesterday's Farmer:
Eiichi Edward Sakauye (1912-2005) 


By Joe Yasutake 

I first got to know Eiichi when I spent several days with him while preparing for an extensive interview with him as part of a video history project. Our friendship blossomed when at age 90, he decided that his night vision was not good enough to drive after dark. This decision resulted in my routinely picking him up to attend JAMsj board meetings and other evening events. During this period, I had the privilege of listening to many stories about his fascinating life--from his childhood, his days in internment camp, and his subsequent involvement in many community-related activities. As he told these stories, his passion for life, his strong sense of history, and his vision for the future of JAMsj was crystal clear.

Eiichi Sakauye was born in San Jose, California, on January 25, 1912, the eldest of seven children. He grew up on the farm that his father, Yuwakichi, purchased in 1907, prior to the Alien Land Law of 1913. Eiichi spent his entire life on that farm. Read rest of article... 
Photo: Eiichi on tractor 2002Photo on left: Eiichi Sakauye driving a tractor at Heart Mountain in 1943. Photographer: Iwasaki, Hikaru, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Photo on right: Eiichi Sakauye moving his tractor from the Sakauye farm to its new home at JAMsj in 2002.


Congressional Gold Medal

On November 2, 2011, Congress held a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony to honor Japanese American veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, as well as the Military Intelligence Service (MIS).


The Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj), in conjunction with Congressional Representatives Zoe Lofgren, Mike Honda, and Anna Eshoo; the San Jose Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL);  the Friends and Families of Nisei Veterans (FFNV), and local VFW Post 9970, is hosting a local ceremony in San Jose, California, to be held at the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin annex on February 23, 2012 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. This event was organized for veterans and their families, as well as for widows or families of veterans, who were unable to attend the ceremony in Washington, D.C.


Unfortunately, because we have met the capacity restrictions for this venue, registration is now closed. If you are interested in being put on the waiting list to attend the San Jose ceremony, please fill out the registration form on our website at  www.jamsj.org and submit it via email to Joe@jamsj.org or by mail to JAMsj , 535 N. Fifth Street, San Jose,  California  95112.


JAMsj Calendar of Events 

December 10, 2011: Agricultural Exhibit Grand Opening
December 30, 2011: Camp Days 1942-1945 exhibit closes
January 6, 2012: JAMsj/Yu-Ai Kai Book Club: The Buddha in the Attic
February 19, 2012: Valor of Honor film screening

February 19, 2012: San Jose Day of Remembrance
February 23, 2012: Congressional Gold Medal event

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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