JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
April 2012
In This Issue
Gila River and Mama: The Ruth Mix Story
Juri Kameda
JAMsj Docent Training
Children's Day
Sake San Jose
Nothing Left In My Hands
Learning from the Past: The Japanese American Experience
JAMsj Calendar of Events
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Consider becoming a JAMsj volunteer by checking out our volunteer opportunities.or by attending the next docent training workshop.

Gila River and Mama: The Ruth Mix Story
Gila River and Mama film


Gila River and Mama: The Ruth Mix Story


May 20, 2012 

1:00 p.m. 
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112

The Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) and Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS) proudly present a free screening of "Gila River and Mama: The Ruth Mix Story" on Sunday, May 20, at 1:00 pm at JAMsj.  



"Gila River and Mama: The Ruth Mix Story" documents the experience of 15-year old Ruth Mix who volunteered at the Gila River Japanese American internment camp and was the only Caucasian nurse's aide in the camp hospital. Her mother, Frida Mix, worked as an elementary school teacher at the same camp. Both of them lived on the site in a barrack.


Claire Mix, Ruth's daughter, produced this fascinating documentary that shares her mother's experiences in the camp. The story offers a unique perspective from a Caucasian volunteer who witnessed the deplorable living conditions and the brutal mentality of a nation.

Following the screening, Claire Mix, producer, and Charles Class, executive producer, will host a question-and-answer session.


Due to limited seating, registration is required. Please reserve your seats by May 13. To register, please contact either JAMsj or CATS.


Contact JAMsj at (408) 294-3138 or send email to aggieidemoto@gmail.com. Contact CATS at (408) 867-4525 or send email to  Atyrequest@aol.com.   



Juri Kameda Conquers All Odds and Lives Life to the Fullest


Juri Kameda is a friend of JAMsj and her beautiful, dichroic glass jewelry is sold in the museum's store.  In 2005, Juri was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Last Saturday, April 14, Juri jumped out of a plane to raise awareness and funds for the ALS Therapy Development Institute. JAMsj President Aggie Idemoto interviewed Juri before her jump.


Juri Kameda Conquers All Odds and Lives Life to the Fullest

By Aggie Idemoto 


Skydiving for Young Faces of ALS (ALS TDI Fundraising)
Juri Kameda went skydiving this past Saturday to raise awareness about ALS. Watch her video!

Japan-born Juri Kameda immigrated to the U.S. and her life has since been one of transitions. Her most recent career change as a jeweler connected her to JAMsj.


Juri attended Japanese and Catholic schools in Japan until the fifth grade, when she transitioned to an American education. This change meant a shift in educational methodology and expectations, as well as languages. Juri is fluent in Japanese, English, Spanish and has a conversational grasp of Mandarin.  





With her diverse language skills, she aspired to work with the United Nations, but her parents steered her toward a career in medicine or technology. "There's no money working for a non-profit," they cautioned. Read more...  


Juri's Jewelry
"Live life like there's no tomorrow. Live for the moment  and don't dwell on the unknown" -- Juri Kameda

On Saturday, Juri Kameda and her friend, Gloria Hale, a San Jose resident who was also diagnosed with ALS, made the jump to raise awareness for the disease. To make a donation in support of Juri Kameda, Gloria Hale,  and the ALS Therapy Development Institute, visit  http://community.als.net/skydiveforYFALS. Juri also contributes 5% of her jewelry sales to ALS Guardian Angels .  


JAMsj Docent Training



JAMsj Docent Training


April 21, 2012 

11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m 
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112

Prospective docents and current docents are invited to attend a JAMsj docent training workshop on April 21, 2012.  JAMsj offers unique tours that encourages docent "conversations" with museum visitors. During this workshop, current docents will share their experiences in the museum and will discuss effective techniques for engaging with museum visitors.

We will be covering several of the exhibits, including the new agricultural exhibit and the 120,000 Tassel Tapestry.  In addition, we will describe future exhibit plans. Bring your bag lunch and enjoy this stimulating experience.

If you would like to attend, please contact docent training coordinator Rich Saito at rsaito@juno.com or contact the JAMsj office at (408) 294-3138.

Recent Visitors
Kodomo No Hi


Kodomo No Hi:
Follow the Koi to JAMsj

Children's Day

April 29, 2012
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA 95112

Kodomo No Hi, otherwise known as Children's Day, is a nationally observed holiday in Japan. Brightly dyed carp streamers will soon be fluttering above houses in Japan and many Japanese American homes during the celebration of Kodomo No Hi. In keeping with this tradition, koi streamers will be hung along 5th Street, leading people to JAMsj during the Nikkei Matsuri Festival on April 29.  


Hello Kitty at JAMsj
Hello Kitty will make an appearance on Children's Day 



JAMsj will be celebrating Kodomo No Hi with various craft-making workshops. Children can learn how to make kabuto (samurai helmets), koinobori (carp streamers), and other crafts.


Hello Kitty will also be making a special appearance at the museum and at JAMsj's festival  booth.  For a small fee, we'll give you a special Hello Kitty crown or fan and take a special photo of yourself with Hello Kitty.


We'll also raffle off a special JAMsj gift basket. 



Sake San Jose


Sake San Jose
2012 Sake San Jose


Sake San Jose

May 24, 2012

5:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m. 

San Jose Japantown



Join us for the seventh annual Sake San Jose event on Thursday, May 24, 2012, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Meet up with friends and family as you leisurely walk through historic Japantown San Jose (on Jackson Street, between 3rd and 7th Streets) alive with music. Visit the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, as well as the many shops and businesses to taste an assortment of both domestic and international sakes, all for a great cause.  




Registration opens at 4:30 p.m. with the opening ceremony beginning at 5:00 p.m. 

Proceeds from Sake San Jose benefit the Yu-Ai Kai Senior Service, a nonprofit senior center in Japantown.  Visit the Sake San Jose website for event registration information. 



JAMsj Book Club

Nothing Left In My Hands:
The Issei of a Rural California Town 
By Kazuko Nakane  

June 2, 2012
1:00 p.m. 
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112



Note: There is no book club meeting in May. The book club now meets the first Saturday of every other month starting with the June event. 


Nakane's detailed research and firsthand interviews with those living in the Pajaro Valley in the early 1980s piece together a portrait of early Japanese American experiences. This portrait covers the lives of buranketto men (bachelors who traveled from job to job with little more than a blanket around their shoulders), the arrival of picture brides from Japan, and the discrimination that the Japanese immigrants faced. Without Nakane's prescient efforts to preserve these stories, much understanding of early immigrant experience in this country would have been lost. Now, with its republication, Nothing Left in My Hands is again available to those interested in the history of California's immigrants and their contributions to American culture.


The book club 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 may be purchased at the JAMsj museum store. If you have questions, please contact Aggie Idemoto at (408) 268-4440 or aggie@jamsj.org.  


Learning from the Past: The Japanese American Experience
Farewell to Manzanar
Sunnyvale Public Library presents California Reads Programs

Learning from the Past
The Japanese American Experience

Sunnyvale Public Library
665 W. Olive Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94086







April 18, 2012 at 7 p.m. - Jeanne W. Houston, author of Farewell to Manzanar will speak about her book and her experiences


May 14 at 7 p.m. - Dr. Michael Omi, Professor of Asian American Studies in UC Berkeley will speak about the racial politics leading to the removal of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast to internment camps during WWII.


May 23 at 7 p.m. - Book Discussion on Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne W. Houston.   


May 26 at 2 p.m. - Modular Origami Workshop for Teens and Adults presented by Meenakshi Mukerji.


June 9 at 2 p.m. - Storyteller Megumi will tell Tales of Strength and Hope from the Japanese American experience and Japanese folktales for ages 8 and up.


June 12 at 7 p.m.- Discussion with Japanese American Internment Camp Survivors,


July 11 at 7pm - Film screening of Days of Waiting, followed by a discussion of the film and of the book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

For additional information visit the Sunnyvale Public Library's website: www.sunnyvalelibrary.org or call (408) 730-7300.    


JAMsj 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