JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
August 2012
In This Issue
Common Ground Exhibit
Moving Days Exhibit
Chinatown, San Jose, USA
Midori Kai Boutique
Aki Matsuri
Save the Dates
Calendar of Events
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Heinlenville c. 1918

.Sam (Wah Leh) Lee, whose father owned two stores in Heinlenville, and James (Mun Gai) Chan, whose father was a cook at Ken Ying Low and later opened Wing's restaurant. Courtesy of Connie Young Yu.



Young Chinese Americans showing off their car on 6th Street in Japantown (c. 1935).They are in front of Young Su Quong's new store that was relocated to Japantown from Heinlenville when it was demolished in 1931. Artifacts from the store in Japantown and Heinlenville will be displayed in the new exhibit, Common Ground.
Heinlenville excavation
Connie Young Yu at the Heinlenville excavation site

Read more about Heinlenville:
JAMsj Volunteer
Consider becoming a JAMsj volunteer by checking out our volunteer opportunities.or by attending the next docent training workshop.

Common Ground Exhibit
Grand Opening

 Common Ground Exhibit
Grand Opening

September 22, 2012
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 


Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112 
Envelope delivered to Kwong Wo Chan in Heinlenville, 1917 
"Heinlenville was born out of the Yellow Peril movement, the community that rose out of the ashes and defied prejudice and terrorism."

From the book, Chintatown, San Jose, USA  by Connie Young Yu


While there have been a few exhibits on the early Chinese communities in Santa Clara Valley, JAMsj's new exhibit, Common Ground, will uniquely tell the colorful story about how Japantown emerged from the Chinese community called Heinlenville in San Jose. The grand opening for the Common Ground exhibit will take place on September 22.


Common Ground guest curators, Connie Young Yu and Leslie Masunga, tell the remarkable story about the interplay between the Japanese and Chinese communities through photographs of life in the first Asian American community in the Santa Clara Valley; artifacts and personal memorabilia that depict slices of life in Heinlenville; and a video that features interviews with JAMsj curator, Jimi Yamaichi, and Hatsue "Sue" Shiroyama. There will also be a display of artifacts that were uncovered by the Sonoma State University excavation of the Heinlenville site in 2008 and 2009.    


The grand opening event will include a talk by guest curators, Connie Young Yu and Leslie Masunaga. Space is limited for the discussion. Contact  events@jamsj.org or call the JAMsj office at (408) 294-3138 to reserve your space.




Watch the following interview of Connie Young Yu talking about the archeological dig at the Heinleville site,  the Chinese Exclusion Act, San Jose's Chinatowns, and what this history means to us today.  


Connie Young Yu part 1 
Connie Young Yu interview on
Community Balance


Moving Days:  The Japanese American Experience

Moving Days: The Japanese American
Experience in the Santa Clara Valley

September 30, 2012 - December 31, 2012 

Cupertino Library
10800 Torre Avenue 
Cupertino, CA  95014


A new exhibit,Moving Days: The Japanese American Experience in the Santa Clara Valley, will be featured at the Cupertino Library starting on September 30, 2012. The exhibit, which runs through December 31, 2012, will also be accompanied by an exhibit opening reception and a panel discussion, Local Japanese Americans Remember World War II, on September 30 and a panel discussion, Civil Liberties and the Japanese American Experience, on November 18.
JAMsj provided several of the artifacts for the Moving Days: The Japanese American Experience in the Santa Clara Valley exhibit at the Cupertino Library



The exhibit and program series is presented by the Cupertino Library, the Cupertino Library Foundation (CLF), and the Cupertino Historical Society. Community partners for the exhibit and program are JAMsj and the California History Center at De Anza College.


"We are very grateful to the Japanese American Museum of San Jose for its generosity.  The museum has provided the Santa Clara Valley History Collaborative with access to a wealth of historical photographs, artifacts and artwork that poignantly portray many aspects of the lives of Japanese Americans in the Santa Clara Valley over the last 70 years," notes Cupertino Community Librarian, Mark Fink. "We are fortunate to have the opportunity to bring this powerful and thought-provoking exhibit and series of programs to the community. The Cupertino Library Foundation continues to be a catalyst by bringing us all together to share our resources."

JAMsj Book Talk
chinatown usa connie young yu
Chinatown, San Jose, USA  
By Connie Young Yu  

October 6, 2012
1:00 p.m.
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112


Chinatown, San Jose, USA focuses on the Chinese settlement of Heinlenville (located within the boundaries of today's San Jose Japantown). The author draws on family records, correspondence, oral interviews with former residents, and newspaper accounts from 1887 to 1931. The book describes the formation and demise of Heinlenville within the context of Chinese immigration and anti-Chinese legislation that set the stage for discrimination against the Chinese in San Jose and in other cities in California.

Yu, a third-generation Californian, researches and writes extensively on the role and experiences of Chinese-Americans. Much of her work focuses on individuals who both shaped and were shaped by Heinlenville. A few of the colorful characters that have been captured in her stories include the town's founder, John Heinlen, a San Jose businessman and friend of the Chinese community, and Sing Kee, a Heinlenville resident and World War I hero.

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.   


Midori Kai Arts and Crafts Boutique

Midori Kai Arts & Crafts Boutique


September 8, 2012  

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.   

Mountain View Buddhist Temple

575 N. Shoreline Blvd.

Mountain View, CA

benefits several nonprofit organizations including JAMsj. This popular event features Asian American art, crafts, handcrafted jewelry, clothing, pottery, delicious food, and entertainment. For more information, contact Phyllis Osaki at (925) 596-1770 or Marsha Baird at (510) 579-1518, or visit


Aki Matsuri

Wesley United Methodist Church
will hold its annual Aki Matsuri (fall festival) on Saturday, Sept 15  from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  People can enjoy food, fun, and festive activities and eating traditional Japanese American foods. Click   here for event information.


Save the Dates!

Silver Anniversary Banner

2012 Winter Boutique

Reserve the dates for these upcoming events:

November 10, 2012: Start your holiday shopping at the 2012 JAMsj Winter Boutique
December 1, 2012: Come celebrate JAMsj's 25th anniversary

More details of these events will appear in future editions of the JAMsj E-News.

Calendar of Events

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