JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
April 2013
In This Issue
Exhibit: Jack's Show
JAMsj Spring Cleaning Fundraiser
JAMsj Library Thing
Kodomo No Hi
Yu-Ai Kai Nihonmachi Run
Meet the Author, Naomi Hirahara
Calendar of Events
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JAMsj Blog
JAMsj Youth Page
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Watch the replay of
 Tohoku Insights 

On March 9, JAMsj hosted Tohoku Insights: Live Conversations with Japan. The event was held in recognition of the two-year anniversary of the Great Eastern earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in the Tohoku region of Japan. You can watch a replay of the webcast, which features those involved in various relief efforts in Japan here
New Exhibit
  Jack's Show:
  His Life and Sketches
Opens Saturday May 11, 2013 

Japanese American Museum San Jose
  Second Floor 

535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112  

JAMsj is delighted to present a new exhibit, entitled "Jack's Show: His Life and Sketches,"showcasing the work of Japanese American cartoonist Jack Matsuoka. One of the few Nisei cartoonists to be awarded membership to the prestigious National Cartoonist Association, Jack is a recognizable and well-known figure in San Jose's Japantown. His drawings, from illustrations of local sports and community figures to his acclaimed depiction of the Japanese American incarceration experience as published in his book, Poston Camp II, Block 211, are equally recognizable. This special exhibition features artwork spanning his impressive 70-year career.


Born in Watsonville, California, in 1925, Jack's talent and interest in drawin­­g were evident from an early age. His visual storytelling blossomed during his family's incarceration where, as a teen, he digested the experience of living in Poston by illustrating camp life. His drawings were sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes humorous, but always honest and heartfelt.


After serving in the MIS (for which he later received a Congressional Gold Medal), Jack made a career out of his unique talent and was a regular cartoonist for the Hokubei Mainichi newspaper. His drawings, which ranged from sketches of his beloved local sports teams to political cartoons illustrating the issues of the day, were also featured in numerous Bay Area publications, including the San Francisco Examiner, San Mateo Times, and San Jose Mercury News.  


To honor the life and art of this Bay Area Nisei cartoonist, JAMsj has selected more than 60 pieces of art from Jack's personal collection for the show. In addition to original drawings and sketches, photographs and other artifacts from his life will be on display. These personal items serve as a portal into the history of the man behind these drawings.


This special temporary exhibition opens to the public on May 11, 2013. Please come to honor Jack, share in his many experiences, and bear witness to his extraordinary talent.
Save the DateSaturday, May 11, 2013, 3:00 p.m. Join us for a special celebration honoring Jack Matsuoka at JAMsj.  Seats are limited.  RSVP required.  Contact the JAMsj office for reservations at (408) 294-3138.
JAMsj Spring Cleaning   


JAMsj Holds Fundraiser:   
Vintage Items and More 


JAMsj will soon hold a special fundraising spring cleaning sale!  Many unique and specialty items will be on sale, including Japanese clothing, pottery, and porcelain.  Japanese and American cookbooks; Japanese American history, art, and culture books; and vintage merchandise will also be available for sale. 


If you own similar items and would like to donate them to the JAMsj fundraiser, collection days will be held from April 20 to 24 at the museum.  Please drop off your items from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. at the front desk.   


The sale will be held on the same day as Nikkei Matsuri, Sunday, April 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the museum parking lot.  Proceeds from this sale will go toward future museum exhibits. 


For more information, please contact Eva Yamamoto at evayama@sbcglobal.net


JAMsj Library Update  


Library 1
Photo courtesy of Stephen Fugita
JAMsj Library Catalog
Now on Web 


We are pleased to introduce you to the JAMsj profile on LibraryThing.  This web-based access point will allow anyone to search the titles in the JAMsj library collection without having to be onsite at the museum. If you would like to browse the list of books in the museum's library, you can search the JAMsj LibraryThing catalog. In December, we began the process of loading our titles into the JAMsj profile and are working to have this project completed by February.  


            On a separate note, in June 2012, a team of library volunteers began the project of cataloging all the books in the JAMsj library using the Library of Congress classification system. Previously, books were tracked in the catalog according to their shelf location. As the collection grew, the locations of the books kept changing and shifting, which made maintaining the shelf locations in the catalog difficult.  


            Books are now located in the library according to their Library of Congress call number. We estimate that we have cataloged 1,200 books during the past six months, with the remaining 150 to be completed in mid-2013 2013.  During this project, the library is still open during museum hours, and all books are available for you to check out.  


Example of catalog page from Library Thing website



Kodomo No Hi


Koinobori front of museum
Photo courtesy of May Matsuzaki 
Kodomo no Hi 
(Children's Day) 

Sunday, April 28, 2013
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Japanese American Museum of San Jose
Second Floor
535 N. Fifth Street

San Jose, CA  95112  

koinobori cropped
Koi streamers hung along 5th Street lead you to JAMsj during the Nikkei Matsuri Festival.  Photo courtesy of May Matsuzaki. 

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 you to JAMsj during the Nikkei Matsuri Festival.

Kodomo No Hi, otherwise known as Children's Day, is a nationally observed holiday in Japan, traditionally celebrated on May 5.


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 at this popular event.



HK with girls cropped
Hello Kitty with guests.   
Photo courtesy of May Matsuzaki.

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

kodomo no hi flag
Photo courtesy of
May Matsuzaki.

fan and take a special photo with Hello Kitty. 


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

Cost: Event is free with admission to the museum (non-members, $5; students and se
niors over age 65, $3; JAMsj members and children under 12, free).  An additional materials fee may apply.      


For more information, please email PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call the JAMsj office at (408) 294-3138.

Yu-Ai Kai Nihonmachi Run


2013 Nihonmachi Run/Walk

Sunday, April 28, 2013 

9:00 a.m.

(Limited walk-up registration at 8:00 a.m.)

Start at the Akiyama Wellness Center
110 Jackson Street

San Jose, CA  95112   


THE RUN IS BACK! After its cancellation in 2012, Yu-Ai Kai will again sponsor the Annual Nihonmachi Run/Walk for all ages on Sunday, April 28, 2013. This run is a favorite of the young and the young at heart.  


Participants can walk or run along a flat, safe, and pleasant three-mile course around San Jose Japantown. Exit points are at one, two, and three miles. Start your run at the Akiyama Wellness Center, 110 Jackson Street, San Jose.


In the three-mile run, prizes will be awarded for first-, second-, and third-place finishers for men and women in six age divisions: 12 & under, 13-19, 20-39, 40-59, 60-69, and 70 & over. There will also be prizes awarded for the largest family group, the best costume, and the most sponsor money raised.


Guarantee that you receive a free T-shirt by registering by April 14. Since this event is also a fundraiser for Yu-Ai Kai, please help by signing up sponsors and generating tax-deductible donations. Run/Walk registration is FREE to each individual who raises $75 or more in sponsor donations.  


Immediately following the awards ceremony, please join us at the annual health fair at the new Akiyama Wellness Center, which provides free massages and a wide variety of other health-related services. The Japantown Lions Club will also be there with the AJ Robinson Foundation mobile screening van, providing free screenings for vision and hearing.


Then stroll around the annual Nikkei Matsuri Festival, featuring cultural displays, crafts, food, and entertainment.


Cost: Adults $25; children (under 12) and seniors (60 and over) $17. Entries can be paid by Master Card, Visa, or check.         


Deadline to register:  April 14, 2013, for online registration; limited walk-up registration on day of event.  Register online at:  HTTP://nihonmachirun2013.eventbrite.com 

Registration must be completed by April 14, 2013, to guarantee a free T-shirt.
Meet the Author
Strawberry Yellow
Photo courtesy of Prospect Park Books.


Meet Naomi Hirahara 
Author of
Strawberry Yellow   

Saturday, May 4, 2013 

1:00 p.m.

Japanese American Museum of San Jose
Second Floor
535 N. Fifth Street

San Jose, CA  95112   


JAMsj will present another compelling Meet the Author, this time with author Naomi Hirahara. She will discuss her latest book, Strawberry Yellow, on May 4, 2013, at 1:00 p.m at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj). This book is Naomi's fifth book in her Edgar-winning detective series. This series features a curmudgeon of a Japanese-American gardener and unwitting detective, Mas Arai. He is a memorable protagonist unlike any other: a Hiroshima survivor, gardener, widower, gambler, grandfather, and solver of crimes. In Strawberry Yellow, he returns to the California strawberry farms of his youth and encounters not only family intrigue but also danger and eventually murder.
Naomi Hirahara
Author Noami Hirahara.  Photo courtesy of Prospect Park Books. 

Hirahara was born in Pasadena, California. Her father Isamu (known as

"Sam"), was also born in California, but was taken to Hiroshima, Japan, as an infant. He was only miles away from the epicenter of the atomic bomb blast in 1945, yet managed to survive. Naomi's mother Mayumi (known as"May") was born in Hiroshima and lost her father in the blast. Shortly after the end of World War II, Sam returned to Los Angeles and eventually established himself in the gardening and landscaping trade.

For more details about Naomi Hirahara and her books, visit
http://www.naomihirahara.com/ .  
Read more about Naomi Hirahara in  Discover Nikkei.

Cost: Event is free with admission to the museum (non-members, $5; students and seniors over age 65, $3; JAMsj members and children under 12, free).       


To RSVP, contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call the JAMsj office at (408) 294-3138.


Calendar of Events

April 28, 2013:  Kodomo No Hi
April 28, 2013:  Nihonmachi Run
May 4, 2013:  Book Talk with Naomi Hirahara, author of Strawberry Yellow
May 11, 2013:  Jack's Show

For more information about our public programs, please contact PublicPrograms@JAMsj.org

  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