JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
September 2013
In This Issue
Exhibit: Chidori Band and SJ Taiko
Book Club: Across Two Worlds - Memoirs of a Nisei Flower Grower
Event Cancelled: Grandparents Day
Film: Jimmy Murakami - Non-Alien
JAMsj Volunteer Fair
Special Screening: The Untold Story -- Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawaii
Calendar of Events
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In Memory of  

Jack Matsuoka

Jack Matsuoka  

The volunteers and members of JAMsj will deeply miss Jack Matsuoka, who passed away on Monday, August 26, 2013.  In addition to Jack's professional achievements as a historian and award-winning nationally syndicated cartoonist, he was a larger-than-life-figure in San Jose Japantown. His artwork and publications documented the experiences of the Japanese Americans' incarceration during World War II and touched many hearts around the world.  This spring, JAMsj was honored to open "Jack's Story," a special exhibit including some of Jack's most popular work.  JAMsj is privileged to continue featuring this exhibit through the end of 2013, and extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Jack Matsuoka.



JAMsj Winter Boutique Coming Up

Join JAMsj for a popular line-up of Bay Area artists, crafts people and guest authors at the annual Winter Boutique on November 9, 2013 at the San Jose Buddhist Church gymnasium, 640 N. Fifth Street in San Jose.  As in past years, museum members will be admitted one-hour earlier than non-members, beginning at 9:00 a.m.  Anyone wishing to purchase membership between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. will also be admitted during that time.  The general public hours are 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


  Chidori Band 
SJ Taiko Exhibits
Visitors at Japantown festivals enjoy live music and drumming performed by San Jose's Chidori Band or San Jose Taiko (SJT). Learn about these musical legends via new exhibits at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) on display through December 2013. This year, they celebrate hallmark anniversaries -- Chidori Band's 60th and SJT's 40th.


The Japantown air is permeated by a keen sense of harmony as evidenced by these two groups. JAMsj is proud to be a partnering organization with these performing arts groups -- an integral aspect of our history and culture.     



Questions? Please contact Aggie Idemoto at the Museum: info@jamsj.org, (408) 294-3138, or access the web site, (www.jamsj.org).

Book Club
Across Two Worlds: 
Memoirs of a Nisei Flower Grower

by Yoshimi Shibata 


Saturday, September 7, 2013

1:00 p.m.

  Japanese American Museum San Jose  

535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112

Across Two Worlds: Memoirs of a Nisei Flower Grower
by Yoshimi Shibata will be discussed at this month's book club. Shibata, along with his family owns and operates Mt. Eden Floral Company, headquartered in San Jose, CA. His daughter, Naomi Shibata agreed to join the discussion to share insights as a flower-grower's daughter.


The author shares principles for life and business such as his father's advice, "You have to be like a samurai -- Never, never, never, never give up" and one of his own guiding principles, "Play it straight. Don't cheat anyone to win." These are but two of the many inspirational lessons from Shimi.


Books are available for purchase at the Museum Store, Thursday - Sunday, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm. Questions? Contact Book Club facilitator, Aggie Idemoto, aggieidemoto@gmail.com  or call JAMsj at (408) 294-3138.  


The Book Club meets the first Saturday, every other month and is open to the public. Selections align with the Museum's focus -- Japanese American art, history and culture and are chosen collaboratively at the end of each meeting. 

Event Cancelled
Grandparents Day   
Originally scheduled for September 8, 2013
This event has been canceled. 
We lost a dear friend at JAMsj and the memorial service is on the same day. 
We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. 
Jimmy Murakami: Non-Alien  

A young Jimmy Murakami at Tule Lake Camp.
Jimmy Murakami
artwork courtesy of Loopline Film.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

1:00 p.m.


   Japanese American Museum San Jose     

535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112

Jimmy Murakami, internationally acclaimed, Oscar-
Murakami at Tule Lake.
Photo courtesy of Loopline Film.
nominated animator,  no longer wanted to be a U.S. citizen after his rights, and those of his family, were stripped away during WWII.  Looking for a sense of belonging, he tried living in Japan and Europe, eventually making Ireland his home.  Thirty years later, at the suggestion of his sibling, he returns to Tule Lake to confront his childhood demons and lingering anger with the American government that put him there.  


This documentary takes you on a journey that goes from his memories of Tule Lake as a child (depicted in his paintings), through his early personal life and career as a successful American animator, and to his attempts to find a country where he would feel he belonged.  It isn't until he is on the pilgrimage bus to Tule Lake that he finally finds people he can identify with. 

Murakami family living quarters inside camp (Jimmy is pictured sitting on the bed on his father's old shirt).  Jimmy Murakami artwork courtesy of Loopline Film.


Roughly half of the film takes place on the Tule Lake pilgrimage.  Those who have been on this pilgrimage over the past few years will no doubt remember being there for this critical part of Murakami's journey.  In fact, if they look closely, they might even see themselves in the film.


 For more information, visit this film's website (includes trailer):  http://loopline.com/project/murakami.


A list of Murakami's films can be found on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) website:

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

Please contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call (408) 294-3138 to reserve a spot.
Volunteer Opportunities
JAMsj Volunteer Fair

Sunday, September 22, 2013
1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. 

   Japanese American Museum San Jose     

535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112

On Sunday, September 22, 2013, you can join the dedicated volunteers of the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) from 1 to 3 p.m. at the volunteer fair. Volunteers are the heart of the JAMsj, giving countless hours serving as:

Photo courtesy of Andy Frazer
  • Receptionists
  • Docents
  • Library and archival specialists
  • Store staff
  • Display construction workers
  • Arts and craft experts
  • Helpers at special events-- from the Winter Boutique to Hinamatsuri

Come to JAMsj on September 22 to learn more about volunteering and meet a dedicated group of individuals who are building a place for future generations of Japanese Americans. 


Photo courtesy of Will Kaku
Volunteers start coming to JAMsj for a variety of reasons, including to ensure that the bravery shown by Japanese Americans during WW II is not forgotten or simply because they want to be more involved in the Japanese American community.   First, these volunteers undergo docent training to learn about the Japanese American experience and have the opportunity to understand how this relates to our world today. Now docents, they can provide a legacy for generations to come and even learn from visitors relating their own experiences. How often do you get to meet a 90-year-old who can tell you about farming in San Jose? Crafters gather on Friday afternoons to make cards to sell in the JAMsj store. Talented IT professionals, archivists, and librarians all volunteer to work together to preserve and share Japanese American art, history, and culture. JAMsj has good karma! Come and join JAMsj as a volunteer and you, too, can have good karma!

For more information, contact  VolunteerAdmin@JAMsj.org or (408) 294-3138
Special Screening
The Untold Story: 
Internment of Japanese Americans in Haw
Photo courtesy of JCCH

Saturday, October 5, 2013

1:00 p.m.


   Wesley United Methodist Church

566 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112

The Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) and Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS), in conjunction with the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i, present the first full-length documentary chronicling the WWII internment of Japanese Americans in Hawaiʻi.


Within 48 hours of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawai'i authorities
Photo courtesy of JCCH
arrested several hundred local residents, targeting Buddhist priests, Japanese language-school officials,  newspaper editors, business and community leaders. In total, more than 2,000 men and women of Japanese ancestry were arrested, detained, and interned at 13 different confinement sites located in Hawai'i. There was no evidence of espionage or sabotage, and no charges were ever filed against them.

The Untold Story, produced by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i, chronicles their story through oral histories, documents, interviews, and reenactments. 

The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i, a nonprofit organization based in Honolulu, strives to strengthen its diverse community by educating present and future generations in the evolving Japanese American experience in Hawai'i.

The Untold Story is based on original research but was assisted by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of the Interior.


For tickets and/or information, contact PublicPrograms@JAMsj.org or call CATS at (408) 867-4525. Tickets will also be available (by September 15) at JAMsj (Thursday to Sunday, from 12 noon to 4 p.m.) and Nikkei Traditions (for hours see the  Nikkei Traditions website ). 


Cost: This special screening requires advance tickets ($5 donation).    

Calendar of Events

September 15, 2013:  Film:  Jimmy Murakami: Non-Alien
September 22, 2013:  JAMsj Volunteer Fair
October 5, 2013:  Film:  The Untold Story -- Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai'i
Through December 2013:  Chidori Band and SJ Taiko Exhibit
Through December 2013:  Jack's Story -- His Life and Sketches

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

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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