JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
January 2014
In This Issue
Season of Giving
Art Class: Sumi-e for the New Year
Poetry Readings: Honoring Ourselves Through Our Writing
Special Event: Searchlight Serenade
Group Discussion: Talk Story -- Obaachan's Evolving Pantry
Ai Love Japan - Tohoku Update 2014
Calendar of Events
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'Tis the Season to Give...

Support JAMsj Now 

Because the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) is a 501(c) (3), tax-exempt, nonprofit organization, it's financial support comes from memberships, grants, donations, the Winter Boutique, admission fees, and retail proceeds. Governed by a board of directors, the museum is solely run by nonpaid staff and more than 150 volunteers working to collect, preserve, and share Japanese American art, history, and culture with an emphasis on the greater Bay Area. Through this mission JAMsj hopes to leave a lasting legacy about the Japanese American experience for present and future generations.


Please consider including JAMsj in your estate planning. There are several ways to do this: IRA charitable distributions, charitable gift annuities, and charitable unitrusts, as well as outright bequests. Gifts may include cash, stocks, bonds, retirement assets such as IRA distributions, life insurance, and real estate.


A financial advisor can suggest ways to incorporate gift-giving to JAMsj in your estate planning. More information is available at http://www.jamsj.org/japanese-american-history-museum-san-jose/support-us. If you have questions, please contact us at (408)-294-3138 or at robert@jamsj.org.


If you have a background in financial planning and would like to volunteer to help JAMsj in this area, we welcome your involvement.


Thank you for your continued support,


Aggie Idemoto, Ed. D., President


Robert McKibbin, Fund Development Director  

Art Class

Sumi-e for the New Year   
Photo courtesy of instructor
Sunday, January 12, 2014 
1:00 p.m.

Japanese American Museum of San Jose

535 S. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Experience the spirit and exuberance of the contemporary, yet ancient, art of Japanese ink painting: sumi-e. Learn to create classic themes and techniques, called the Four Gentlemen: bamboo, orchid, chrysanthemum, and plum blossom. Each theme introduces a different stroke or idea. Students will end by painting a horse to celebrate 2014, the year of the horse.


In Japan, sumi-e was first introduced in the 7th Century AD by Japanese scholars returning from a visit to China. Chinese calligraphy and painting became uniquely adapted to Japanese culture and identity. Zen Buddhist priests also used sumi-e as a Zen exercise and discipline. Many Western artists, especially the Impressionists, studied sumi-e or have been influenced by its beauty and freedom of expression.



SHIRLEY LIN KINOSHITA is an experienced artist and instructor of Asian brush painting and watercolor. She has taught at Hakone Gardens, for adult education programs, and privately in her home. Shirley is an instructor and member of the Sumi-e Society of America.




Cost: $10 class fee plus admission to the museum (nonmembers, $5; students and seniors over age 65, $3; JAMsj members and children under 12, free). An additional $3 materials fee (cash only) will be collected at the beginning of class. Class fee is reduced to $5 for members who are active volunteers at the museum.


Class is limited to 20 students; 5-student minimum. RSVP early. Please contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call (408) 294-3138 to reserve a spot.

Live Poetry Readings


Honoring Ourselves Through Our Writing

Saturday, January 18, 2014

1:00 p.m. 

Japanese American Museum San Jose
535 N. 5th Street
San Jose, CA  95112

Ever wonder what your grandparents, parents, or siblings thought or felt during the internment and its aftermath? Poetry gives voice to what cannot be spoken, distills experiences, and exposes the universality of intimate moments. Issei tanka poems set the stage for special guest, Nisei poet Mitsuye Yamada (author, Camp Notes), as well as Sansei poets Roger Abe, Stefanie Kaku, and Ann Muto (author, Open Passage). They are all experts at honoring the legacy of poetry which enlightens their lives. An audience open mic will close the program.

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

RSVP required. Please contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call (408) 294-3138 to reserve a spot.


Special Event

 Searchlight Serenade
Camp Days Music

Saturday, February 1, 2014
5:00 p.m.

Wesley United Methodist Church
566 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112


Big bands and music played vital roles in Japanese American internment camps, whether it was as therapy or as a connection to the Nisei's American identity. Now JAMsj public programs and CATS are joining forces to bring you a unique fundraiser exploring these roles through a screening of the documentary, Searchlight Serenade, and a Q&A session with the filmmaker and artist Amy Uyeki. Guests will also be treated to a special live performance of WWII era music by the Wesley Jazz Ensemble.


Searchlight Serenade gives viewers a first-hand look at the big bands formed during WWII in the Japanese American Internment camps from 1942 to 1945. You'll hear the stories of 9 musicians and singers, including the film's advisor Yoshida (who helped locate the featured band members), Joe Shiro, Yone Fukui, and Frances (Chickie) Ishihara White. KEET-TV and Uyeki bring their stories to life through archival footage and a 12-minute animation created from Uyeki's original woodblock prints and drawings. These works of art were inspired by actual events of some of the musicians and singers she interviewed. The film reminds viewers of the positive impact music and art can have on people during difficult times. 


Wesley Jazz Ensemble.  Photo courtesy of www.pgbgroup.com 
Amy Uyeki's animation. 
Artwork courtesy of

Please join us for a Q&A session after the screening with Uyeki. This session will be followed by a live performance from the Wesley Jazz Ensemble, who will perform classics such as Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serenade," Duke Ellington's "Take the A Train," and Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind."


Amy Uyeki is an award-winning visual artist whose work can be seen in

Amy Uyeki. 
Photo courtesy of www.discovernikkei.org

national magazines and book, including Print's Best Logos and Designs, Print Magazine, East/West Magazine, and Simple Screenprinting. Working extensively with woodblock prints and lino-cut prints, she has won numerous awards, including an International Achievement Award from the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) for banner design for the Redwood National and State Parks, as well as a Visual Arts Fellowship for printmaking from the California Arts Council. She's also a recipient of numerous grants, including the NEA, California Council for the Humanities, and the New Langton Arts Initiative.


Wesley Jazz Ensemble has become a permanent figure in the San Francisco Bay Area, performing on a wide range of stages, including those of Sake San Jose, Nikkei Matsuri, and various community centers. The band has grown over the years from its start in 1996 with Troop 201, known then as the Wesley Boy Scout Band. Now consisting of seven horns, a full-rhythm section (five players), and five vocalists, the band performs a variety of songs, including the big band hits of the swing era, jazz, blues, Dixieland, Latin, rock and roll, J-pop hits, Motown, and today's popular tunes. Under the direction of founder Wayne Hidachi, the ensemble was awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition (signed by the Honorable Michael Honda) at the JACL awards dinner (San Jose chapter). The award was given in October 2011 for its musical service (performances) for various community events in the South Bay. You can catch the group performing at church events, community organizations, and for senior citizen groups.

Cost: No fee at the door but donations greatly appreciated. 

RSVP early. Please contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call (408) 294-3138 to reserve a spot.

You can find more information on big bands in camp at http://searchlight-serenade.org/Searchlight_Serenade/Searchlight_Serenade.html 

 Group Discussion
"Talk Story:  Obaachan's Evolving Pantry"


Saturday, February 8, 2014
12:00 p.m.

Japanese American Museum of San Jose  
  535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112

Spam musubi, sukiyaki, "weenie royale" (shoyu hot dogs), sashimi, tofu pork stew, kare (curry) rice, spaghetti sandwich, okayu . . . What do Japanese Americans eat at home, and how has this changed over time?


The bombing of Pearl Harbor, the signing of Executive Order 9066 -- to say that these events significantly changed the lives of Japanese Americans would be an understatement. But how did all this impact the eating habits of Japanese Americans (JAs)? What did JAs eat before, during, and after WWII?

Photos courtesy of Vicki Murakami-Tsuda


JAMsj invites you to join us for group discussion as the community shares memories and thoughts on the topic of what JAs eat and how it has changed over time. This moderated discussion will feature special guests from the JA community and plenty of opportunities for audience participation.


Participants are invited to bring a favorite nostalgic dish to sample or come with just your fond memories. Either way, we hope you will join us for what promises to be a lively discussion, full of shared memories; personal stories; and friends, both old and new.



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.
Visiting Tohoku and Update
Ai Love Japan - Tohoku Update 2014 


Saturday, February 22, 2014

5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  


Japanese American Museum of San Jose  
  535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112
Visiting Tohoku After the Quake

by Michael Sera


            After the "Tohoku Insights 2013" event at JAMsj last year, I was inspired to visit the Tohoku area and see the aftermath first hand. My journey was made richer because I was able to visit the region with professional photographer and journalist Darrell Miho, a, a co-founder of Ai Love Japan. Because the mission of Ai-Love Japan is to document survivor stories and provide direct aid to the people most affected by the earthquake, Miho has visited the Tohoku area more than a dozen times since the disaster of March 2011. We made the trip the weekend of May 24, 2013, and visited the cities of Matsushima, Nagatsura, Ishinomaki, and Minamisanriku. During our travels, we met many locals who surprised me with their positive energy and enthusiasm.  ...Read more on the JAMsj Blog. 



JAMsj will be hosting another Tohoku event on February 22, 2014, "Ai Love Japan--Tohoku Update 2014," to provide an update on how the people in the area are now doing. Ai Love co-founder Miho will provide a pictorial and video update from his many visits to Tohoku. We will then place Skype video calls to the people we met during our visit. This will give participants a chance to interact with and hear directly from the people who were most affected.

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

Reserve your spot by contacting PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or calling (408) 294-3138.   


Calendar of Events

January 12, 2014:   Sumi-e for the New Year (All levels)
January 15, 2014:  Jack's Show:  His Life and Sketches Exhibit closes
January 18, 2014:  Poetry Reading:   Honoring Ourselves Through our Writing
February 1, 2014:  Special Event:  Searchlight Serenade
February 8, 2014:  Group Discussion:  Talk Story -- Obaachan's Evolving Pantry
February 22, 2014:  Ai Love Japan -- Tohoku Update 2014
March 2, 2014:  Hinamatsuri Event 

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