JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
May 2014
In This Issue
After Camp: Post-War Nisei Life and Politics
Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America
Giant Robot and the Super Awesome Art of Today
Meet the Author: Naomi Hirahara
Asian American Filmmaking
Book Club -- The Principled Politician: The Ralph Carr Story
CSM Asian Pacific American Film Festival
When Dreams Are Interrupted -- San Jose
Calendar of Events
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Scholar Presentation

After Camp:  Post-War Nisei Life
and Politics 

featuring

Dr. Greg Robinson
 

      

Saturday, May 3, 2014

1:00 p.m.

       

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

University of California Press photo. 
Courtesy of Author

Join us as award-winning author, Nichi Bei Weekly columnist, and noted scholar of Japanese American history, Dr. Greg Robinson, discusses his work concerning a large, unexplored area of American history: the midcentury Japanese American experience.

 

There is a large literature devoted to Japanese immigration and settlement, as well as the official confinement of some 120,000 ethnic Japanese from the West Coast during World War II. Yet, the essential question, "What happened after people left camp?" remains all but unanswered by historians. Excluded from the wartime economic boom and scarred psychologically by their wartime ordeal, the former camp inmates struggled to remake their lives in the years that followed.  Even if the resettlement and renewal that followed the release of inmates from camp lack the massive drama and conflict of the wartime events, they must be counted as equally important, if not more so, in setting the course of people's lives and fortunes.

 

Greg Robinson.
Photo courtesy of L'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

 

Greg Robinson is a full professor of history at l'Université du Québec À Montréal, a French-language institution in Montreal, Canada. A specialist in North American ethnic studies and U.S. political history, he is the author of many notable books, including:  By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans, A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America, After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics and Pacific Citizens: Larry and Guyo Tajiri and Japanese American Journalism in the World War II Era

 


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.

Photography Workshop
 
A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America  

    

Sunday, May 4, 2014

2:00 p.m.

       

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

"Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America" is sponsored by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and will take place on May 10, 2014.  On that day, thousands of amateur, professional, and casual photographers alike are invited to take pictures and create videos that reflect their vision of Asian Pacific America.

 

In support of that event, local photographers Curt Fukuda and Jim Nagareda, along with filmmaker Duane Kubo, will host a pre-shoot workshop on Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m. at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj).  Fukuda and Nagareda will share their favorite documentary photos from their upcoming book on the history of San Jose Japantown, as well contemporary photos taken in the Asian American communities.  Details regarding the Flickr upload and parameters for participating in "Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America" will also be discussed.  It is not mandatory to take the workshop in order to participate in the event.  However, all are welcome on May 4 to get details, meet others, and possibly collaborate.

 


Cost: Free.

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

Pop Culture
Giant Robot and the Super Awesome Art of Today
featuring
Eric Nakamura 
  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

1:00 p.m.

       

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

"Giant Robot is an experience, a world curated by Eric filled with interesting figurines, beautiful art and unique adventures." -- Duane Fernandez (LeftFieldProject.com, September 2013)

 


Eric Nakamura has been called the unofficial ambassador of Asian pop culture. He has curated nearly 300 exhibitions, from California to New York, including the highly successful
Giant Robot Biennales at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles and
SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot,  currently on exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California. He has touched the lives of hundreds of artists around the world, several of whom credit him as being the single most significant force that impacted their careers.

 

 

In 1994, Nakamura created a "zine"- a self-published work, put together in his bedroom with scissors and glue, then photocopied. He couldn't find a magazine out there that fit his interests, so he created his own and named it Giant Robot. Rooted in punk and focusing on Asian pop culture and Asian American alternative culture, this new magazine struck a chord and soon found an audience with young Asian Americans.

 

"Some Asian American magazines came and went, and their problem was that they didn't say anything, and they tried to express words for everyone. If you're trying to make something unique, then it's best to stay with your tastes, since ultimately, that's what will make your product special." Twenty years later, Giant Robot has transitioned from a print magazine to a web presence , stores, and an art gallery-a place where many Asian American artists and fans loyally come on a regular basis.

 

On May 10, 2014, Nakamura will be at JAMsj to share his story as he talks about the West Coast's Asian pop culture influenced the art scene and the impact of Giant Robot.

 


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

Contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call (408) 294-3138 to reserve a spot.

Book Talk
 
Meet the Author:  Naomi Hirahara
author of Murder on Bamboo Lane
 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

1:00 p.m.

       

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

Edgar Award-winning author Naomi Hirahara returns to JAMsj to introduce Murder on Bamboo Lane, the first in her new mystery series. This new series follows the exploits of Officer Ellie Rush, a 23-year-old hapa bicycle cop for the LAPD.

  

"I wrote this new series to present the real-world challenges of young people of color in an entertaining way," said Hirahara, who also writes the Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Kibei Nisei gardener and Hiroshima survivor. "I also wanted to place downtown Los Angeles, my beloved city, on center stage."

 

In Murder on Bamboo Lane, rookie cop Ellie gets involved in the investigation of the murder of a Vietnamese American college classmate, whose body is found on Bamboo Lane in Chinatown during the Lunar New Year weekend. Ellie's aunt, Cheryl Toma, happens to be the highest-ranking Asian American officer within the LAPD, which both helps and challenges Ellie's aspirations to someday become a homicide detective.

 

The trade reviews of the new book have been uniformly positive:

 

"Readers will want to see more of Ellie, who provides a fresh perspective on L.A.'s rich ethnic mix." --Publishers Weekly

 

"The author has also done a fantastic job of creating a main character who is both warm and realistic as she tackles a murder investigation close to her heart. This novel is a wonderful read." --Romantic Times (four stars)

 

"Hirahara's new series debut strikes just the right tone, neatly tuned into the twenty-something set. Her multi-ethnic cast promises a fascinating future for a cozy series tangling with serious topics." --Library Journal 

 

 

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

 

Contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call (408) 294-3138 to reserve a spot. 

   
Asian American Filmmaking
 
The Visioning of Asian America
as Told Through the Eyes
of Duane Kubo 
 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

1:00 p.m.

       

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

Duane Kubo, a co-founder of the Los Angeles-based Asian American media arts group, Visual Communications, will present short scenes and clips from his many media productions at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) on May 24, at 1 p.m.

 

Included in the program will be scenes from the first Asian American feature-length film Hito Hata: Raise the Banner, which highlighted Mako as well as Pat Morita in his first feature-film role. Other productions to be screened include Crusin' J-Town, an early documentary portrait of emerging Asian American culture and the jazz fusion group Hiroshima, and Something's Rotten in Little Tokyo, Visual Communications' direct community involvement media project, as well as the group's critical analysis of the redevelopment of Little Tokyo.

  

Kubo will also show excerpts from the historic hearings, Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC), held in Los Angeles in 1985. He viewed nearly 30 hours of extremely personal and cathartic testimony and edited it down to a two-hour video.

               

Kubo will also talk about his involvement in the Asian American Historical Photo Archive project, which continues today, and the collection of more than100,000 historical photos. He will also discuss the selection of local historical photographs taken from this collection as part of the Japanese Legacybook project authored by Gary Okihiro. These photos formed the basis for the 1992 Japantown centennial celebration photo exhibit, as well as the JAMsj photo collection.  And finally, Kubo will end with a description of his latest project -- J-Town Community TV.

 

 

Duane Kubo, a San Jose native, is a UCLA film school graduate, an instructor of Asian American studies, and a retired dean of the Intercultural-International Studies Division at De Anza College.

 

 

Cost: Free with admission to the museum (non-members, $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.

Book Club
 
The Principled Politician:  The Ralph Carr Story


     

Saturday, June 7, 2014

1:00 p.m. 

 

Japanese American Museum of San Jose

535 N. 5th Street

San Jose, CA 

 

Negative press was nothing new for Colorado governor Ralph Carr, a rare breed of politician who held his ground against popular opinion and was ahead of the curve in championing civil rights. Serving as governor during the anti-Japanese hysteria of WWII, Carr surprised and angered legions of voters -- and faced threats of impeachment -- when he became the only political leader in the country to champion the constitutional rights of Japanese Americans and welcome them to his state. 

 

The Book Club meets the first Saturday, every other month, and is open to the public.

 

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

Questions? Contact Book Club facilitator, Aggie Idemoto at aggie@jamsj.org, or call JAMsj at (408) 294-3138.

Community Partnerships
 
CSM Hosts its Fifth Annual
Asian Pacific American Film Festival

   

The Ethnic Studies Department of the College of San Mateo (CSM) presents its Fifth Annual Asian Pacific American Film Festival on two different days in May.

 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

College of San Mateo
CSM Main Theatre (Building #3)

 

At 1 p.m. Evan Jackson Leong's Linsanity -- documentary film about the rise of Palo Alto's Jeremy Lin and his now legendary NBA run. Q&A with producer Christopher C. Chen. Performance by Hui `Ohana o CSM.

 

At 7 p.m., Benito Bautista's Harana -- documentary chronicling a Filipino musical style featuring wonderful stories of love and romance that had almost faded away but has recently been regaining popularity. Q&A with producers Fides Enriquez and Florante Aguilar. Opening performance with guitarist Florante Aguilar and singer Danny "Harana" Bulandi.

 

Cost: $5 suggested donation (no one turned away). Parking is free on May 3 (Beethoven Lot #2 only).

 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

College of San Mateo
Building 10, Room 194 (College Center - #10)

 

At 12 noon, Debbie Lum's Seeking Asian Female -- documentary about "yellow fever," a slang term referring to persons who have a strong preference for things Asian -- in this instance, Asian women. Q&A session with director Debbie Lum. Panel with Asian Pacific Islander American women faculty and staff members.

Cost: Admission is free. Parking day permit required ($2/day).

 


For additional information please contact Lewis Kawahara at (650) 574-6614 or KawaharaL@smccd.edu or go to the "Events Calendar" on the CSM website (www.collegeofsanmateo.edu).
 

Community Partnerships
 
When Dreams Are Interrupted -- San Jose  
 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

3:00 p.m.

       

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
  560 S. First Street
San Jose, CA  95113

When Dreams Are Interrupted will be performed on Sunday, May 25, at 3 p.m. at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) as the closing event for the The Tag Project by sculptural artist Wendy Maruyama, part of a joint exhibit.  

 

When Dreams Are Interrupted is a riveting, site-specific performance that uncovers the profound imprint left on a neighborhood by the forced removal and mass evacuation of Japanese American communities in 1942. Purple Moon Dance Project's artistic director, Jill Togawa, as well as Arisika Razak, Ruth Ichinaga, and Sharon Sato, explore and infuse The Tag Project, drawing out the stories and memories amassed by Maruyama and highlighting local history and stories, both known and newly uncovered.

 

The collaboration between Togawa and Maruyama began when they met and collaborated at the Tule Lake Pilgrimage in 2009.  For the first time, strings of tags with handwritten names of former WRA inmates prepared by Maruyama and community volunteers became part of the staging for the performance of When Dreams Are Interrupted.  This performance was followed by others in San Diego (2011) and Little Rock (2013). The new San Jose performance brings this unique collaboration with The Tag Project to the Bay Area for the first time.

 

The San Jose visual art installation includes three integrated parts: 

 

  • Executive Order 9066--wood-mounted sculptures by Maruyama
  • The Tag Project--ten, large-scale, hanging paper sculptures with 120,000 identification tags representing everyone who was incarcerated
  • Executive Order 9066: Memories and Artifacts--curated and presented at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj)

 

The free event will be held at ICA, 560 South First Street, San Jose. Seating is limited.  Please RSVP by calling (408) 283-8155.  Donations are welcome.  

 

For more information, contact Jill Shiraki at jshiraki@sbcglobal.net.  

 

Calendar of Events


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
www.jamsj.org