JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
September 2014
In This Issue
CAAMfest San Jose
Grandparents Day
Free Writing Workshop
Connected Cranes Workshop
Book Club: From Asahi to Zebras
Japanese American Farm House
Return to Heart Mountain: A Celebration of JA Baseball
Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage
Calendar of Events
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Active-duty military personnel and their families are encouraged to visit JAMsj free of charge year round
. The museum is open from Thursday to Sunday, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.


September 13, 2014 
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Mountain View Buddhist Temple Gym 

CAAMfest San Jose

Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice
Thursday, September 4, 2014
7:00 p.m.

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

The Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) is pleased to announce that we will once again be a host venue for the Center for Asian American Media's CAAMfest San Jose showcase. Celebrating its twelfth year in San Jose, CAAMFest San Jose presents films and events reflecting the impact and influence of Asian Americans in Silicon Valley and their continuous innovation in technology, arts and culture, media, and community.



CAAMFest San Jose and JAMsj are honored to host a special screening of Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice by Rea Tajiri. This film commemorates the life and legacy of Yuri Kochiyama, a Japanese American icon and civil rights activitst who continues to inspire new generations of Asian Americans.  In fact, her political activism has already touched thousands of lives across many diverse communities.  Unfortunately, Kochiyama passed away at the age of 93 this past June.

UPDATE:  Director Rea Tajiri will NOT be in attendance due to a health concern in her family
Cost: Free.

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

Kids Cultural Event
Grandparents Day

Sunday, September 7, 2014
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

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

In celebration of National Grandparents Day, JAMsj and Lotus Preschool are teaming up to bring you a fun-filled day of cultural activities for kids and their grandparents, including:

  • Kamishibai (story-telling) 
  • Photo Shoots
  • Kids Crafts
  • Origami
  • Jan-Ken-Po Tournament
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Genealogy
  • Traditional Japanese Toys and Children's Games:  Kendama, Daruma Otoshi, Ohajiki (flat marbles), Ayatori (Cat's Cradle string game), hanafuda (card game)

...and more!  


Please come and enjoy this special event with your grandkids!

For more information, contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org


Free Writing Workshop
Presented by Discover Nikkei
Sunday, September 21, 2014
1:00 p.m.

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

What's in a name?

Discover Nikkei is launching a new writing series called "Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, Joćo?" to explore what your name says about you and the origins of Nikkei names.

In conjunction with this series, Discover Nikkei is offering FREE one-time writing workshops in multiple cities and countries to encourage submissions to Nikkei Names. These workshops are designed to help students of all writing levels develop a point of view, characters, and a narrative voice to tell the stories about their names. This can include family names, given names, and even nicknames!

Please join us at the San Jose workshop at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) and share your stories about your name on DiscoverNikkei.org!


SUSAN ITO co-edited the literary anthology A Ghost At Heart's Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption (North Atlantic Books). Her work has appeared in Growing Up Asian American, Choice, Literary Mama, The Bellevue Literary Review, Making More Waves, as well as other publications. She writes and teaches at the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, UC Berkeley Extension, and the MFA Program at Bay Path College. Her website is

Enrollment limit: 20 people

To guarantee your space, please RSVP by emailing Discover Nikkei at Editor@DiscoverNikkei.org and include your name, contact information, and the date (September 21) / location (JAMsj) for the workshop that you would like to attend.



Paper and pencils will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own writing tools. A photograph of yourself is also suggested, both as a writing prompt and for your author biography. Most importantly, participants are expected to bring an enthusiasm for experimenting with voice and form, as well as a willingness to explore the theme of "Nikkei names" for on-line publication at the Discover Nikkei webpage. 



Cost:  FREE


Contact Editor@DiscoverNikkei.org to reserve a spot. 


Origami with Linda Mihara

Linda Tomoko Mihara 
Saturday, September 27, 2014

Part I:  Connected Cranes Workshop
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Part II:  Modular Origami Workshop
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

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

Have you ever wanted to master the technique for folding multiple, connected cranes with a single sheet of paper? Or perhaps you have been thinking about trying your hand at a modular origami project? This is your chance! Acclaimed origami artist Linda Tomoko Mihara returns to JAMsj for two workshops this year to share the art of Rokoan and the joy of modular origami! 



Part I: Connected Cranes Workshop

Photos courtesy of Linda Tomoko Mihara

This class is all about the origami crane. Warm up with the classic origami crane, learn a few fun variations, and then try the Rokoan style of connected cranes (multiple cranes folded from a single sheet of paper).


Learn from a master. Mihara is well known for her rokoan art pieces, including rare 3-dimensional designs in cube and even sphere formations. Her Rokoan art has been exhibited in several museums and was included in the popular Folding Paper traveling exhibition, which showcased contemporary origami art pieces by renowned international artists such as Mihara. She will be bringing several of her art pieces to show at this event.



Part II: Modular Origami Workshop


Photos courtesy of Linda Tomoko Mihara 


Geometry and origami come together in the second session of this workshop. Learn how to make two different origami units, which are then interlocked to make beautiful decorative ornaments. Great for all levels of origami folders.



This program will include a trunk sale showcasing origami related products from The Paper Tree shop in San Francisco.


Participants are welcome to bring their own lunch and chat with Mihara during the break between the morning and afternoon programs. We may also have an option to order lunch from a local restaurant. 


Rokoan artwork by Linda Tomoko Mihara
LINDA TOMOKO MIHARA has been an origami guest lecturer and teacher at many events, but this is her first time speaking about origami fashion. Her pieces are part of several museum collections, including the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, California, and Hangar7 in Salzburg, Austria. A professional origami artist and designer, Mihara specializes in origami for TV commercials and international events. Her clients include Mitsubishi Motors, Chanel, Hermes, Visa, the Washington Post, Pixar, and Disney. She has just completed origami work for a commercial for McDonald's, scheduled to air soon. More information on Mihara, including examples of her work, can be found on her website (origamihara.com). 
Must be 17 or older. Workshop is limited to a maximum of 30 participants (minimum 8 students). 


Cost: $15 class fee for each workshop plus admission to the museum (nonmembers, $5; students and seniors over age 65, $3; JAMsj members and children under 12, free). A small materials fee may apply. Active volunteers are given a $5 discount off the class fee.


Contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org to reserve a spot.
Book Club
From Asahi to Zebras 
by Ralph Pearce 


Saturday, October 4, 2014 
1:00 p.m.

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



The Japanese American Museum of San Jose has chosen Ralph Pearce's baseball book, From Asahi to Zebras for the October 4th meeting.


This book chronicles Northern California JA baseball teams of the early 1900's and is a compilation of interviews about colorful players.


The book club is open to all. The Book Club meets the first Saturday, every other month, and is open to the public. Books may be purchased at the museum store, whose hours are Thursday to Sunday, 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. 



Cost: Free with admission to the museum (non-members, $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.
Jimi Yamaichi 
Open House:  Japanese American Farm House Exhibit 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

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


Jimi Yamaichi, JAMsj co-founder and curator, has been hard at work, creating a vintage Japanese American ranch exhibit house in back of the main Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) building. Timed to coincide with Aki Matsuri, the annual fall festival held at nearby Wesley United Methodist Church, JAMsj will host an open house for the new exhibit featuring first-hand stories about life on the farm, told by those who lived the experience.  As an added treat, we have a special guest coming to demonstrate tsukemono making!  Stay tuned for more details!


If you or anyone you know has stories to tell about life on a Japanese American farm before, during, or soon after WWII, let us know by contacting PublicPrograms@JAMsj.org

Return to Heart Mountain:
A Celebration of Japanese American Baseball

Sunday, October 26, 2014

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


The Japanese American Museum of San Jose  
the Nisei Baseball Research Project  
are partnering to bring you a JA baseball reunion!


It's the bottom of the ninth, two outs, and a three-two count for Yonsei Gosei. It's this generation's last chance to see the "living treasures" that paved the way for future JA athletes to step up to the plate and become successful. These Nisei all-star legends played at major-league level inside America's concentration camps during WWII. Come hear the stories and recollections of this "greatest generation" first-hand before time steals them away.














Gila River Relocation Center All-Stars and Heart Mountain Relocation Center All-Stars, September 1944. 

Photos courtesy of Kerry Yo Nakagawa.


Join the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) and Nisei Baseball Research Project (NBRP) as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the famous series of games between the Gila River and Heart Mountain ball clubs. Special guests of honor include former ballplayers who will share stories of their experience.  JA baseball historians Kerry Yo Nakagawa, Bill Staples Jr., and Ralph Pearce will be on hand to talk about how these special guests, as well as many other players, built the Japanese American baseball legacy.  Our 1:00 p.m. program will be preceded by an informal social gathering starting at noon (details to be announced later).  Stay tuned for more information. Please join us on Sunday, October 26, 2014, for this once-in-a-lifetime anniversary recognition and celebration of Japanese American baseball 



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


Contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org to reserve a spot.

Community Partnerships
Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage
Presented by the Nichi Bei Foundation,
in partnership with the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation
Saturday, October 4, 2014 
10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Angel Island Immigration Station 

Rediscover the little-known history of the Japanese and Japanese American legacy at Angel Island, where 85,000 persons of Japanese descent-the second largest immigrant group-landed between 1910 to 1940, before actually setting foot in America.

Japanese picture brides arrive on Angel Island

This story and historic site would have been lost if Alexander Weiss hadn't discovered the melancholy poem carvings in the walls of the immigration barracks, which were slated to be demolished. Weiss is an employee of the California State Parks and a student of San Francisco State University's Professor George Araki. Weiss told Araki about the carvings, which led to a movement to save the immigration barracks, just as the Department of Asian American Studies was being form at San Francisco State University.



The pilgrimage features many events, including the following:  

  • Guest speaker Judy Yung, co-author of Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America
  • Nikkei History at Angel Island exhibit and talk
  • Site tours
  • Genealogical research
  • Storytelling
  • Music
  • Kid's Corner

Program is 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Program with speakers and performance to begin at 12:30 p.m. 


For more information and to RSVP as groups or individuals, visit www.nichibei.org/angel-island-pilgrimage or e-mail programs@nichibeifoundation.org.




Calendar of Events

September 4, 2014:  CAAMfest San Jose:  Yuri Kochiyama -- Passion for Justice
September 7, 2014:  Grandparents Day
September 21, 2014:  Discover Nikkei Free Writing Workshop
September 27, 2014:  Origami Workshops with Linda Mihara
October 4, 2014:  Book Club:  From Asahi to Zebras
October 4, 2014:  Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage
October 11, 2014:  Japanese American Farm House Exhibit Open House
October 26, 2014:  Return to Heart Mountain:  A Celebration of Japanese American Baseball

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