JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
October 2014
In This Issue
Book Club: From Asahi to Zebras
Japanese American Farm House
Scholar Presentation: Amy Sueyoshi
Return to Heart Mountain: A Celebration of JA Baseball
JAMsj Winter Boutique
Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage
Save the Date: Heart Mountain Town Hall Event
Calendar of Events
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. The museum is open from Thursday to Sunday, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.

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 1900s and is a compilation of interviews about colorful players.  We are pleased to announce that Ralph Pearce will be joining us, so come and meet the author! 


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.
Exhibit Grand Opening

Japanese American Farm House Exhibit
Common items found in a Japanese farm house. 
Photo courtesy of Steve Fujita

Saturday, October 11, 2014

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

The new Japanese American Farm House Exhibit brings together many elements central to the lives of early Santa Clara Valley Japanese Americans.  This exhibit, in the North Quonset Hut in the back of the museum, captures the texture of pre-WWII and early postwar Japanese American farming life by featuring the household and farming implements that they commonly used. Some, like the egg carrier, meat cutting saw, flower stem cutter and scale were necessary to run the farm efficiently. Others, for example, the charcoal-heated iron, dressmaking scissors, hair clippers, kerosene heater and stoves and high chair were items used by virtually all persons living in the Santa Clara Valley at the time. Still others, such as the several implements used to make mochi were important for maintaining Japanese cultural and family traditions.  


Several of the photo displays, capture how pre-WWII Japanese Americans practiced their version of intensive agriculture. Although the growers were often innovative and ingenious, farming still required long hours and the ability to deal with frequently capricious weather and markets. Another series of photos documents how a number of farmers who returned to the Santa Clara Valley after release from the WWII incarceration, restarted their lives sharecropping strawberries.


Rich Saito (front) and Chris Hioki (rear) check out the new
farm house display.  Photo Courtesy of Steve Fugita
Items frequently found in a Japanese farm house.  Photo courtesy of Steve Fugita. 




















Exhibit Open House

October 11, 2014

11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 


To celebrate the grand opening, JAMsj will host an open house on October 11, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., showcasing the new exhibit. Timed to coincide with Aki Matsuri, the annual fall festival held at nearby Wesley United Methodist Church, JAMsj will be featuring first-hand stories about life on the farm, told by those who lived the experience.  As an added treat, Kerry Yo Nakagawa be on hand to demonstrate tsukemono making!  Check our website (www.JAMsj.org)  for details as the date approaches.  The open house is free to the public and limited to our agricultural exhibit area.


The open house will be preceded at 10:00 a.m. by a dedication ceremony, honoring the Sakauye Family in memory and appreciation of Eiichi Sakauye.  For more information, contact public programs@JAMsj.org.


LGBT History Month

Queer Compulsions:  Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the
Affairs of Yone Noguchi
featuring Dr. Amy Sueyoshi 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

1:00 p.m. 

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


At the turn of the century, Japanese immigrant poet Yone Noguchi, the father of renown Asian American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, took a number of rather unconventional and contradictory actions.  He: 

  • Wrote love letters to western writer Charles Warren Stoddard
  • Impregnated editor Leonie Gilmour
  • Proposed marriage to journalist Ethel Armes

Join us as author Dr. Sueyoshi discusses her work and the complex interaction between lived sexualities and socio-legal mores, tracing how one man negotiated affection across cultural, linguistic, and moral divides to find fulfillment in unconventional yet acceptable ways.   


Dr. Sueyoshi's book, Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi unveils Noguchi's interracial and same-sex affairs to assert that Asian Americans found romantic fulfillment even within a California which was reportedly anti-Japanese and heteronormative*. Moreover, Asians and Pacific Islanders would play a critical role in defining what attraction and affection meant within America's supposedly all-white bohemian community.


Noguchi's intimate life illustrates how seemingly sex-segregated worlds of "romantic friendships" collided in desire and deception. While Noguchi's affairs seem to resist existing mores, they powerfully reflected gender, racial, and imperial realities of the time. Most notably, he manipulated race, gender, and sexuality in his quest for personal happiness.

 *Of, relating to, or based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality (Merriam Webster)

Dr. Amy Sueyoshi
Photo by Mia Nakano 



DR. AMY SUEYOSHI is the associate dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. Dr. Sueyoshi is a historian by training, specializing in sexuality, gender, and race. She has published and lectured on a number of issues regarding race and sexuality, including cross-dressing, pornography, and marriage equality. 



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, or call (408) 294-3138 to reserve a spot. 

In celebration of LGBT History Month, the San Jose JACL is presenting a program immediately after ours. At 3:00 p.m. at the San Jose JACL (Issei Memorial Building, 565 N. Fifth Street): "Looking for Jiro Onuma: Queer Perspectives on Wartime Incarceration" featuring Dr. Tina Takemoto, explores the hidden dimensions of same-sex intimacy and queer sexuality for Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII.  Seating is limited to 70. For more information call the SJ JACL office at (408) 295-1250 or email Iris Lou at inky1lou1452@yahoo.com.




Anniversary of JA Baseball
Return to Heart Mountain:
A Celebration of Japanese American Baseball

Sunday, October 26, 2014

1:00 p.m.

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.


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.  Contact PublicPrograms@JAMsj.org for more information.



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.







Annual Winter Boutique

Saturday, November 8, 2014

JAMsj Members:  9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
General Public:  10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin 
640 N. 5th Street
San Jose, CA  95112

Don't miss the 2014 JAMsj Winter Boutique!  This is the annual fundraiser for the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) - a 100% volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


Join us for a popular line-up of Bay Area artists, crafts people and special guest authors.  This year's guests include:   

  • Lora Nakamura, author of The Bonsai Babes
  • Kim Oshiro, author, and Jeanne Yee, illustrator, of The Saga of Simon the Skinny: Simon Saves the Day
  • Cynthia Kadohata, author of The Thing About Luck (National Book Award winner)
  • Tom Graves, photographer and author of Twice Heroes: Nisei Veterans of WWII and Korea
You will find a wide variety of Asian-inspired jewelry, clothing, home goods, wall art, ceramics and much more!   


Early Entry for Members 

As usual, members of JAMsj will be granted early admission and will begin shopping at 9:00 a.m. If you are interested in becoming a member and enjoying the early-bird entry you can either register on the day of the boutique, or complete the membership registration online.  


Check the  JAMsj website for more information about participating artists and vendors, delicious food, drawing prizes and special boutique guests.  



Cost: Free 


Contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org for more information.

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. - 2:30 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.


Schedule of events:
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  
Exhibits, Community Tables, Family History Workstations, "Ticket to

 America: Kid's Corner"

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.     Program: "Nikkei at Angel Island" - guest speaker Judy Yung, special

 presentations, performance

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.       Exhibits, Community Tables, Family History Workstations, "Ticket to

 America: Kid's Corner"



The Bay Area weather in October is generally quite pleasant. However, the weather can fluctuate from warm and sunny to cold and windy. So, light layers are recommended. We suggest a jacket, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and towel or blanket to sit on as the program and picnic lunch will be outdoors.

The window for pre-ordering event packages has closed. Nichi Bei recommends taking the early ferry in order to get to the Immigration Station in time for the program. There is 9:45 a.m. ferry departing from San Francisco's Pier 41 and a 10:00 a.m. ferry departing from Tiburon. Visit www.aiisf.org for information on transportation options. Please plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the ferry's departure time, to ensure you have time to park, walk over to the ferry, and wait in line.  The $5 shuttle on Angel Island is recommended for those who do not want to hike the 1.5 miles from the Ayala cove to the immigration station.


Parking tips: In Tiburon, the parking lot behind the Bank of America (at the northeast corner of Tiburon Blvd. and Beach Street offers all day parking for $5. For those electing to take the ferry at the San Francisco station, public transportation is recommended. Nichi Bei has recommended the following link for those who prefer to drive to the San Francisco ferry station: http://en.parkopedia.com/parking/garage/academy_of_art_university/94133/san_francisco/



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



Save the Date
Heart Mountain Town Hall Event and Screening of
The Legacy of Heart Mountain

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF) and Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) will be hosting a Town Hall event and a screening of the award-winning documentary, The Legacy of Heart Mountain on Nov. 22 in San Jose. The HMWF manages an Interpretive Center at the original site of the "Heart Mountain Relocation Camp," and will provide an update on the operations of the center and the Foundation's upcoming activities. The film showing will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmaker, David Ono, and members of the cast.


Time and location TBA. Visit heartmountain.org or send inquiries to info@heartmountain.org.

Calendar of Events

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 19, 2014:  LGBT History Month Program
October 26, 2014:  Return to Heart Mountain:  A Celebration of Japanese American Baseball
November 8, 2014:  JAMsj Winter Boutique
November 22, 2014:  Heart Mountain Town Hall Event

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