JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose

January 2015
In This Issue
Book Club: From Internment, to Korea, to Solitude
Oshogatsu
New Exhibit: Twice Heroes and More
Special Screening: Issei -- The First Generation
Scholar Presentation: Fighting for the Emperor
Save the Date: Genealogy Workshop
Calendar of Events
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Quick Links
We Missed Some Things!
 
Please accept our apologies for some 
date errors in this month's E-news. 
The corrections are below and in the revised articles following:
 
  • The Special Screening of Issei: The First Generation is on Sunday, January 25 (not Saturday).
  • The Scholar Presentation "Fighting for the Emperor" is actually on Saturday, February 7, not January 31.
  • The Genealogy Workshop is on Sunday, February 22 (not Saturday)
Book Club
 
From Internment, to Korea, to Solitude
 
Saturday, January 3, 2015 
1:00 p.m.

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

Book Club will meet on January 3 to discuss Robert Wada's book From Internment, to Korea, to Solitude. This book is a memoir of Robert M. Wada, a Nisei child of a WWII Japanese American internment camp and later a Marine Corps soldier during the Korean War. Wada's memoir carries us into the world of WWII Japanese American internment camps, discrimination, and tragedies that befall him as a young Marine fighting for his country during the Korean War. This is a story about struggle and loss of hope, followed by new purpose and faith.

 

The Book Club meets at 1:00 p.m. the first Saturday of every other month at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj). Meetings are open to the general public, and books are available for purchase at the museum store. Questions? Contact Aggie Idemoto (408.294-3138 or aggie@jamsj.org).

 

 

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

No RSVP required.

 

Save the Date
  
Oshogatsu

 
Sunday, January 11, 2015 
11:00 a.m. -- 3:00 p.m.

Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112
 
 
Come celebrate the new year at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) as we host a special day of cultural activities:
  • Japanese calligraphy (shodō) for beginners of all ages
  • Origami (the art of paper folding)
  • Haiku writing (a form of Japanese poetry with 17 syllables)
  • Fukuwarai (traditional Japanese New Year's game similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey)
  • Coloring fun
  • Kids craft

Bring the whole family -- there's something here for everyone! 

 

  

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

For information contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org.

 

Exhibit Grand Opening
  
Twice Heroes and More

Saturday, January 17, 2015  
1:00 p.m.

  

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

Join us at JAMsj for the grand opening of our new exhibit, Twice Heroes and More, as award-winning author/photographer Tom Graves unveils six never-before-seen portraits and interviews of local veterans, created especially for this exhibit (not in his 2013 book).

 

  • Katsumi "Kats" Hikido (Campbell)--Injured both legs in a land mine accident while serving in Europe with the 442 Regimental Combat Team (RCT)
  • Buster Ichikawa (San Jose)--Wounded in Italy near the end of the war, in an attack which killed soldiers behind and in front of him
  • Tak Ota (Gilroy) MIS--Lost his uncle in the bombing of Hiroshima
  • Leo Oyama (San Jose)-- Served in France and Italy with the K Company of the 442
  • Frank Shimada (San Jose)--Wounded by a grenade while serving in Europe with the 442
  • Hiroshi "Terry" Terakawa (San Jose)--U.S. Army Corporal, Korean War
Tom Graves 

These six portraits, along with fourteen others handpicked by Graves from his collection, showcase veterans from Northern California, including Lawson Sakai, recipient of four Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star medal.  

  

In addition to Graves' photos, the new exhibit will feature five custom-made soldier GI Joe dolls by Rian Ebesugawa, first vice commander at the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) in Seattle, where many of his amazing Nisei soldier dolls are on display. Four new dolls, made especially for JAMsj, will be gifted to our museum: a soldier in WWII dress uniform, one in 442nd battle gear, an MIS soldier, and a Korean War soldier in winter battle gear will be featured. The fifth soldier doll is from the private collection of Tosh Yasutake. It is one of the very first made by Ebesugawa and represents a WWII medic, modeled after Yasutake.

 

Courtesy of Tosh Yasutake.
Courtesy of Tosh Yasutake.
The exhibit also includes various artifacts from the featured veterans and the JAMsj collection. On display for the first time will be a scrapbook containing many of the poignant letters WWII Nisei soldiers wrote back to members of the Crusaders will be shown for the first time. The Crusaders were a group of young women in the WWII confinement camps who wrote to Nisei soldiers to boost their spirits. The group was organized by Mary Yuriko Nakahara, who later became a civil rights icon, perhaps better known under her married name, Yuri Kochiyama.

 

 
Scrapbook pages. photos courtesy of Srephen Fugita 
  

The January 17 program for the exhibit's grand opening will include a special Q&A with some of the local veterans featured in the exhibit.   

 

 

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.   

  

Special Screening
  
Image courtesy of filmmaker 
Issei:  The First Generation

Sunday, January 25, 2015 
4:30 p.m.

  

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

Issei: The First Generation is a documentary featuring the rarely-heard voices of first-generation Japanese Americans. In Interviews with Japanese who, at the turn of the century, immigrated to the West Coast of the United States, these pioneering men and women tell their own stories of struggles and triumphs in a new land.

 

Featured Issei include the following:

  • Yasu Kawamura, 95-Settled in Walnut Grove, where the couple managed a barber shop
  • Kumajiro Murakami, 102--Immigrated first to Hawaii where he worked on a sugar plantation, then to California to become one of the first pioneers of the strawberry industry in Watsonville
  • Taka Washizu, 84-Endured hardships before, during, and after WWII, working with her share-cropper husband in Walnut Grove

Like many first-generation Japanese Americans, they ended up in California, where they sought their fame and fortune.

 

Filmed in 1983, the film was aired twice the following year on San Francisco television before dropping out of sight-until recently. With the help of Dr. Lane Hirabayashi from UCLA , filmmaker Toshi Washizu created a digital version of the film, featuring an English narration by Amy Hill. This very special film has been screened to sold-out audiences in both San Francisco and San Mateo, California.

 

A Q&A with filmmaker Toshi Washizu will follow the film screening.

 

Do not miss this chance to see this very special film and support JAMsj! This event is a fundraiser for both JAMsj public programs and the filmmaker's project to create a Japanese language version of the film.

 

 

Cost: Suggested Donation $15

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

  

Scholar Presentation and Panel Discussion
  
Fighting for the Emperor:
Nisei Soldiers in the Imperial Armed Forces  
Saturday, February 7, 2015  
1:00 p.m.

  

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

While more than 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans in the United States endured mass incarceration during WWII, the war also altered the lives of thousands of Japanese Americans who were stranded in Japan. For many Nisei strandees in Japan, the war blurred the boundaries of their citizenship, as they found themselves in situations where they had little room to negotiate their national allegiance. As the battles in the Pacific theater dragged on, the Japanese government drafted a significant number of Nisei men in Japan to serve in the military and take arms against the United States.

 

The Nisei soldiers and sailors in the Japanese armed forces who survived the war learned that they had been stripped of their U.S. citizenship as a result of their service to the Japanese emperor. Although these veterans of the Japanese military could recover their U.S. citizenship after the war, the onus was on them to convince the U.S. government that they had been forced to serve the Japanese emperor.

Dr. Michael Jin, Texas A&M 

 

Dr. Michael Jin of Texas A&M University will be at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) to discuss his research in a presentation entitled "The War and Its Aftermath: Nisei Draftees in the Imperial Armed Forces." His presentation will be followed by a special discussion featuring two Japanese Americans who found themselves serving in the Japanese military during WWII: Peter Sano and Jimmie Matsuda.

 

Read more about our featured guests at www.jamsj.org.

 

 

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.   

  

Save the Date
  
Finding Your Japanese Roots in the U.S. and in Japan
with Linda Harms Okazaki 

Okazaki family photos

Sunday, February 22, 2015
 
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

  

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

Learn how to get started researching your unique family history by taking this workshop. At the end of our session, you will be ready to begin your own research. Topics to be covered include the following:

  • Finding vital records:   land, census, and immigration
  • Ordering internment camp records
  • Finding picture-bride case files, alien files, and naturalization records
  • Looking for clues in documents
  • Taking that information to find records in Japan
  • Looking for records available in Japan, versus looking for records available at the Family History Library
  • Finding your Koseki (family registry in Japan)
  • Understanding Ohaka (grave site) and Kakocho (death registry)
    Genealogist Linda Harms Okazaki
  • Visiting relatives, cemeteries, and temples
Linda Harms Okazaki is a fourth-generation San Franciscan with a background in education. An active member of the genealogical community in California and beyond, she is passionate about teaching Nikkei how to to research, document, and share their personal family histories. Okazaki is a member of several genealogical associations, including the Association of Professional Genealogists, the California Genealogical Society, and the Nikkei Genealogical Society.

 

Cost: $35 class fee plus admission to the museum (nonmembers, $5; students and seniors over age 65, $3; JAMsj members and children under 12, free). Active JAMsj volunteers receive a $15 discount.

Must be 17 or older. These workshops are limited to a maximum of 30 participants (minimum 8 students). Early registration is recommended. Contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call (408) 294-3138 to reserve a spot.   

  

Calendar of Events


January 3, 2015:    Book Club:  From Internment, to Korea, to Solitude
January 11, 2015:  Oshogatsu
January 17, 2015:  Twice Heroes Exhibit Opening
January 25, 2015:  Special Screening of Issei:  The First Generation
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