JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose

May 2015
In This Issue
City Girls: The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles 1920 - 1950
San Jose J-Town FilmFest
Meet the Author: Brenda Nakamoto
Fundraising Dinner for CGM Digital Exhibition
Support JAMsj with Amazon Smile
Calendar of Events
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Quick Links
Scholar Presentation
City Girls:
The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles, 1920-1950


Sunday, May 17, 2015
1:00 p.m.  


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


Nisei girls and young women played vital roles in the Japanese American community in prewar Los Angeles, working in the family economy and serving as cultural mediators. Because, like other youth of color, they were unwelcome in many school clubs and activities during the 1920s and 30s, they formed an extensive network of ethnic youth clubs through which they could enjoy parties, dancing, and sports, as well as gain leadership training. For urban Nisei, clubs offered a haven of belonging in an era of racial exclusion and a vehicle through which girls could demonstrate American identity and claim modern femininity. Their organizational skills would prove important to the rebuilding of Japanese American communities after the uprooting and incarceration of WWII. 

Valerie J. Matsumoto 


Join us as author Valerie J. Matsumoto discusses her work, City Girls: The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles, 1920-1950. She will be available for book signing following the presentation.  



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.

Special Event


May 29 - 31, 2015 

Friday and Saturday, May 29-30

JTS Northside Community Center

488 N. 6th Street

San Jose, CA 95113


Sunday, May 31
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. 5th Street.
San Jose, CA 95112
A committee of community organizations has announced plans for the first San Jose J-Town FilmFest for the weekend of May 29-31. On Friday and Saturday, the roster of films will be shown at the JTS Northside Community Center, with the Sunday showing at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj).

Opening the FilmFest at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 29, will be a special program featuring Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the United Farmworkers. Director Marissa Aroy will participate in the program with famed filmmaker and playwright, Luis Valdez. The program will be followed by a special musical event by Sonido Clash.

Films to be screened on Saturday include the following:  

  • Hibakusha (animated) - 11:00 a.m.
  • Kumu Hina - 12:45 p.m.
  • Skin Stories: The Art and Culture of Polynesian Tattoo - 3:00 p.m.
  • East Side Sushi (paired with a sushi reception) - 5:00 p.m.
  • The People I've Slept With (Quentin Lee/Koji Sakai comedy) - 8:30 p.m.

Each screening includes a post-show program, featuring special guests such as the filmmakers and/or cast members.

The FilmFest closes on Sunday, May 31, at 1:00 pm, at JAMsj with a screening of Issei: The First Generation, the long-lost documentary about the Issei pioneers of the Sacramento River Delta.

The San Jose J-Town FilmFest organizing committee is comprised of representatives from the following organizations:

  • J-Town Community TV
  • Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj)
  • Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS)
  • Multicultural Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI)
  • The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS)

Signature Sponsors include Lucia Cha, Jerry Hiura, Ken Kamei, and CM Capital Foundation.

The FilmFest is just one of the events celebrating the 125th anniversary of historic San Jose Japantown. According to the organizers, the plan is to make this an annual event.

Tickets and film screening schedules can be found at jtownfilmfest.brownpapertickets.com. Tickets will also soon be available at JAMsj. 





Meet the Author:  Brenda Nakamoto
Peach Farmer's Daughter  


Saturday, June 6, 2015 
1:00 p.m.  


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

Author Brenda Nakamoto will discuss her book, Peach Farmer's Daughter, where she recalls her childhood growing up on a rural Northern California farm. A Sansei, third-generation Japanese American, Nakamoto movingly reflects on the decline of her aging parents, her deep connections to the land, and personal family history.

Cost: Free with admission to the museum (nonmembers, $5; students and seniors over age 65, $3; JAMsj members and children under 12, free).
No RSVP required.

Community Partnerships
Fundraising Dinner for CGM Digital Exhibition 


Friday, June 12, 2015
Cocktail Reception at 6:00 p.m. 
Dinner at 7:00 p.m.  


The Fairmont
170 Market Street 
San Jose, CA  95113 
A special fundraising dinner, organized to support the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) Digital Exhibition highlighting the stories of WWII Nisei soldiers, will be held on Friday, June 12, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. This dinner will feature a special thank-you to Eric Shinseki, former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

The Honorable Eric Shinseki, former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, and Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic gold medalist, will be on the program at this dinner honoring veterans and benefitting the Smithsonian exhibit.

Secretary Eric Shinseki greeting veterans


Secretary Shinseki, who served as head of Veterans Affairs from 2009 until May of 2014, is also the former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and the first Asian American four-star general. Several Japanese American organizations have expressed the desire to thank him for his service to our country. The fundraising dinner will serve as the perfect venue to do so.

The Honorable Norman Mineta, U.S. Congressman Mike Honda, and Kristi Yamaguchi are members of the honorary committee for the dinner.

The digital exhibition is being developed by the National Veterans Network (NVN), in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the National Museum of American History. It will be unveiled at the Smithsonian Institution in 2016 in honor of these very special Congressional Gold Medal honorees.

To purchase ticket(s), sponsor veterans, or to receive for more information, visit www.nationalveteransnetwork.com
. Tickets are $175 with $75 being tax deductible. Tickets may also be purchased by sending a check to the National Veterans Network at P.O. Box 1221, Torrance, CA 90505. For questions, please contact Reiko Iwanaga at riwanaga@ecopiafarms.com.

Shop at Amazon?
Support JAMsj When You Shop at Amazon  

Amazon has come up with a new program called Amazon Smile, which makes a donation to your favorite nonprofit organization automatically every time you shop. All you have to do is log onto smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com.


On your first shopping trip, you'll be asked which nonprofit organization you want to support. Simply type: Japanese American Museum of San Jose. You only have to do this once. On your next visit, Amazon will remember that you want to support the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj). That's it; everything else remains the same: cost, products, your Prime membership.


JAMs will receive 0.5 percent of the price of your purchases. Almost every physical product sold is eligible. However, digital goods and Subscribe & Save subscriptions are not covered.


Calendar of Events

May 17, 2015:           City Girls:  The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles, 1920 - 1950
May 29 - 31, 2015:    San Jose J-Town FilmFest
June 6, 2015:            Meet the Author:  Brenda Nakamoto
June 12, 2015:          Fundraising Dinner for CGM Digital Exhibition
August 8, 2015:        California Legacy Voice Network Teacher Workshop

For more information about our public programs, please contact PublicPrograms@JAMsj.org or call (408) 294-3138.

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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