JAMsj E-News
Japanese American Museum of San Jose

August 2015
In This Issue
Book Club: The Train to Crystal City
125 Years of Japantown San Jose
Meet the Author: Gil Asakawa
Screening: White Light/Black Rain
JAMsj Open House
Help Identify Heart Mountain Photos
Calendar of Events
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Quick Links
Book Club
  
The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II  

  

Saturday, August 1, 2015

1:00 p.m.

 

Japanese American Museum of San Jose

535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA 95112
 
 

The next meeting of the Japanese American Museum of San Jose's (JAMsj) book club will be to discuss Jan Jarboe Russell's book, The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II. Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called "quiet passage." During the course of the war, hundreds of prisoners (Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants, as well as their American-born children) were exchanged for other, more important Americans-diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, physicians, and missionaries-behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.

 

Focusing her story on two American-born teenage girls who were interned, Russell uncovers the details of their years spent in the camp, the struggles of their fathers, their families' subsequent journeys to war-devastated Germany and Japan, and their years-long attempt to survive and return to the United States. Although this little-known event in American history has long been kept quiet, The Train to Crystal City reveals the war-time hysteria against the Japanese and Germans in America, the secrets of FDR's tactics to rescue high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan, and how the definition of American citizenship changed under the pressure of war.

 

Books are available at the JAMsj museum store and at Amazon.

 

The book club meets at 1:00 p.m. the first Saturday of every other month at JAMsj. Meetings are open to the general public, and books are available for purchase at the museum store. Questions? Contact Aggie Idemoto at (408) 294-3138 or aggie@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).
RSVP: No RSVP required.   
 125 Years of Japantown San Jose
 
 Meet the Author 
  
Gil Asakawa: Being Japanese American
 
Sunday, August 16, 2015

11:30 a.m. -- 2:30 p.m.

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

A celebration and exploration of Japanese American culture will be featured in a book signing with Gil Asakawa, author of Being Japanese American, at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 16, at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj).

 

Being Japanese American is a fun and entertaining sourcebook, as well as a celebration of Japanese American culture, history, and heritage. While detailing favorite foods, customs, words, games and holidays, it explores the painful history of immigration and WWII internment, together with suggestions for connecting to your Japanese American community and passing on traditions across generations and into intermarried families.

  

This revised edition has fresh interviews with Japanese Americans about their life experiences and explores contemporary Japanese pop culture like anime and J-pop. It also includes information on traveling to Japan, together with resources on the Web.

 

This program is co-sponsored by JAMsj and Nikkei Traditions of San Jose Japantown. Books may be pre-purchased at either JAMsj (408-294-3138) or Nikkei Traditions (408-297-7554) at a special price of $16.00 (plus tax) prior to the event. Books will sell for $18.95 (plus tax) the day of the event.

  

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

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

  

 Partnerships
  
White Light/Black Rain
 
Sunday, August 23, 2015

3:00 p.m.

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

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the devastating WWII atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the San Jose Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and the South Bay Area Hiroshima Nikkei Jin Kai are teaming up to present a special free community screening of Steven Okazaki's award winning documentary White Light / Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, featuring interviews with fourteen Japanese survivors (hibakusha) and four Americans involved in the bombings. A short program on the hibakusha will follow the screening. 

 

 

Cost: There is no cost for this event.
RSVP: Seating is limited. Contact Komo at KomoEvents@gmail.com or call (408) 418-6266, to reserve your spot.   

  

Save the Date

Artwork by                                                
Japanese Business Association                             
and Tamiko Rast.                                         
 
JAMsj Open House & Living Museum Tours

Saturday, September 12, 2015
Noon -- 4 p.m.

Japanese American Museum of San Jose

535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA 95112
 

 

In celebration of the 125th anniversary of Japantown San Jose, JAMsj will be hosting an open house with free admission and featuring Living Museum Tours.


Cost: There is no cost for this event.
RSVP: No RSVP required.

 Community Appeal
  
Help Identify Heart Mountain Photos

Friday, July 24, 2015 -- Friday, October 23, 2015 
Noon -- 4:00 p.m.

Japanese American Museum of San Jose

535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA 95112
 

 

Patti Hirahara, administrator of the Hirahara family collection, is looking for help in identifying babies, individuals, groups, and family photographs taken by her grandfather, George Hirahara, and father, Frank C. Hirahara, during WWII. These remarkable photographs were taken and processed in the Heart Mountain relocation camp from 1943 to 1945.

 

Tomiko Aoyama of San Francisco, in the hat, poses with friends for a group photo at the Heart Mountain Vocation Station Depot before her departure in 1943. Friends include her brother WRA photographer Bud, sister Miyuki, mother Ito Aoyama, George and Koto Hirahara, Roy Kito of Fugetsu-do Confectionery, and brother Masao Aoyama.
Photo credit: George and Frank C. Hirahara Collection, Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections 

 

The Hirahara family collection of more than 2,000 Heart Mountain photos has been donated to Hirahara's father's alma mater, Washington State University. She has left two, 3-ring binders of photos with identification sheets and will be adding a third shortly, which represents only a small portion of the collection, here at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) for people to look through. 

 

Class picture of the Heart Mountain High School Eighth Grade -- Four Homeroom taken in 1944. In the first row on the end is Albert Handa, father of NBC Bay Area's Robert Handa. 
Photo credit: George and Frank C. Hirahara Collection, Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.

 

Hirahara lives in Anaheim, California, and would be happy to talk with any family members about the photos. She can be emailed at hiraharacollect@aol.com or reached by phone at (714) 392-2103 for more information. If you happen to be in the area, please stop by to see if you recognize anyone in the photos. Identifying as many faces as possible would deeply personalize the devastating experience that more 120,000 Japanese Americans endured as a result of Executive Order 9066.

 

The photo binders of the yet-to-be-identified Heart Mountain incarcerees will be kept in the JAMsj library. Viewing hours are Thursday - Sunday, from 12 to 4 p.m. Viewing is also available by appointment by emailing jamsjlibrary@gmail.com or by calling (408) 294-3138.  

  

Calendar of Events


July 24 -- October 23, 2015:  Help Identify Heart Mountain Photos
August 1, 2015:                   Book Club: The Train to Crystal City
August 8, 2015:                   California Legacy Voice Network Teacher Workshop
August 15, 2015:                 125 Years of Japantown San Jose Concerts
August 16, 2015:                 Meet the Author: Gil Asakawa: Being Japanese American
August 23, 2015:                 Screening: White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
September 12, 2015:           JAMsj Open House
September 12, 2015:           125 Years of Japantown San Jose Concerts

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
www.jamsj.org