Admission to JANM will be free to the public on Saturday, March 12, in celebration of the Smithsonian Institution’s annual Museum Day Live! event. This day is intended to encourage all people to explore our nation’s museums, cultural institutions, zoos, aquariums, parks, and libraries. This year, in recognition of Women’s History Month, the event has a special focus on reaching women and girls of color in underserved communities.
At JANM, we are very fortunate to have some significant pieces in our collection created by Japanese American women, such as the artist Miné Okubo (1912–2001), whose collection has been digitized and can be viewed on our museum’s website.
Okubo was a young woman during World War II. She and her family were removed from San Francisco to Tanforan Assembly Center, and then incarcerated in the concentration camp at Topaz, Utah, for the remainder of the war. Okubo was a keen observer; she made sketches and ink drawings that depicted what life was really like in camp.
In many ways, Okubo was ahead of her time. Her graphic novel, Citizen 13660 (1946), was the first published personal account of the camp experience. Through her pen and ink drawings, readers got an intimate view of what daily life became when Okubo, an American citizen by birth, was reduced to a number: 13660.
Not long after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, George Hoshida was arrested by FBI agents. Having immigrated from Japan with his family in 1912, when he was only four years old, Hoshida had made a life for himself in Hilo, Hawai‘i. He had married a Hawai‘i–born Japanese American woman named Tamae and gotten a job at the Hilo Electric Company; he had also become active in several Japanese American community organizations, including a Buddhist group and a judo association. It was Hoshida’s position in the community and his perceived influence on others that led authorities to deem him a threat.
Hoshida was forcibly separated from his wife and four daughters as he was sent to a succession of special Justice Department camps, reserved for community leaders like himself: Kilauea Military Camp on the Big Island, Sand Island on Oahu, and a variety of camps in Texas, Nevada, and New Mexico. After a year of separation, Tamae, who was handicapped, found it too difficult to raise the children without George. She made the decision to give up their home and, on the recommendation of government officials, moved with three of their daughters to the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas, where George could be transferred.
Arriving there after an arduous journey, the family would have to wait another year before George’s transfer process could be completed. Tragically, the eldest daughter, who had to be left behind in a facility in Oahu due to a handicap, died while the rest of the family was incarcerated.
During this challenging time, Hoshida and his wife wrote letters to each other every day. Hoshida also kept a detailed journal and made numerous sketches, drawings, and watercolors depicting what he saw around him. These letters, journal entries, and artworks are now considered a rare record of life in the Justice Department camps; the depictions of the Kilauea camp are the only ones known to exist. In 1997, the bulk of these artifacts were donated to JANM, where they now reside in the permanent collection. Many of the items can be viewed online through JANM’s George Hoshida Collection page as well as a special online exhibition website called The Life and Work of George Hoshida: A Japanese American’s Journey.
Earlier this year, a new book was published that tells the Hoshida family’s story through a curated selection of Hoshida’s journal entries, memoir excerpts, letters, and artworks. Edited by Heidi Kim and supplemented with historical background information, Taken from the Paradise Isle: The Hoshida Family Story provides “an intimate account of the anger, resignation, philosophy, optimism, and love with which the Hoshida family endured their separation and incarceration during World War II.”
The hardcover edition of the book is already sold out; the JANM Store and janmstore.com are currently waiting on an order of the paperback edition. The book should be restocked in time for an author discussion event on January 9, in which Heidi Kim will read from and discuss the book. To read more about the Hoshida family’s story, check out this Discover Nikkei article.
The new year is almost upon us! What better time to set some goals and start hoping for a 2015 that is filled with good fortune and wishes come true?
In Japan, the Daruma doll is a traditional figure that helps people with their new year hopes. When a Daruma doll is new, it just has two white circles for eyes. The doll’s owner must make a wish or set a goal while drawing in one of the pupils. When the wish comes true or the goal is accomplished, the owner can fill in the second pupil, giving the doll a complete set of eyes.
The Daruma doll was inspired by the Indian priest Bodhidharma, who founded Zen Buddhism in the 6th century BC. According to one version of the story, Bodhidharma sat in silent meditation for nine years without moving or blinking his eyes. This lack of movement caused him to lose the use of his arms and legs, which is why Daruma dolls don’t have limbs. Despite this fact, the dedicated priest continued to travel through China to spread his teachings; thus, the Daruma is seen as a symbol of determination and perseverance. If you try to push a Daruma over, he will spring right back up!
Perhaps you’ve seen Daruma dolls before. If not, all you have to do is take a look around Little Tokyo and chances are good that you will spot a Daruma or two… or more! The JANM Store is stocked full of Darumas just waiting for their new owners’ wishes and goals. You can even make your own by joining us for the Oshogatsu Family Festival on January 4, where I will be leading a Daruma doll-making craft table.
Thanksgiving weekend is upon us! And with it, the busiest shopping days of the year.
If you’re a JANM member, why not avoid the crowds at the mall and spend some quality time at one of Southern California’s outstanding museums instead? During Member Appreciation Days, Friday Nov. 28 through Sunday Nov. 30, you can enjoy FREE admission and a 20% store discount at 20 participating institutions, including JANM, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, the California Science Center, and the San Diego Museum of Art, among others. Don’t miss this chance to check out some excellent museums for FREE, and get your holiday shopping done at the same time!
Don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your own home? You get the same 20% discount if you shop at janmstore.com. Below are a few new products, hand-selected by our store managers, that would make great gifts for loved ones.
Cute nerd wooden oni pendant, featuring a laser-cut image of a Japanese demon. The oni is generally held responsible for negative things in Japanese folklore, but here it’s been turned into an adorable nerd emblem. Skinny nerd version also available!
Visit our Holiday M.A.D.ness page for complete details and a list of participating institutions. To become a member or renew your membership, visit our membership page. Happy Thanksgiving and happy shopping!
Warner Avenue (formerly Wintersburg Avenue) in Huntington Beach is a busy street. Six lanes of cars roar by at all times, passing a dense parade of apartment complexes, single-family dwellings, schools, strip malls, chain restaurants, and big-box stores.
Amidst all this modern-day development, the last remaining structures of Historic Wintersburg Village—a farming community settled by European and Japanese pioneers in the mid-1800s—sit quietly at the southeast corner of Warner and Nichols Lane, barely noticed by passersby. Consisting of a cluster of homesteads, a community church, a mission, and a tiny patch of farmland all dating to the turn of the century, this property is a fascinating window onto a bygone era.
The modest five-acre parcel was purchased by Charles Mitsuji Furuta in 1912, less than a year before California passed the Alien Land Law forbidding Asian immigrants from owning agricultural land. It managed to survive the World War II incarceration era and stay in the Furuta family until 2004, when it was sold to a waste management company.
The church on the corner, founded in 1934 by Orange County’s Japanese immigrant community, is the oldest Japanese Presbyterian Church in the state. The red house near the edge of the property, now falling apart with age, was once a spanking-new, ultra-modern home, built by Furuta for his new bride, Yukiko, whom he brought over from Japan.
This Saturday at 2 p.m., JANM is pleased to host Mary Adams Urashima, who will discuss the fascinating history of Wintersburg Village, detailed in her highly informative and readable new book, Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach (available for purchase in the JANM Store). Come hear some amazing stories of early pioneer life in Orange County and learn how you can help save a vital piece of its history.
Do you have a treasured family heirloom in your home but are at a loss as to how to properly care for it? Or a childhood comic book collection but do not know how to properly store it?
Learn how to store and preserve your precious items with JANM Collections ManagerMargaret Zachow Wetherbee! Join us for this insightful members-only event on Sunday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Please bring a few items that you are willing to show during this interactive workshop. No appraisals will be given.
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Be sure to join us for additional members-only events this weekend! Join us for a new series, “Learning at Lunch” on Friday, May 2 from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. All members are invited to bring a brown bag lunch and an open mind as Collections ManagerMargaret Zachow Wetherbee will show a selection of JANM’s collection of handmade bird pins and their fascinating stories as part of the World War II concentration camp experience.
On Saturday, May 3, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., join us for a Member Preview of Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in WWII. Members are invited to preview the 18 photographs before its public opening at 2 p.m., and for an opportunity to hear from author and curator Prof. Eric Muller, as he presents a book talk featuring the rare Kodachrome Heart Mountain camp photographs by Bill Manbo. A light reception will follow.
Member Appreciation Days
Friday, May 2 – Sunday, May 4, 2014
National Members get a 20% discount at the Museum Store and janmstore.com, plus free admission and a 20% discount at 11 other participating Southern California institutions including museums, libraries, and other cultural sites like the California Science Center, Craft and Folk Art Museum, MOCA, USC Pacific Asia Museum, and the The San Diego Museum of Art.
Just a heads up about this most worthy cause. The art in this auction is also being published as a book which we will sell in the Museum Store later this year.
Proceeds from the auction and book sales will help to offset the Sakai family’s ongoing medical expenses. There is some GREAT art to be had created by a stellar list of artists. The auction starts on March 6!
Just had to mention these cool geta that only just arrived at the Museum Store.
Make tracks like a cat, monkey, or dinosaur with this ingenious take-off on traditional wooden geta. These are made from FSC Certified European beech and painted with non-toxic water-based paint.
Geta are usually worn slightly smaller than your foot in order to better maintain balance. We have them in two sizes so big people can help little ones as they make tracks.
But be quick! We have a limited supply in limited sizes! These are too special to last long! (Not available online due to limited sizing and availability.)
If you’re still looking for holiday gifts, the Museum Store will be open this weekend! We’ll be closed as usual on Monday, but for the real last minute gift shopping, we will be open on Christmas Eve. We’ll be closed Christmas Day.
The Museum Store’s carefully selected products enlighten, educate, and celebrate Japanese American culture in all its complexity and diversity. They are perfect for enjoying anywhere, anytime.
Visit the Museum Store online at janmstore.com to find the perfect gifts, and place your orders by this Sunday (December 15th) to receive your order in time for the Holidays!
Remember, there are a lot more great gifts to check out onsite at the award-winning Museum Store at JANM. Browse the Museum store for more one-of-a-kind pieces that aren’t available online!
Holiday Shipping Deadlines
Our staff & volunteers are working hard to get everyone’s orders as quickly as they can, but we recommend you place your online orders by these dates to allow time for processing and delivery:*
CHRISTMAS Standard shipping: 3PM PST on Sunday, December 15, 2013
Rush orders: End of day on Thursday, December 19, 2013
NEW YEAR’S Standard shipping: End of day on Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Rush orders: Noon PST on Friday, December 27, 2013
*These dates are recommendations only and are not intended as a guarantee of delivery date.
You support the Museum’s programs every time you choose to make a purchase through the Museum Store.
Don’t forget, Museum members receive a 10% discount on Museum Store purchases!
American Express’ Shop Small Saturday is on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which happens to fall in the middle of our Member Appreciation Days (11/29, 11/30, 12/1).
This year if you are a current Museum Member AND and American Express card holder, you can potentially profit from shopping at our Museum Store on that Saturday. As with anything that sounds too good to be true, there are rules. But read this post carefully and you may come out ahead!
1.) You must REGISTER your AMEX card online at ShopSmall.com between 11/24 and 11/30. Only a limited number of registrations will be accepted, so act fast!
2.) Use your card and spend $10 or more in our physical Museum Store (online sales are not eligible) and American Express will give you a one-time $10 statement credit for that sale.
Caveats: Read the instructions carefully. You will only receive one $10 credit per AMEX card account, and ONLY if you register your card successfully. More information is available at ShopSmall.com
But think about it, if you are an eligible Museum Member, you will receive a 20% discount on your purchase* that day, and if your total is over $10 AND you make the purchase with your registered AMEX card, you will get a $10 from American Express to boot!! Shazam!
*20% discount applies to eligible merchandise only. Not applicable to sale items or memberships.
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Member Appreciation Days
Friday – Sunday, November 29 – December 1, 2013
20% off at our award-winning Museum Store & janmstore.com + reciprocal FREE admission and 20% off store sales at 16 other SoCal institutions—including MOCA, California Science Center, Pacific Asia Museum, Craft and Folk Art Museum, and more!