Historic Wintersburg is a Window onto a Forgotten Time

Founded in 1934, this Japanese Presbyterian Church, now boarded up, is the oldest of its in the state. Photo: Carol Cheh.
Founded in 1934, this Japanese Presbyterian Church, now boarded up, is the oldest
of its kind in the state. All photos by Carol Cheh.

 

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 history of the church can be seen in this photo. It began its life in 1934 as the Japanese Presbyterian Church, as inscribed in the building's cornerstone, before being taken over by other congregations.
The history of the church can be seen in this photo. It began its life in 1934 as the Japanese Presbyterian Church, as inscribed in the building’s cornerstone, before being taken over by other congregations.
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.

Sadly, the parcel is currently threatened with development. A preservation task force, spearheaded by historian and author Mary Adams Urashima, is working to prevent that from happening. Earlier this year, they were helped in their efforts by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which designated Historic Wintersburg one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places of 2014.

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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.

Member Events: How to Care for Your Collections

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 Manager Margaret 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 Manager Margaret 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.

For both of these member events please RSVP to memberevents@janm.org or call 213.830.5657.

One of the 18 rare Kodachrome photographs taken by Bill Manbo during his incarceration at the Heart Mountain concentration camp. ©2012 Takeo Bill Manbo
One of the 18 rare Kodachrome photographs taken by Bill Manbo during his incarceration at the Heart Mountain concentration camp.
©2012 Takeo Bill Manbo

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On SaturdayMay 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.

RSVP by emailing specialevents@janm.org or call 213.625.0414 ext. 2222.

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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.

Check janmstore.com/membershopping.html for details. Make sure you have a current membership card for this exciting event!

 

Please visit JANM’s May events page for more information on these Member Events!

Fundraising Auction of Usagi Yojimbo Artwork

Stan & Sharon Sakai at the 2011 Japanese American National Museum Gala Dinner
Stan & Sharon Sakai at the 2011 Japanese American National Museum Gala Dinner

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!

Click here for details >>

Stan and Sharon have been wonderful supporters and partners of JANM. We had an exhibition of his work in 2011 (Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo), he presented a session at our 2013 National Conference in Seattle, and we sell many Usagi Yojimbo products in our Museum Store, including JANM exclusive items.

Here is a photo of Stan and Sharon in 2011 at our Gala Dinner that year—happier times!

 

Geta-pets!

geta-pets

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.

Happy Holidays!

Get your orders in time for the Holidays!

janmstore-glass-koi-ornament
Glass Koi Ornament

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!

 

janmstore-hapanese
Hapanese T-shirt

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.

janmstore-only-what-you-can-carry-tote
The Only What You Can Carry Tote is a reminder of a time when the limitations of freedom were symbolized by what you could carry.

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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!

Not a current member? Join/renew online and receive your discount on today’s order.

 

 

 

Shop Small Business MAD*ness! 11/30/13

Shop Small

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

Member Appreciation Days

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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November 2013 Member Appreciation Days postcard frontMember 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!

For more info & a complete list of participating institutions >>

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Not a current JANM member? If you have an AMEX card, you can still register to participate in their Shop Small Saturday offer to get your $10 credit.

Or…you can join/renew now to take advantage of the extra savings!

President Clyde Kusatsu!

Akemi Clyde BW lo-res

Congratulations to Clyde on his recent election to President of the Los Angeles Local SAG/AFTRA Chapter! (Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, doncha know.)

Clyde was in Farewell to Manzanar and is thereby on my radar forever! He played Akemi Kikumura Yano’s husband in the film, which is of course, available from the Museum Store!

 

 

Stan Sakai Sketches at Comic Con

Stan_Sakai,_2006
Stan Sakai at Comic Con, 2006.
(Photo: Pinguino)

If you were lucky enough to score San Diego Comic-Con tickets this year, make sure to visit Stan Sakai’s table (#4906 in the Exhibitions Hall). This year, Sakai will be sketching for JANM at his booth!

Sakai is the Eisner Award-winning creator of several popular comic book series, including the long-running Usagi Yojimbo and his latest, 47 Ronin. He has a long history with the Museum, including a 2011 exhibition of his work in Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo and a recent panel session/signing at this year’s National Conference in Seattle.

Stop by, make a donation, and get a fantastic piece of art for a good cause!

 

P.S. Check out our selection of Stan Sakai items at the Museum Store, including a special Usagi Yojimbo Tea Cup and t-shirts produced by JANM!