RECAP: Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival

For the last four years, JANM is honored to be the host of the Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival! Here is a sample of the blogs and stories out of this years fest!

www.honeysmoke.com/9883/mixed-roots-2/

Here is my favorite quote from the blog:

“Have a story? Write it, perform it, film it, or sing it. We all know everyone has a story to tell. I, for one, am delighted two Mixed Chicks created the festival four years ago. Held at the Japanese American National Museum in the heart of Little Tokyo, the festival is a home of sorts. It’s a safe place, a place where anyone can be whatever she wants to be.”

Check out this NPR story about the festival:  www.npr.org/2011/06/14/137174973/mixed-roots-festival-embraces-mixed-race-authors

Also, check out some pics: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150635748970276.682967.345188765275

See you at next years Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival!

Staff Sergeant Joe Hayashi

 

My wife and I recently moved to northeast Pasadena. While on one of my walks in the new neighborhood, I was pleasantly surprised to find a memorial to not only a Japanese American Veteran but Medal of Honor Winner Staff Sergeant Joe Hayashi of Company K of the 442 Regemental Combat team.

I was inspired to learn more about what he did. So I went on Discover Nikkei and this is what I found:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of The Congress the Medal of Honor to:

PRIVATE JOE HAYASHI, United States Army

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Private Joe Hayashi distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 20 and 22 April 1945, near Tendola, Italy. On 20 April 1945, ordered to attack a strongly defended hill that commanded all approaches to the village of Tendola, Private Hayashi skillfully led his men to a point within 75 yards of enemy positions before they were detected and fired upon. After dragging his wounded comrades to safety, he returned alone and exposed himself to small arms fire in order to direct and adjust mortar fire against hostile emplacements. Boldly attacking the hill with the remaining men of his squad, he attained his objective and discovered that the mortars had neutralized three machine guns, killed 27 men, and wounded many others.

On 22 April 1945, attacking the village of Tendola, Private Hayashi maneuvered his squad up a steep, terraced hill to within 100 yards of the enemy. Crawling under intense fire to a hostile machine gun position, he threw a grenade killing one enemy soldier and forcing the other members of the gun crew to surrender. Seeing four enemy machine guns delivering deadly fire upon other elements of his platoon, he threw another grenade, destroying a machine gun nest. He then crawled to the right flank of another machine gun position where he killed four enemy soldiers and forced the others to flee. Attempting to pursue the enemy, he was mortally wounded by a burst of machine pistol fire. The dauntless courage and exemplary leadership of Private Hayashi enabled his company to attain its objective.

Private Hayashi’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

The memorial is located at Victory Park. If you know of other memorials, take a picture and send it to me at ksakai[a]janm.org and I’ll be sure to post it on our blog!

– Koji Steven Sakai/Manager of Public Programs

Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo opens July 9th

What a pretty banner!

 

SAVE THE DATE:

On Saturday JULY 9, 2011, Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo opens to the public.

Admission is also free because July 9th is our Target Free Family Saturday! And for all you Stan Sakai fans–he will be at JANM for a demonstration, talk, and signing of his new book, Usagi Yojimbo Volume 25: Fox Hunt.

For more information about our Target Day, visit: yay, janm events!

Helen Yasuda, Irene Nakagawa, & Kirby Tanimura

2010 Volunteer Recognition Awards

The Japanese American National Museum held its 2010 Volunteer Recognition Awards breakfast on June 10 and honored six volunteers for their dedication and excellent service to the Museum, its visitors and supporters. Recognition was also given to volunteers for length of service, including the presentation of the first 25 Years of Service pin to Masako Murakami.

The Museum’s Volunteer Recogntion Awards event is unique in that the recipients do not know they have been chosen for their awards. Only the committee members and Museum staff know the names of the recipients.  Museum staff make the presentations and all work very hard to describe the merits of the awardee without revealing his or her name.

The highlight of the event each year is the presentation of the Miki Tanimura Outstanding Volunteer Award, the highest honor given to a volunteer, for exceptional contributions to the Museum. Miki Tanimura was a member of the Museum’s original board in the 1980s and she was in charge of the volunteers. She and her husband were killed in a plane accident.  All of their children (Kirby, Teri, Lori and Cheri) attended this ceremony. Kirby spoke for the family and 2009 Tanimura Award recipient Helen Yasuda made the presentation this year. The 2010 recipient (and much to her surprise) was Irene Nakagawa.

Community Awards were given to Fujiko Takeda, who could not attend, and Ruthie Kitagawa. Julia Murakami received the Administration Award, while Wayne Iwahashi was presented the Program Award. James and Midori Uyeda, recipients of the Museum Family Spirit Award, had to be lured to the event by their relative, George Takei, Chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees. The Uyedas were not intending to come to the event, so Museum personnel told them that it was George who was going to receive a surprise award.

Masako Murakami (2nd to left) received a 25 years of volunteer service pin from Akemi Kikumura Yano (President & CEO) and George Takei & Manabi Hirasaki (Board members)
Allyson Nakamoto and Wayne Iwahashi
Allyson Nakamoto presented the Program Award to Wayne Iwahashi
Akemi Kikumura Yano and Ruthie Kitagawa
Akemi Kikumura Yano presented the Community Award to Ruthie Kitagawa. Ruthie is our resident origami expert!

 

Darryl Mori & Julia Murakami
Darryl Mori presented the Administration Award to Julia Murakami
Lynn Yamasaki, James Uyeda, Midori Uyeda, Brad Altman, & George Takei
Lynn Yamasaki, Brad Altman, & George Takei presented the Family Spirit Award to James & Midori Uyeda

 

Helen Yasuda, Irene Nakagawa, & Kirby Tanimura
Helen Yasuda (2009 Tanimura Awardee) & Kirby Tanimura presented the 2010 Miki Tanimura Outstanding Volunteer Award to Irene Nakagawa

 Thanks to Nobuyuki Okada for the photos & thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers for their dedication & commitment to the museum!

Art in the Streets!

 

One of our neighbors here in Little Tokyo is the The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. They have a wonderful exhibition going on right now Art in the Streets, which is the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art. It was amazing. Here are some pics we took while in their galleries!

If you’re in LA between now and August 8, make a day of it and check out Art in the Streets, then stop by JANM, and then grab a bite in Little Tokyo!

JANM supports the Environment

Last Sunday the National Museum teamed up with Great Leap for a day of environmental performances, workshops, and vendors. Check out some of the exciting pics by one of our favorite volunteer photographers Ben Tonooka!

Waribashi art by JANM staff member Clement Hanami

Great Leap Performs in front of the Tateuchi Democracy Forum!
Great Leap let's us know why it's important to recycle!

Gettin’ arty at Target Free Family Day THIS SATURDAY!

Saturday (June 11th) is Target Free Family Saturday from 11 am – 4 pm! This month we join our neighbors at MOCA in celebrating Street Art.  We have a full schedule of painting demonstrations, sketching workshops, and art making activities. Our friends from the Mixed Roots Festival will be taking part in the fun with some art making too.

I always have so much fun thinking about art activities for Family Day but, sometimes, something seems like a good idea at first but it needs to be tested and tweaked before putting it into action at Family Day.  Yesterday I tried things out and made a few samples of our poster making and sticker printing activities for Saturday. Fortunately, everything worked out pretty well so, come on over!  We’re ready! I can’t wait to see what the creative minds of our Family Day visitors will come up with.  Hope you’ll join us!

Year of the Labbit

Anyone who has ever organized a custom toy show will tell you that when the art starts rolling in, it’s like you are having your own private Christmas. The quality and ingenuity of the work is very high for this show and we are now thinking that some of the pieces may be auctioned off during the run of the exhibition. Details to come!

The task of photographing all these pieces and prepping them for the web store hasn’t gotten started yet, but I wanted to share a few teasers that were created from photos sent to me by the artists.

I’m not sure what order these will come up in, but the artists are Konatsu, Mark Nagata, and Stan Sakai. I’m sure you will be able to figure out who did what!

X-Lab Evokes Conscious Dialogue

I work in Visitor Services, so I open and close the galleries a few days each week. Lately, I’ve noticed that whenever I walk into X-Lab, something is always different–whether it’s the rifled-through laminated newspapers at the 1940s radio or new drawings on our “Only What You Can Carry” magnet board.

The following post-it activity is the one activity that has changed the most over time. You see–I’m all about conscious dialogue, so this activity in particular is one of my favorites. When the exhibition team put X-Lab together, they posed a question on our wall. In several weeks’ passing, the question became so hotly debated, it was as if our visitors themselves were evolving the activity. It reminds me of a some sort of crazy online comic book message board, except that it’s all about civil rights–not so much Batman vs. Superman.

Red post-its mean “NO”, yellow post-its mean “UNDECIDED”, and blue post-its mean “YES”. Our question was:

“Is it important to OBEY government rules in times of national crisis even if it means LOSS of privacy and civil rights?”

Some responses were:

YES, because… “in times of crisis, governments tend to react drastically, and I need to keep my family and I as safe as I possibly can.”

UNDECIDED, because… “in a time of emergency, you look to your government for help; however, privacy is highly important for anyone and so are a person’s rights as a human!”

NO, because… “if the rules go against the basic fundamentals of equality and freedom, then it goes against what it means to be a U.S. citizen.”

So how would YOU respond?