Communications Production Manager at the Japanese American National Museum. I coordinate printed publications, manage web-based projects, and lots of other stuff. I also write an occasional column for our DiscoverNikkei.org project.
Next Saturday, on September 24th at 2pm, Dr. ShiPu Wang will be at the Museum to talk about his book, Becoming American? The Art and Identity Crisis of Yasuo Kuniyoshi.
Yasuo Kuniyoshi was one of the preeminent 20th century American artists. He was active in New York as a teacher and in both artist circles and Japanese American organizations from pre-war until his death in 1953. At the time, he was an internationally known painter and graphic artist, but sadly is not well known now, particularly in the Japanese American community.
Becoming American? is the first scholarly book in over two decades to offer a critical evaluation of the pivotal art of Yasuo Kuniyoshi.
We asked one of our volunteer writers to interview Dr. Wang about the book for our Discover Nikkei website:
In 2005, we opened the Big Drum: Taiko in the United States exhibition. It was the first exhibition since my joining the Web unit at JANM where we really developed a lot of cool resources online in conjunction with an exhibit. I had the opportunity to work with curator Sojin Kim, our web technologist Geoff Jost, and volunteer writers to develop & upload a lot of great historic and contemporary photos, activities, and articles on the exhibition site.
The other major component we developed was a database of taiko groups in the U.S., but also included some other groups outside of Japan. We set up the database using some basic info collected for the exhibition. Then, we contacted all of the groups and invited them to log in and update/add to their group info, and upload some photos & audio clips.
It was always so interesting to look at what groups had added information because it showed the growth and popularity of taiko. There were groups all over the U.S. (even in places where there aren’t many Japanese Americans), and many in Canada, and even in Europe (there are 4 groups listed in Belgium)!
After the initial activity during the exhibition run, not many of the groups updated their info. When the redesigned Discover Nikkei site went live in July 2009, we launched it without the Taiko Database, always intending to add it back in once we had some time to work on it.
It’s been 2 years, but I’m really excited that we recently launched our new & improved Taiko Groups section! It has the old database info, photos, and audio clips, but presented in a new layout with easier accessibility, and incorporates events posted by the groups onto their taiko group pages.
San Jose Taiko has already started updating their info and we hope that other groups will join them soon.
P.S. If you are with or know of any taiko groups, please encourage them to update their pages! It’s a great & free way to share your group’s contact info, general info, history, photos, audio clips, videos, and upcoming events!
If you need help with your group’s login info, or if your group is not already listed and you’d like to be added, contact email@example.com.
A grad student needs help with her research. She’s seeking Dodger fans to participate in an online survey and paid focus group. She’s been having problems getting enough Asian American representation in her study, so if you qualify, please help her out!
Hello. My name is Jen and I am looking for hometown Dodger fans (22 and up) who are willing to share their thoughts in a paid focus group. The goals of the focus group are to find out what qualities you think make professional athletes successful or unsuccessful in different roles within the sport of baseball and to find out how you describe and tell stories about these baseball players. You don’t need to be a superfan and know every single detail about the Dodgers, but you should be someone who follows the team more or less throughout most parts of the season. (It is okay if you have more than one favorite team, as long as you also follow the Dodgers). You also need to be living in Los Angeles OR the L.A. metropolitan area.
If you are interested, fill out the form on the attached link. If you are eligible, you will be contacted to participate in one focus group sometime in August. The group will last 1-2 hours. You will compensated $20 cash for time/travel. Furthermore, each participant will be entered into a raffle to win their choice of $200 cash or Field Level seats to a home game in September. This is a great chance to earn a little cash talking baseball!
**I am an independent researcher interested in sports, sports media, and fan narratives. This research is not affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Dodgers** This information is approved by Temple University for public display and is associate with project #13468
This fall, the Japanese American National Museum is participating in Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, a project initiated from grants from the Getty Foundation. Pacific Standard Time is a collaboration of more than fifty cultural institutions across Southern California, which are coming together for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and how it became a major new force in the art world. Each institution will make its own contribution to this grand-scale story of artistic innovation and social change, told through a multitude of simultaneous exhibitions and programs.
The Museum will open its new exhibition, Drawing the Line: Japanese American Art, Design & Activism in Pos-War L.A., with an opening event on Saturday, October 15, 2011 (more details to come!). Drawing the Line will feature works of art and design that give a sense of the complex role of cultural production in the creation of community in Japanese American Los Angeles.
All of the partners in this ground-breaking collaboration have been asked to issue a survey to its members and supporters in preparation for this project. The survey will collect general responses on attitudes about arts and culture in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.
The questionnaire will take about 10-15 minutes to complete and your responses are confidential. The survey closes September 1st. Thank you!
Come celebrate museums & cheer on the hometown Dodgers at Museums Matter Night at Dodger Stadium!
Join JANM and other participating museums at Dodger Stadium on Friday, August 26. Special discounted prices available for variety of stadium seating sections. Click on the link below for prices & to order tickets.
Game against the Colorado Rockies starts at 7:10pm. Stay for fireworks following the game!
Baseball fans…we also have a program on Saturday, July 23 at 11am:
How to Succeed in Baseball
Shigetoshi Hasegawa (former pitcher for the Angels & Mariners) and Scott Akasaki (traveling secretary for the Dodgers) will be at JANM next Saturday to talk about how they were able to succeed in baseball. It’s free, so come check it out!
Nikkei newspapers like The Rafu Shimpo in Los Angeles and the Nichi Bei up in San Francisco have served important roles since the early Issei immigrants began establishing communities across the United States.
Last spring, our Discover Nikkei team began working on a project to share stories about some of these publications and organize a public program. On April 2, 2011, we presented “From Newsprint to New Media: The Evolving Role of Nikkei Newspaper” in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum in partnership with The Rafu Shimpo, Nichi Bei Foundation/Nichi Bei Weekly, Cultural News, and Nikkei Nation.
The program included a historical overview by Gil Asakawa and presentations by panelists Gwen Muranaka (Rafu Shimpo), Kenji Taguma, (Nichi Bei Foundation/Nichi Bei Weekly), Shigeharu Higashi (Cultural News), and George Johnston (Nikkei Nation). The presentations were followed by a moderated discussion and questions from the audience covering topics such as the coverage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as well as local relief efforts; the viability of Nikkei media and the closing of some longtime newspapers in recent years; how can Nikkei media change to be relevant to younger demographics without alienating older generations; and the use and role of social media.
The Watase Media Arts Center’s award-winning film, Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray is going to be shown on Comcast throughout the month of May!
About the film:
Having smuggled a lens and film holder into one of America’s concentration camps during World War II, Toyo Miyatake was among the first to photograph this national disgrace. Yet it was his little-known artistic pursuits before the war that honed his discerning eye.
Produced by Karen L. Ishizuka and directed by Robert A. Nakamura with music by David Iwataki, the film is a penetrating portrait of the photographer’s quest to capture the beauty and dignity of everyday life.
The film has won numerous awards, including:
* Official Sundance Film Festival Selection
* Grand Jury Award Best Documentary Short, Florida Film Festival
* CINE Gold Eagle
See it on Comcast this month:
Comcast has a video on demand service called “Cinema Asian America” which was launched in December 2010, featuring a monthly-curated series of Asian American and Asian films—award-winning films fresh from the film festival circuit and classics. These films include both short and feature-length works and the genres range from documentary to narrative to experimental.
From May 1–31, 2011, Toyo Miyatake will be available to all Comcast digital cable subscribers with On-Demand. See below for a list of all major Comcast markets in the U.S. The film will cost $0.99/view.
For those who are able to view Comcast programs, through their digital cable menu, viewers should click on the “On Demand” button, and then look under the “Movies” folder. In this will be a “Movie Collections” folder and inside of this viewers will find “Cinema Asian America” and will be able to access the film.
(The recently released DVD includes Japanese subtitles & includes Moving Memories as a bonus feature. Hosted by George Takei, it features restored and edited home movies from the 1920s and 1930s taken by Japanese American immigrant pioneers as they made America their new home.)
Comcast TV Market:
Birmingham, AL • Dothan, AL • Huntsville, AL • Little Rock, AR • Tucson, AZ • Fresno, CA • Sacramento, CA • San Francisco, CA • Santa Barbara, CA • Colorado Springs, CO • Denver, CO • Hartford, CT • Washington DC • Ft. Myers, FL • Jacksonville, FL • Miami, FL • Orlando, FL • Panama City, FL • Pensacola, FL • Tallahassee, FL • Tampa, FL • West Palm Beach, FL • Atlanta, GA • Augusta, GA • Savannah, GA • Peoria, IL • Chicago, IL • Champaign, IL • Rockford, IL • Ft. Wayne, IN • Indianapolis, IN • South Bend, IN • Charleston, KY • Paducah, KY • Louisville, KY • Monroe, LA • New Orleans, LA • Shreveport, LA • Boston, MA • Springfield, MA • Baltimore, MD • Salisbury, MD • Detroit, MI • Kansas City, MO • Minneapolis, MN • Columbus, MS • Hattiesburg, MS • Jackson, MS • Albuquerque, NM • New York, NY • Youngstown, OH • Portland, OR • Harrisburg, PA • Johnstown, PA • Philadelphia, PA • Pittsburgh, PA • Wilkes-Barre, PA • Charleston, SC • Chattanooga, TN • Knoxville, TN • Memphis, TN •Nashville, TN • Tri-Cities, TN • El Paso, TX • Houston, TX • Salt Lake City, UT • Richmond, VA • Roanoke, VA • Seattle, WA • Spokane, WA • Wheeling, WV
Jero (Jerome Charles White Jr.)
Jero is a Hapa (Japanese/African-American) from Pittsburg, PA. His close relationship with his grandmother inspired his dream of becoming an enka singer in Japan, highlighted by his appearance on the Kohaku Uta Gassen in 2008
We recently honored cartoonist Stan Sakai at our 2011 Gala Dinner where he was awarded the Cultural Ambassador Award.For those of you who are not familiar with his work, he’s best known for his iconic character, Usagi Yojimbo—a samurai rabbit in feudal Japan, which he created in 1984.
His comic books have been translated into a dozen languages and in Empire magazine’s list of greatest comic book characters of all time, Usagi Yojimbo placed 31st, ahead of Green Lantern, Daredevil, and Hellboy!
We’re also working with Stan on a retrospective exhibition of his work that opens on July 9. Our award-winning Watase Media Arts Center staff is working on a short documentary to accompany the exhibition. Last summer they went to the Comicon in San Diego where they interviewed some of his fellow cartoonists who all agreed that he’s one of the nicest guys in the business. After meeting him, we all agree and can’t wait for his exhibition!
Chris Komai, the Public Information Officer at JANM, wrote an article about Stan for the Gala Dinner journal. It’s now online on our Discover Nikkei site:
Henry & Helen Yasuda are two of the Museum’s very dedicated volunteers. Henry primarily helps with giving tours to visitors from Japan. Helen is a docent for student groups, works with the community outreach committee, and helps out in many other ways. Last year, Helen received our Miki Tanimura Outstanding Volunteer Award, and recently they joined the Museum’s Legacy Society.
They’re also very committed to their family and very active in other community organizations like the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo, the Yamaguchi Kenjinkai, and the Nikkei Parents’ Day Coalition.