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.
In 2012, JANM’s Discover Nikkei project launched Nikkei Chronicles, an annual open call for stories featuring a different theme every year. The project’s overall goal is to promote a more profound understanding of the complex histories and insights of multicultural, multiracial, and multinational people of Japanese descent around the world.
Roughly translated, Itadakimasu! means Bon appétit! or Mangia! And indeed, there seems to be no end to stories that revolve around the role of food in Nikkei culture—favorite childhood foods, enduring food traditions, new fusion cuisine. How does the food you eat express your identity? How does food help to connect your community and bring people together? What kinds of recipes have been passed down from generation to generation in your family?
If you have a story to tell that revolves around food and its role in Nikkei culture, we invite you to submit personal stories or essays, memoirs, academic papers, restaurant reviews, and other prose works that share your perspectives on and experiences with food. (Please note that for this series, poems are not accepted.) It is our hope that by sharing the multitudes of Nikkei stories, we enhance our ability to better understand who Nikkei are.
All stories submitted to Nikkei Chronicles 6: Itadakimasu 2! Another Taste of Nikkei Culture that meet the project guidelines and criteria will be published in the Discover Nikkei Journal on a rolling basis as part of the Itadakimasu 2 series. Authors may submit multiple entries. Submissions will be accepted until September 30, 2017, at 6 p.m. PDT.Click here for complete submission guidelines.
We have already published three submissions—one each in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. Click here to read them. You can also check out favorite stories and comments from the first Itadakimasu series for inspiration. Don’t delay, send in your stories today and join the discussion!
The Gala is our biggest fundraising event of the year, and the funds raised allow us to continue the important work that we do. To the many people who attended the Gala, donated and bid on silent auction gifts, purchased Lexus Opportunity Drawing tickets, made Bid For Education gifts and more, we extend our deepest gratitude for your support.
One of our photographers, Tracy Kumono, produced a short slide show of the evening’s highlights, which she has graciously allowed us to share with you.
She also has the complete set of Gala photos (more than 650) on her website, and you can order individual prints from her directly. You will need to provide your name and email address to enter the gallery and order prints.
In addition, we are pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s Lexus Opportunity Drawing is Craig Tomiyoshi of Huntington Beach, California. He will pick up his brand new 2015 Lexus RC F in the fall.
We are interested in hearing your comments about the evening. If you’d like to share your thoughts, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, thank you for your support. We hope to see you next year!
Photos by Tracy Kumono, Nobuyuki Okada, Daryl Kobayashi, and Russell Kitagawa.
KoAloha Ukulele is coming from Hawaii on Saturday, February 8 to lead performances, workshops, crafts, and all things ukulele at our next Target Free Family Saturday. It’s FREE all day!
Bring your own ukulele to learn basic and intermediate ukulele with Brian Benevente of KoAloha Ukulele and other KoAloha artist partners (11:15am/12:15pm/1:15pm/2:15pm). The little ones will enjoy strum-along and sing-along workshops with George “Gibi” del Barrio as “Abba Geebz” (Grandpa Geebz) at 11:30am, 12:45pm, and 1:45pm. If you don’t have your own ukulele, Anacapa Ukulele will be on-site selling instruments!
There will be solo performances by spectacular ukulele performers Tj Mayeshiro, Jason Arimoto, and Ryo Montgomeryat 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm. Plus an All-Star jam finale at 3:30pm with all three performers.
Plus, screenings of award-winning films: My KoAloha Storyat 11:30am and The Haumana at 1:30pm; make your own candy leis; send an aloha to someone special by making a valentine with a bit of a Hawaiian touch; and fold an origami Hawaiian canoe.
We were delighted to receive so many submissions to the “Marvels & Monsters: Unbound” showcase competition, and thank all the talented and imaginative artists and authors who sent us entries.
It was a challenge to pick the ones that were ideal for the showcase, but here they are!
Robert Allison, “Overwrite” Mark Brown, “Evil Is a Yellow Face” Carin Chea, “The Jumper” Joey Damiano, “The Audition” Raymond Hui, “X Wings of Defeat” Deanna Myers, “Cute Asian Girl”
and Maritess Zurbano, who submitted two winning entries, whose titles are yet to be determined!
Join JANM’s Young Professionals Network on October 10 for the Showcase, featuring staged readings of all eight winning entries and a Q&A with the winners, moderated by MARVELS & MONSTERS curator Jeff Yang—and get a sneak preview of the MARVELS & MONSTERS exhibition itself.
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Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986
October 12, 2013 – February 9, 2014
Through a selection of images from comic books representing four turbulent decades, Marvels & Monsters illustrates how evolving racial and cultural archetypes defined America’s perceptions of Asians.
Marvels & Monsters Preview Reception
Thursday, October 10, 2013
6 PM – 9:30 PM
Join us for the Showcase, a special preview of the exhibition, and reception to celebrate the opening of the Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986 exhibition. Hosted by the JANM Young Professionals Network. To RSVP, contact email@example.com or 213.625.0414, ext. 2222.
NIKKEI+ ~Stories of Mixed Language, Traditions, Generations & Race~
Deadline for submissions: September 30 @6pm (PST)
Do you use chopsticks and forks; mix Japanese words with English or Spanish; or celebrate the New Year’s Eve countdown with champagne and Oshogatsu with ozoni and other Japanese traditions?
There’s just 1 week left to submit stories about being Hapa, growing up in families with mixed generations, or mixing traditions.
All stories that meet the submission guidelines will be published on Discover Nikkei. Our online community’s most favorite stories will be translated into our site languages (English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese) and may even ben published in our partnering Nikkei publications in the US, Canada, and Latin America!
Here are links to a few of the 12 stories published so far. After you’ve read them, “vote” for your favorites to help us select the stories to translate! Just log in to award your favorite stories a “star”.
Write an original monologue or short performance piece for a chance to be included in JANM’s October 10 “MARVELS & MONSTERS” SHOWCASE!
Throughout our nation’s history, Asians have been depicted as a set of distorted archetypes—the eternal foreigner, the sexless nerd, the brutal thug, the mystical wise man, the suicidal fanatic, the perpetual victim, the exotic seductress, and the conniving mastermind.
Now we’re looking for you to help shatter those images—with short original works of your own.
To commemorate the Japanese American National Museum’s West Coast premiere of MARVELS & MONSTERS: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986, we’re looking for you to submit monologues or short performance works that rethink, subvert, deconstruct, or satirize the eight Asian pop-culture archetypes depicted in this exhibition, which draws from science fiction author William F. Wu’s extensive collection of comic books featuring Asian and Asian American characters—widely considered to be the largest in the world.
The archetypes are:
THE ALIEN: The perpetual foreigner; the enigmatic, inscrutable, unassimilable outsider in our midst. His customs are peculiar, his beliefs heathen, his agenda secret; never fully understood, and so never fully trusted, he is best regarded from a distance with a mix of curiosity, revulsion and fear.
THE BRAIN: The hyperintelligent mind without a body; sexless, heartless, friendless, a self-hating prodigy more comfortable interacting with machines than people. The math nerd and mad scientist, the otaku and outcast: He may rule the world, but will he ever get the girl?
THE BRUTE: The gangster, the thug, the minion, the martial arts master—the Brute may be a staggering physical specimen, but he is a nameless and voiceless one; his is not to wonder why—his is merely to do, and more often than not, die, without complaint or commemoration. Stoic in his suffering, silent in his rage, he is infinitely interchangeable, eternally anonymous, limited in language to gestures of deference and the vocabulary of violence.
THE GURU: The mystical wise one, whose inscrutable ways disguise the ancient, awesome truths he holds within his soul. Aged and wizened, he speaks in vague riddles and impenetrable allegories, appearing at first glance to be mad, senescent, or both. Yet to the right individual, the apprentice who is destined to inherit the Guru’s secrets, he is a gatekeeper to limitless power.
THE KAMIKAZE: Human missiles screaming a lingering cry of “Banzai!!!!” as they plummet toward enemy forces; insurgents wired with explosives, eager to martyr themselves to earn vengeance and a reward in Heaven; nameless soldiers scrambling over the corpses of their fellows only to be mowed down in turn. The Kamikaze has many faces, but all are mindlessly self-sacrificing, zealously loyal, feverishly patriotic, and utterly dismissive of the value of human life.
THE LOTUS BLOSSOM: The long-suffering wife, the left-behind lover; the hostage, the victim, the betrayed and forgotten. The Lotus Blossom is patient in her doomed love and passive to her predestined fate—which is to be abused, abased, exploited, and ultimately destroyed by or sacrificed for the man she loves and serves.
THE TEMPTRESS: The exotic seductress, who uses her feminine wiles and sexual prowess to enthrall and ultimately, betray—lush of body, false of heart, her mocking laughter and the sharp rake of her clawed fingers may well be the last thing you’ll ever experience.
THE MANIPULATOR: The evil controller, the shadowy mastermind, the megalomaniacal puppeteer seeking conquest through nefarious intrigue; brilliant, yes, but twisted by an insatiable lust for wealth, power, and control—hoping, perhaps, that world domination might fill the dark and hollow void of his soul.
Eight winning pieces will be selected by a jury that includes exhibition curator Jeff Yang; winning authors will receive widespread public acclaim and admiration, a $100 honorarium, and the opportunity to present their pieces as staged readings at JANM’s “Marvels & Monsters: Unbound” Short Works Showcase on October 10, 2013.
Unleash your creative potential. Submit your entries today!
Entries must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org as file attachments (.DOC, .TXT, or .RTF filetypes accepted; email above if alternate filetype is preferred). You will receive an emailed confirmation of your submission.
1. Entries must be received by no later than 5PM PT on September 15, 2013 to be considered. Winners will be notified by 5PM PT on September 18.
2. The competition is open to all individuals, amateur or professional.
3. Entries should be no more than five minutes long in total.
4. All types and genres of work that can be performed live are eligible, including musical and solo performance pieces. Any instruments, props, or media utilized in a presentation must be provided by and are the sole responsibility of the submitter.
5. Works will be judged on their originality and quality, as well as their complementarity with other selected works and their relevance to the ideas and images depicted in the exhibition.
6. Winning submitters will be responsible for casting, staging, and directing their own presentations. JANM will provide space for one dress rehearsal before the showcase.
7. Authors retain all rights to their submissions. However, by submitting, authors agree to present their work at JANM on October 10, and to allow presentations to be taped for possible inclusion in the Marvels & Monsters exhibition and in documentary and video materials related to the exhibition.
If you’re in the New York area, the New York Mets will be having their 4th Annual Japanese Heritage Night on Wednesday, August 28. The Mets will be playing the Philadelphia Phillies.
There will be a special Japanese Heritage Night pre-game show that begins at 6:30pm featuring the Japanese Folk Dance Institute, the Japanese Men’s Choir, taiko and fue master Kaoru Watanabe, and Spirit Award presentations to important members of our community.
Look for fun Japanese activities and games throughout the evening at the special Japanese Heritage Night tables!
A portion of the proceeds of all ticket sales made through the special JHN ticket window at mets.com/japanwill be given to the Japanese-American Association’s, JAA Committee on Aging Issues which is an umbrella organization comprised of various New York City area institutions and health care professionals that are involved in caring for senior citizens in the Japanese and Japanese-American Community.
Buy tickets for seating in one the specially designated Japanese Heritage Night sections available at mets.com/japan.
Seats in three price categories will be grouped together:
• Baseline Box Silver $63
• Pepsi Porch $37
• Promenade Reserved $23
Blocks of seats must be purchased in the same transaction. Organizations that sell more than 25 tickets can have their name displayed on the Mets scoreboard.
If you are in Seattle, many of our staff will be there for the 2013 National Conference, Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice,Dignityat the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. For information about the conference, events schedule, speakers, and more, visit janm.org/conference2013
Patriots & Peacemakers: Arab Americans in Service to Our Country opens at JANM this Saturday on February 16 and will be on view through April 14, 2013. Fittingly, we will also be commemorating our annual Community Day of Remembrance here that day too.
Created by the Arab American National Museum (AANM), the exhibition tells true stories of heroism and self-sacrifice that affirm the important role Arab Americans have played in our country throughout its history.
Patriots & Peacemakers highlights three specific areas of service: the U.S. Armed Forces, diplomatic service and the Peace Corps. Personal narratives highlight Arab American men and women of different national and religious backgrounds. The exhibition also asks visitors to consider how commitment to service impacts them in their daily lives.
In addition to the exhibition from AANM, there are a few extra components. We are screening 9066 to 9/11: America’s Concentration Camps, Then…and Now?, a documentary produced by our Watase Media Arts Center in 2004. The film focuses on the parallels between the post-September 11 treatment of Arab Americans and Muslims in this country with treatment of Japanese Americans after the start of World War II.
AANM also created a special banner dedicating this presentation in Los Angeles to Senator Daniel K. Inouye who passed away at the end of last year “…In sincere appreciation for his contributions to the exhibition’s development, his support for the Arab American National Museum and the Arab American community, and his decades of exemplary service to our country.”
Elizabeth Barrett Sullivan, Curator of Exhibits at AANM, came at the beginning of the month to work with JANM staff to install the exhibition in our upstairs gallery. One of the special perks of being a staff or volunteer at JANM is getting to go on walkthroughs of our new exhibitions with curators and artists.
You can check out photos from the special Patriots & Peacemakers walkthrough with Elizabeth on our Facebook page. Here are a few photos: