Happy Lunar New Year!

Possessed (2012), Audrey Kawasaki, oil, acrylic, and graphite on wood panel

 

2013 is the Year of the Snake!

When I saw this image, I thought it would make for a cool Lunar New Year blog post, plus be a way to also promote our Supernatural exhibition that opened at JANM yesterday.

Supernatural: The Art of Audrey Kawasaki, Edwin Ushiro, and Timothy Teruo Watters
Through March 17, 2013
Traditions are an integral part of every community. Some of these come from superstitions that our ancestors carried with them.

Supernatural features the work of Audrey Kawasaki, Edwin Ushiro, and Timothy Teruo Watters—artists who have explored some of these otherworldly concepts, illustrating how traditional ideas have evolved and been adapted over time.

Year of the Snake t-shirt by Donna Ikkanda - $22.00

For more details: janm.org/supernatural

Check out photos of the exhibition installation & Opening Party last night on our Facebook page: Supernatural photo album

 

Check out Year of the Snake and Asian zodiac-related items at our Museum Store >>

 

 

Supernatural: The Art of Audrey Kawasaki, Edwin Ushiro, and Timothy Teruo Watters

Supernatural opens February 9th!

Supernatural: The Art of Audrey Kawasaki, Edwin Ushiro, and Timothy Teruo Watters

Supernatural: The Art of Audrey Kawasaki, Edwin Ushiro, and Timothy Teruo Watters opens this Saturday!

The exhibition features the work of Audrey Kawasaki, Edwin Ushiro, and Timothy Teruo Watters—artists who have explored some of these otherworldly concepts, illustrating how traditional ideas have evolved and been adapted over time.

The exhibition will be up from February 9 – March 17, 2013. That’s just 5 weeks to come check it out before it closes!

For more details, visit: janm.org/supernatural

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We are celebrating the opening with two FREE events!

TARGET FREE FAMILY SATURDAY
Art from the Heart
11AM – 4PM
FREE ALL DAY!
Celebrate Valentine’s Day and the opening of Supernatural exhibition! Show your love by making art for yourself and others. Participate in art workshops with Timothy Watters and Edwin Ushiro!

Check janm.org/target for schedule >> 

 

Supernatural Opening Party
6:30PM – 9PM
FREE!
Get mystical with JANM! Celebrate the opening of Supernatural with the artists and some spooky fun—wandering ghosts, a medium, and special treats!

* * * * *

Learn more about the exhibition and the artists on our Discover Nikkei website. We’ll be adding an interview with Timothy Watters next week:

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Here are a few photos from the exhibition installation happening this week. Check our Facebook page for more photos: Supernatural photo album

 

Artist Edwin Ushiro prepares sketchbooks to display in the exhibition
Edwin Ushiro's sketchbooks
Paintings by Timothy Teruo Watters waiting to be hung

2013 Oshogatsu Festival photos

Thanks to everyone who joined us to celebrate the New Year & the Year of the Snake!

Over 2,800 came throughout the day for our 2013 Oshogatsu Family Festival on Sunday, January 6th to enjoy free crafts, performances & food.

Thanks so much to our volunteer photographers who captured all the fun—Caroline Jung, Russell Kitagawa, Daryl Kobayashi, Richard Murakami, and Tsuneo Takasugi.

Here’s a selection of the many, many photos they took to document the day!

(Click on the images to see the full photos)

 

For more Oshogatsu Family Festival photos, including from the Onigiri Design Contest, check out our photo album on our  JANM Facebook page >>

Fighting For Democracy: Who is the "We" in "We, the People"?

“Fighting for Democracy” travels to Charlotte, NC

The traveling exhibition, Fighting For Democracy: Who is the “We” in “We, the People”? opens at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, North Carolina this Saturday!

Fighting For Democracy: Who is the "We" in "We, the People"?The Levine will be the 10th site where we have travelled this exhibition that presents the diverse perspectives of seven individuals whose lives and communities were forever changed by World War II.

The exhibition will be on display from January 19 through July 14, 2013. Go check it out this Sunday at the Levine Museum’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration 2013. Free admission, activities, & performances.

For more info about the MLK Celebration >>

 

If you are in the Charlotte area, or have friends & family who are, let them know about the exhibition!

Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

For more information about the Charlotte presentation, contact 704.333.1887, or visit museumofthenewsouth.org.

For more information about the Fighting for Democracy exhibition >>

 

Giant Robot Biennale 3 Closing Party!

There are just 10 days left to come see (or see again!) the Giant Robot Biennale 3 exhibition before it closes on Sunday, January 20!

Giant Robot Biennale 3Come celebrate another successful Biennale at the GRB3 Closing Party on Thursday, January 17 from 6pm – 10pm (THAT’S NEXT WEEK!) with Giant Robot, JANM’s Young Professionals Network, and many of the artists from the exhibition.

It’s FREE!

Just go here to RSVP: grb3closingparty.eventbrite.com

For information about the exhibition, artist bios, images, videos, and more, visit janm.org/grb3.

 

JANM Young Professionals Network
The Young Professionals Network (YPN) furthers the mission of the Museum through philanthropic and social activities by connecting people in their 20s, 30s and 40s with a diverse and professional network that supports the growth of the Japanese American community. It provides young professionals with opportunities for community building, volunteering, fundraising, outreach and engagement. The YPN is governed by the New Leadership Advisory Council (NLAC) of the Japanese American National Museum.

2013 Oshogatsu Family Festival

Celebrate the New Year & the Year of the Snake with JANM!

Join us on Sunday, January 6 from 11am – 5pm for a BIG day full of family-friendly fun activities, crafts, and cultural performances…and it’s all FREE!

We will have a lot of everyone’s favorite activities, plus Year of the Snake-themed crafts & more!

Here are a few highlights to look forward to:

– Mochitsuki performance & demonstration by Kodama Taiko

– Common Grains returns with the Onigiri Design Contest. Last year, this was so popular that we ran out of rice! This year, we’ll also have a rice tasting and you can purchase different varieties of rice. [Learn about how Common Grains got started in this article by founder Sonoko Sakai on our Discover Nikkei site: Common Grains]

– World-renowned candy artist Shaun Ichiyanagi also returns to make snake sculpture candy! (Everyone can watch, but the candy snakes are for children only & will be raffled off at the start of every hour)

– Learn how to play taiko with Bombu Taiko

– Reptacular Animals presents a Reptile petting zoo! Come meet real snakes and other cool reptiles!

– Special fukubukuro (lucky bag) sale at the Museum Store

Check janm.org/oshogatsufest for full schedule >>

Here are some photos from last year’s Oshogatsu Family Festival taken by volunteer Richard Watanabe:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While you’re here, take advantage of the free admission all-day to check out Giant Robot Biennale 3 before it closes on January 20!

 

New Year's mochi by Hisako Hibi

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a Healthy & Happy New Year from the Japanese American National Museum!

New Year's mochi by Hisako Hibi
"New Year's mochi" by Hisako Hibi. Hisako Hibi Collection (99.63.2)

 

This image is from JANM’s permanent collection. It’s a painting by artist Hisako Hibi and features a still-life of kagami mochi / okasane.

On the back is this inscription:

Hisako Hibi. Jan 1943 at Topaz. Japanese without mochi (pounded sweet rice) is no New Year! It was very sad oshogatsu (New Year). So, I painted okazari mochi in the internment camp.

Our cultural traditions bring our families & communities together, and has the power to give us comfort.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from everyone at JANM!

Gift of Mine Okubo Estate (2007.62.155)

 

This image from the Mine Okubo Collection in our archives shows a family gathered around a cast iron stove to celebrate their first Christmas in camp. It is one of the drawings by artist Mine Okubo used for her book Citizen 13660 which shares life inside the Tanforan Assembly Center and Topaz concentration camp during World War II.

It reminds us that in tough times, it’s still important to come together and celebrate with family & friends. Kodomo no tame ni. For the sake of our children, we must continue on.

Wishing you & your loved ones a Happy & Healthy Holidays!

Senator Inouye on the Civil Liberties Act of 1988

 

In 2008, the Museum celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. At our Gala Dinner that year, one of the key players that we recognized who helped turn what was considered an impossible dream into reality was Senator Inouye, who suggested the creation of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) in 1979 as a stepping stone to enabling a successful redress bill to pass through Congress. He also helped to turn redress payments for Japanese Americans into an entitlement, keeping it from the difficult annual budget process.

In our member magazine that year, we published a special edition commemorating the anniversary. Fittingly, it was the inaugural issue for our new member magazine format called inspire.

It included this message from Senator Inouye:

Today, as I consider the significance of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, I first reflect on the important moment when President Reagan signed the bill into law on August 10, 1988. At that moment, it had been more than 46 years since President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, leading to the displacement of thousands of people of Jpaanese ancestry and their unconstitutional imprisonment by the U.S. government.

In so many of these individuals, treated unfairly solely because of their ethnic origin, there was a remarkable spirit, an incredible determination, and an unshakable belief that they, too, were Americans. We saw this in the actions of Japanese American soldiers who volunteered from behind barbed wire and gave their lives in hopes that their familiies, held prisoner by their own government, would one day share the promise of America. I have said before—and it bears repeating—that I have often asked myself if I would have volunteered for military service under these circumstances, and in all honesty, I cannot give you a forthright answer.

So when President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which authorized an official apology and token reparations to thousands of persons of Japanese ancestry, it was our government’s belated acknowledgment that what had been done during World War II was wrong and that the spirit held by so many Japanese Americans at the time had been vindicated. As I said back in 1988, Americans of Japanese ancestry now know in their hearts that the letter and the spirit of our Constitution hold true for them. We honor ourselves and we honor America. America demonstrated to the world that we are a strong people, strong enough to admit when we are wrong.

Today there are similar challenges facing our government and our country. We would be wise to look back at the historical importance of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and what it means to our Constitution and to all Americans. The passage of this law required the dedication and hard work of thousands of individuals. It required that individuals with no direct or political interest understand its relevance to our way of life, and it required that they do what was right. In challenging times like today, such an example is one that we should strive to emulate. If we do, Americans will once again show the world and ourselves that the United States is truly a great country.

 Watch video clips from a 2001 interview with Senator Inouye >>

Gift ideas for family & friends who don’t need another tchotchke…

2nd graders from Mt Washington visit JANM. Photo by Gary Ono.

Looking for a meaningful gift for the holidays?

Here are 3 gift ideas that don’t require standing in line at the mall, wrapping, or shipping.

Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll be supporting the work of an important organization whose mission is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience!

1) Gift Membership

Give the gift of membership!

Give the gift of membership! Your recipient will receive free admission to the Museum, 10% off at our award-winning Museum Store and at janmstore.com, inspire member magazine, and more!

For a complete listing of benefits >>

2) Children’s Courtyard Gift

Since the Pavilion building opened in 1999, the National Museum has honored its youngest supporters with a special Children’s Courtyard engraving. These Courtyard Kids ensure the Museum’s connection with each new generation. Give the gift that shares the Japanese American story and inspires a lifetime of discovery!

Guidelines for Inscription >>

3) Tribute Gifts

A Living Tribute marking a joyous occasion or a Memorial Gift honoring a loved one helps sustain and expand the programs and further the goals of the Museum. Your Honoree or the family of a Memorial Honoree will receive a letter from the National Museum acknowledging your contribution.

Make a donation in honor of a friend or loved one >>

Help us continue our work…make a gift today!