A Word From One of This Summer’s Getty Interns

And with each summer brings a new opportunity…

June gloom is finally beginning to burn off, and all my school friends are enjoying the break tanning on the beautiful Santa Barbara beach by day and partying by night.  I, instead, sit typing at my internship desk, with loaned keyboard, computer, and office space.  My days are filled with waking up earlier than I have in years, falling asleep, against my will, exhausted, the moment I get home, battling the 110 north, and having the time of my life at the National Museum.

My name is Alyctra Matsushita.  I’m going to be a senior at University of California, Santa Barbara (go Gauchos!), studying English and Asian American Studies.  I’m also the Japanese American National Museum’s Media Arts Intern, one of three undergraduate students commissioned for ten weeks to intern at the Museum by courtesy of the Getty Museum.

I’ve been here less than two weeks, but I’ve already learned so much.  I’ve met the huge multitude of volunteers–some of them several times over.  It feels like every time I walk into a room, I’m introduced to a new crop.  Even though there are gaggles of them, they’re each personable and kind—in the mornings they offer the interns coffee cake and other treats, they have potlucks and snacks, and every one has dozens of stories, from war memories and tales that they share willingly with my fellow interns, to gardening secrets and other gossip secretly whispered to more trusted fellow docents.

In the last two weeks, I’ve also learned more than I ever even knew existed about the multimedia world.  I’ve gotten to cut and edit tape to be used for the Discover Nikkei website—as a self-proclaimed Asian American Studies nerd, this was especially exciting because I’ve explored the site multiple times for both academic research, as well as recreation.  To see the behind the scenes work involved after exploring the site myself was especially satisfying.  I also did my first solo shoot—a book party with testimonials from the Japanese Americans from Lompoc!

All in all, the first two weeks have gone by quickly.  Getting the hang of things the first couple of days was a bit wracking, but now that I know what’s what, things are smooth sailing.  I’m very excited for the next eight weeks, and can only imagine the fun they will bring!

National Asian American Theater Conference


The National Museum is honored to be one of the hosts the 3rd Annual National Asian American Theater Conference & Festival. Here is the schedule of performances that will be taking place here @ JANM:

National Center for the Preservation of Democracy (Tateuchi Democracy Forum)

June 23, 2011

7:00pm NAATCO: A Number by Caryl Churchill

9:00pm May Lee-Yang: Ten Reasons Why’d I’d Be a Bad Porn Star

June 24, 2011

7:00pm Brandon Patton and Prince Gomolvilas: Jukebox Stories

9:00pm Jason Magabo Perez: The Passion of El Hulk Hogancito

June 25, 2011

7:00pm May Lee-Yang: Ten Reasons Why’d I’d Be a Bad Porn Star

9:00pm NAATCO: A Number by Caryl Churchill

June 26, 2011

2:00pm Jason Magabo Perez: The Passion of El Hulk Hogancito

4:00pm Brandon Patton and Prince Gomolvilas: Jukebox Stories

For schedule information, visit www.caata.net/.

More Spaces Available in our Introduction Udon Making Class!

We have a few spaces available in our introduction to udon making class with Sonoko Sakai!

Find out how to make real and delicious udon noodles! Wear close toes shoes with soft soles. Bring an apron and a tupperware to take home your udon. $75 members; $85 non-members, includes admission and supplies. RSVP early, 12 students max.

For more information about Sonoko Sakai and her other workshops, visit www.cooktellsastory.com/.

Public Invited for Update on Regional Connector Plans

On June 29 at 6:30 pm, JANM will host a public meeting about the new regional connector plan here in Little Tokyo (Los Angeles).

From Blog Downtown:

“Little Tokyo, the community that had been most vocal during Regional Connector planning, got a preview of changes to its part of the rail line in January. The refined 1st and Alameda station takes up only half the space of the previous design, fitting into the northern half of the block bounded by 1st, Alameda, 2nd and Central. More importantly, it creates a gentle curve onto 2nd Street that could allow Metro to use open land at 1st and Alameda to insert the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) needed for construction of the underground line.”

To read the full article, go to: http://blogdowntown.com/2011/06/6281-public-invited-for-update-on-regional-connector

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!