Itadakimasu! A Taste of Nikkei Culture

2 weeks left to submit Nikkei food stories!

Itadakimasu! A Taste of Nikkei CultureThere’s just 2 weeks left before the September 30, 2012 deadline to submit your Nikkei food stories for our special Discover Nikkei Itadakimasu!

You don’t have to be a professional or aspiring writer to participate. The most important thing is that you share your story and be included.

English, Spanish, and Portuguese articles should be about 600–1,200 words. Japanese articles should be about 800 to 1,800 characters. The full submission guidelines are available online: http://5dn.org/itadakimasu

All stories that meet our guidelines will be published on our DiscoverNikkei.org website. Plus, our editorial committee will be selecting their favorite stories to feature, translate into all of our site languages (English, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese), and selected stories will be printed on our partner Nikkei publications.

Deadline to submit stories for Itadakimasu! is September 30, 2012 at 6pm (PST).

 

Since our last update a couple of weeks ago, we’ve published 3 more Itadakimasu stories online with more waiting to be published:

Mochi and Me by Ben Arikawa

Food for Life: Nice Rice by Gil Asakawa

ブラジルのおかきと“ウメボシ” by Naomi Kimura (in Japanese & Portuguese)

Read all 17 Itadakimasu stories >>

Ben Arikawa reveals a shocking confession about his mochi tastes

 

Naomi Kimura's story about okaki and umeboshi in Brazil

Giant Robot Biennale 3 exhibition site is online!

The opening of Giant Robot Biennale 3 is coming up next weekend!

And we just launched the special exhibition site with information about the upcoming Giant Robot Biennale 3!

Check it out for info about the exhibition, video, artist bios, related public programs, audio tour, and more:

janm.org/grb3

We’ll be adding more artist images and other goodies in the next few weeks.

We also have an interview with GRB3 curator Eric Nakamura on our Discover Nikkei website: Giant Robot Biennale 3: Behind the Scenes with GR’s Eric Nakamura

 

If you’re in the Los Angeles area (or will be next weekend), be sure to join us next Saturday night for the GRB3 Opening Party!

GRB3 Opening Party
Saturday, September 22
6PM – 10PM
FREE!

Celebrate the exhibition opening with curator Eric Nakamura, GRB3 artists, and a performance by Money Mark!

 


 

We also recently just added a few new Giant Robot items to our online store!

Check out the new Giant Robot /JANM logo t-shirt and the Giant Robot Big Boss Figures set on janmstore.com.

1 month left to submit your Nikkei food story for Itadakimasu!

There’s just 1 month left until the deadline to submit your Nikkei food story for our Itadakimasu! A Taste of Nikkei Culture project!

Itadakimasu! A Taste of Nikkei Culture

Please join us and share your favorite food stories on Discover Nikkei!

All stories that meet our guidelines will be published on our DiscoverNikkei.org website. Plus, our editorial committee will be selecting their favorite stories to feature, translate into all of our site languages (English, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese), and selected stories will be printed on our partner Nikkei publications.

The deadline to submit stories to be included in Itadakimasu! is September 30, 2012 at 6pm (PST).

See submission guidelines & check out the stories published so far: http://5dn.org/itadakimasu

 

Since our last update, we’ve published 4 more Itadakimasu stories online with more waiting to be published:

Hiraoka Ranch. Fowler, CA
Erik Matsunaga’s story about JA enchiladas in “Farm Food”
 
Janice D. Tanaka’s shares about how her Maryknoll classmate took her on a Little Tokyo food adventure in “Elsie Kikuchi’s J-Town”

The Odyssey is another humorous Itadakimasu story by Rachel Yamaguchi about how her father led their family on a “quest” to find a Japanese restaurant he remembered from the “old days” when traveling through Fresno, CA.

Read all 14 Itadakimasu stories >>

Japanese American National Museum - Summer Festival on the Courtyard medals

JA Trivia Challenge this Saturday

Japanese American National Museum - Summer Festival on the Courtyard medals
Go for the Gold!

If you are:

a) knowledgeable about Japanese American sports

b) knowledgeable about sports trivia in general

c) have always wanted to be on a game show

d) good sports who would like to learn some interesting JA sports trivia

or just competitive…come participate in our JA Trivia Challenge at the free Summer Festival on the Courtyard event this Saturday! Our Discover Nikkei team is putting together a fun, highly interactive game with prizes for both contestants and audience members. It’s free to participate and attend!

All teams of 2 must check in between 12:30-12:50pm on Saturday at the Democracy Forum. In addition to winning medals, the top 3 teams will win gift certificates to our award-winning Museum Store (1st place: $100, 2nd place: $50, 3rd place: $20).

Mike Palma of Cold Tofu will be our game show host. Our judge/referee will be Brian Niiya of Densho (who also happened to be the curator for our More Than a Game: Sport in the Japanese American Community exhibition in 2000).

Date: Saturday, August 11, 2012

Location: Democracy Forum at the Japanese American National Museum

Schedule:

12:30-12:50pm: Teams check in
12:30pm: Forum doors open for teams & audience
1-2pm: Game time!
4:30pm: JA Olympics Medal Ceremony for winning teams

The Game
The JA Sports Trivia Challenge will consist of…

Round 1—Selection Round: All registered teams will participate in a single-elimination round with all multiple-choice questions. The top 3 teams advance to Round 2.

Audience Questions: Our game show host will have trivia questions for the audience to win some prizes!

Round 2: The top 3 teams will come down to the stage to answer multiple choice and a few fill-in questions for points.

Bonus Round: Identify 10 JA athletes and their sports. Audience members can play along to win more prizes!

At the end of the Bonus Round, we’ll tally all the points to see who will capture the Gold, Silver, and Bronze!

Hints: If you want to “train” for the event, we will have questions about past & present Japanese American athletes from the Olympics, and both amateur and professional sports. To be the winning team, you don’t have to answer all questions correctly, just get more points than the other teams. Questions will be a combination of mostly multiple choice and a few fill-in, so even if you don’t know all the answers, you could still do well if you’re lucky.

See you there!

2 months left to submit for Itadakimasu!

There’s now just 2 months left to submit your Nikkei food story for our Itadakimasu! A Taste of Nikkei Culture project!

Itadakimasu! A Taste of Nikkei Culture

Our Discover Nikkei website is collecting and sharing stories about Nikkei food culture and its impact on identity and communities. We want to collect together as many diverse stories from around the world as we can, so we invite you to submit personal stories and essays, memoirs, academic papers, book reviews, and other prose genre.

All stories that meet the guidelines will be published on Discover Nikkei as part of this special series. In addition, our Editorial Committee will select their favorite articles per language to be featured and translated into our site languages! Some of the submitted stories will be selected to be published in various Nikkei newspapers and partnering organization newsletters around the world (including The Rafu Shimpo in Los Angeles, Peru Shimpo in Lima, and Nikkeiy Shimbun in São Paulo, Brazil) after the conclusion of the project.

Since our last update, we’ve published 4 more Itadakimasu stories online. There are also more that we’ll be posting soon. The deadline to submit stories to be included in Itadakimasu! is September 30, 2012 at 6pm (PST). That’s just 2 months away from today!

Please join us and share your favorite food stories on Discover Nikkei!

See submission guidelines & check out the stories published so far: http://5dn.org/itadakimasu

Itadakimasu stories published since our last blog post:

The ESGVJCC Leisure Chef Kitchen Brigade pose with tsukemono, from Edward Moreno's story, "Our Lady Queen Of Pickles"

 

Family photo from Thanksgiving 1951 from Troy Ishikawa's story, "Three Generations of Japanese American Cooks and Food: From Grandma to daughter to grandson"

 

Her mother's jubako, from Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey's "Food for New Year" about her mother's cooking before and after WWII, and the foods they ate while at Amache

 

There are no tantalizing photos to accompany this story, but it’s well worth the read! “Look’it” Food by Rachel Yamaguchi is a humorous story of how the “hoarding” of treats for company isn’t a tradition that works well when you don’t entertain guests often.

 

Itadakimasu! A Taste of Nikkei Culture

Itadakimasu! Nikkei food stories

For many Nikkei around the world, food is often the strongest and most lasting connection they have with their culture. Across generations, language and traditions are often lost, but their connections to food remain.

Itadakimasu! A Taste of Nikkei CultureThe Museum’s Discover Nikkei website has launched a project to collect and share stories about Nikkei food culture and its impact on identity and communities. We want to collect together as many diverse stories from around the world as we can, so we invite you to submit personal stories and essays, memoirs, academic papers, book reviews, and other prose genre.

All stories submitted for our Itadakimasu! that meet the guidelines will be published on Discover Nikkei as part of this series. In addition, our Editorial Committee will select their favorite articles per language to be featured and translated into our site languages! Some of the submitted stories will be selected to be published in various Nikkei newspapers and partnering organization newsletters around the world (including The Rafu Shimpo in Los Angeles, Peru Shimpo in Lima, and Nikkeiy Shimbun in São Paulo, Brazil) after the conclusion of the project.

We’ve already published 6 Itadakimasu stories online, and have received several more that we’ll be posting soon. They range from holiday food traditions to sushi therapy. The most recent story features 100th/442nd veterans, Jake Shimabukuro, and of course, food!

The deadline to submit stories to be included in Itadakimasu! is September 30, 2012 at 6pm (PST). That’s just 3 months away from today!

Please join us and share your favorite food stories on Discover Nikkei!

See submission guidelines & check out the stories published so far: http://5dn.org/itadakimasu

Jake Shimabukuro with 100th & 442nd veterans from Jayne Hirata's story, "Health, Happiness, and Bear Hanakuso with the Wine Gang"

 

Giant tempura from Silvia Lumy Akioka's story, "My gastronomic habits in Brazil" (Portuguese & English)
From Jean Oda Moy's story, "Sushi Therapy" -- a touching story about the power of food memory
Ben Arikawa's mother on their Fresno family farm. From his story, "Cooking Traditions with Mom"
From Keiko Fukuda's story, 我が家の定番、県民食の鶏料理 (Japanese only)
Plastic kagami mochi and sparklers from Laurie Iwami's "Soba, Firecrackers and Home"

 

A new summer, a new wave of interns…

Hello! I just finished reading through all of the previous interns’ entries, and it seems like fun. I guess I’ll try to revive the intern section of the JANM blog!

My name is Lawrence, and I’m transferring to Cal State University, Northridge, in the fall as an Asian American studies major. This summer, I’m one of eighteen interns who have been placed at a variety of different community-based organizations throughout California’s Japantowns (in Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco) through the eight-week-long Nikkei Community Internship program. This summer, the program has placed me with both JANM and the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA), so while I’ll be contributing to the Discover Nikkei website in my capacity as the Discover Nikkei intern at JANM, but I’m also going to be researching and helping to preserve the legacy of pioneering Nikkei jurists in the local Los Angeles community for JABA!

The first two days of last week was the opening retreat for the Nikkei Community Internship (NCI), and even in those first two days, I got a chance to see how close-knit and interconnected the Japanese American community in Little Tokyo — and even the larger JA community beyond it — is. It’s so amazing and refreshing to see so many people working for their community in very real ways. I’m sure that, as the summer proceeds, I’ll continue to be impressed at the family-ness of the community here. I’m just glad to be a part of it this summer.

It’s only a week into my internship at JANM/JABA, and I’m really excited for the next seven weeks!

-Lawrence

Producing Japanese American History

We published a wonderful series of five articles by Dean Ryuta Adachi on our DiscoverNikkei.org site about various artifacts from JANM’s permanent collection. Dean is a PhD candidate in American History at Claremont Graduate University and is an active volunteer at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. I “met” him through the Discover Nikkei Twitter account several years ago and have kept in touch. When he found out that he would be down in Los Angeles last fall to be a lecturer of Asian American Studies at Harvey Mudd College, he offered to come in as a volunteer during his spare time.

Namyo Bessho
Gift of Indiana Bessho (92.81.2)

Dean worked with Programs, Discover Nikkei, and Collections staff to go through some of the little-known collections in our archives, and then share about them through Discover Nikkei. Here are links to the five articles in the “Producing Japanese American History: An exploration through the JANM archives” series. They include images of various artifacts from the collections.

Part 1 – History is Made: Namyo Bessho
Did you know that there was an Issei in the US Navy during the Spanish-American War?

Learn about how Namyo Bessho became a citizen in 1919 and then had it taken away >>

1948 article from Copenhagen, Denmark about John Nitta and chick sexing

Part 2 – History is Told: S. John Nitta

John Nitta played a significant role in the establishment of the chick sexing industry in the United States, but as Dean looked past the many awards in his collection, he found “plenty of unrelated hidden gems.”

Learn about his story >>

 

 

Estelle Ishigo
Gift of Mary Ruth Blackburn (2000.103.12)

Part 3 – History is Ignored: Estelle Ishigo
Estelle Ishigo was a Caucasian artist who went with her Nisei husband to Heart Mountain in Wyoming during World War II. She authored the book Lone Heart Mountain which included the drawings she did while in camp. She was the subject of Steven Okazaki’s Academy Award winning film Days of Waiting (1990). Yet, most of what we know is about her art. Dean’s exploration of JANM’s collection revealed artifacts that shared aspects about her personal life, and especially her deep love for her husband Arthur.

Read Estelle’s story >>

MacWilliamson radio
Gift of Joyce MacWilliamson (2001.120.1)

Part 4 – History is Lost: Joyce MacWilliamson

You may recognize the radio in part 4 from the American Tapestry exhibition. It is a beautiful shortwave radio, with a mysterious past that will most likely never be known. Left with Ramon “Mac” MacWilliamson by a Japanese American friend during World War II, he and his daughter always hoped to be able to return it the original owners after the war. After the story was posted on Discover Nikkei, Joyce MacWilliamson, the person who donated the radio to the museum, posted a comment, “Thank you for keeping hope alive that the rightful owner or his family will be found.”

Learn about her search and why she decided to donate the radio to JANM >>

Letter from Pvt. Masao Shigezane
Gift of Jane Van Blaricom (2001.72.58)

Part 5 – History is Found: Sumi and Masao Shigezane

The final part of the series ended with a surprising connection to a UCLA student’s project on Discover Nikkei. His search through JANM’s archives started with James G. Lindley, project director of the Amache camp during WWII, and led to the Shigezane family.

Read about this emotional journey >>

Dean Ryuta Adachi

I’d like to thank Dean for his work on unearthing and sharing these amazing stories. Many thanks also to Patricia Wakida who initiated this project, Yoko Nishimura for working so hard to get the stories online, and to JANM’s collections staff (Nikki Chang, Tomi Yoshikawa, Jane Nakasako, and Yoko Shimojo) for all their help in providing access and working with Dean during his time at JANM. Our CMA staff are the unsung heroes that work really hard behind-the-scenes at JANM!

Drawing the Line videos all online!

There’s just one more month to see Drawing the Line: Japanese American Art, Design & Activism at JANM!

If you’d like a taste of what is in the exhibition, all of the  Drawing the Line artist videos are online now. You can check them out on our YouTube channel.

Here’s the video of musician and dancer Nobuko Miyamoto, founder of Great Leap.

If you’re a fan of Nobuko, don’t miss her performance this coming Tuesday at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions:

Nobuko Miyamoto—What Can a Song Do?
Tuesday, January 24, 7pm
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90028.

Nobuko Miyamoto and Chris Iijima. Courtesy of Photographic Collections, Visual Communications. © Visual Communications.

Together with a group of guest musicians and activists from the 1960s/‘70s and the present, Miyamoto brings alive the dynamic moment when her 1973 album “A Grain of Sand: Music for the Struggle of Asians in America,” created a heartbeat for the Asian American Movement and shared rhythms with Black, Latino, and Native American cultural and political activists.

General admission is $10, students is $5, and it’s FREE for members of JANM and LACE! Tickets available at the door.

One last Drawing the Line update! We asked Yoshimi Kawashima (a former intern and current JANM volunteer!) to write an article about Gidra magazine for our Discover Nikkei site. Yoshimi is a current UCLA student active with the Nikkei Student Union (NSU), so thought she’d appreciate the assignment. We think she did a great job! GIDRA: The Voice of the Asian American Movement

Update (added 1/20/12): We’ve pulled together a Nikkei Album on our Discover Nikkei site with all of the Drawing the Line videos with brief summaries of each video. Check it out >>

“Common Ground” Volunteer Videos

Visitors to the museum often remark that what made their experience so special was getting to hear and talk to our volunteer docents. They share stories with our visitors that bring the artifacts in our Common Ground: The Heart of Community to life.

An ongoing project at the museum has been for our staff & interns in the Watase Media Arts Center, curatorial, and education units to work with some of our volunteers to develop 30 second (approximately) short videos talking about their favorite artifacts from Common Ground. The project is part of an ongoing effort to examine and re-envision the role the Museum and our volunteers will play in the 21st Century.

This is a wonderful project to record and share the stories especially of some of our older long-time Nisei volunteers while they’re still active at the museum.

We’re now up to 25 volunteer videos online. The most common artifact selected is the Heart Mountain barracks which makes an appearance in 3 videos. Although most are World War II-related, several are about pre-war Issei and Nisei life. While many are very poignant, some are humorous, like Marion Wada’s selection of a Hershey’s chocolate tin which recalls fond memories of childhood prior to WWII.

For those connected with the museum or have gone on tours here, you’ll recognize a lot of very familiar and dear faces. I’ve included a few of the more recent videos here, but you can view all of the videos from our Discover Nikkei website or on YouTube. Which ones are your favorites?

We’d like to thank the participating volunteers for sharing their personal stories: Ike Hatchimonji, Charlene Takahashi, Icy Hasama, Marion Wada, Mary Karatsu, Hitoshi Sameshima, Bill Shishima, Nancee Iketani, Ben Tonooka, Pat Ishida, Bob Uragami, Babe Karasawa, Yae Aihara, Richard Murakami, Yoko Horimoto, Jim Tanaka, Tohru Isobe, Mas Yamashita, Robert Moriguchi, Kathryn Madara, Kent Hori, May Porter, Eileen Sakamoto, Lee Hayashi, and Roy Sakamoto.

Funding for the Nisei Oral History project was provided by grants from the National Park Service and the California State Library through the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program.

Support for volunteer programming was generously provided, in part, by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., The William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation. The internships were provided through the Summer 2010 Getty Grants Program for Multicultural Undergraduate Internships to Los Angeles Area Museums & Visual Arts Organizations.