2012 Gala Dinner & After Party photos

Thank you to everyone who supported our 2012 Gala Dinner & Silent Auction!

Here are a few photos from the Gala Dinner and the After Party, plus links to a LOT more photos from the night.

Yosh Uchida, Deni & Norman Mineta, and Gordon Yamate
Yosh Uchida, Deni & Norman Mineta, and Gordon Yamate

One of our volunteer photographers, Tracy Kumono, has produced a short slide show of the evening’s highlights, which she has graciously allowed us to share with everyone.

JANM President/CEO G.W. Kimura with Tomoshige Mizutani

View the slideshow >>

She also has the complete set of photos (750+) on her website, from which you can order individual prints. You will need to enter your name and email address to enter the gallery and order prints directly from her.

View the Dinner photos and order prints >>

Kaji Family

Wyatt Conlon was our “Red Carpet” and “After Party” photographer. He has put an album together. You can order prints directly from him as well. If you would like to order individual prints, simply enter the code word “gala” to receive a 20% discount off your purchase.

View the Red Carpet and After Party photos >>

We are interested in hearing your comments of the evening. If you’d like to share your thoughts, please send us an email to specialevents@janm.org.

Thank you!

John, Josh, and Jack Morey
T. Candice Nakagawa, George Tanaka, and Guest








Photos by Tracy Kumono & Wyatt Conlon

2012 Lexus Opportunity Drawing Winner

At the Japanese American National Museum’s 2012 Gala Dinner, “Transforming a Forgotten Story”, held on May 5 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, Tracey Doi, Chief Financial Officer of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., drew one ticket from over a thousand entries to the Lexus Opportunity Drawing. The winning ticket would get a new 2013 Lexus GS 450h, which Toyota donated to the Museum for this fundraiser.

Tracey dug deep into the barrel and pulled out the lucky ticket. She read the name and paused. Only once in the decade that Toyota has donated Lexus vehicles to the Museum’s annual dinner has the owner of the winning ticket been in the ballroom. No response.

Unlike most of the ticket stubs, there was no phone number on the winning ticket. Just a mailing address sticker people use so they don’t have to handwrite their home address on their mail.

The next day, we looked up the record for the ticket stub and found a home phone number. We called and no one was home (it was Sunday). We left a message and eventually made direct contact with the lucky winner.

For those of you familiar with Japanese American history, see if this profile sounds familiar: the recipient’s grandfather immigrated to the United States before World War II. He eventually moved to the Southwest to work in agriculture. The recipient’s father and his siblings all had to work for the family business. The family business evolved into driving trucks from Texas to Los Angeles to sell produce and vegetables at the produce market.

At first, the family could not find a place in the Los Angeles produce market and sold their goods on the streets outside. When a spot opened up, the grandfather moved the family to Los Angeles and established his business. Eventually, the grandfather retired and the recipient’s father and brother took over. The recipient and his siblings then were brought into the produce business and are the third generation to operate it. The recipient said that there are enough nieces and nephews involved so the business should make it to the fourth generation.

If that profile sounds familiar, it should. It is a common story among Japanese Americans. But, the recipient is not Japanese. His name is Dan Horwath and his grandfather came from Hungary. The business, Royal Produce, deals with sales, shipping, and cold storage.

So, how did Dan happen to buy Lexus Opportunity tickets from the Museum?

The family business once imported crops from Mexico and needed an office in Nogales, Texas. Dan spent 20 years there (met his wife, Rosie, who is from Mexico) and befriended a man named Toru Fujiwara. When Toru’s father Hiroshi passed away about six years ago, Dan wanted to make a donation in his memory. But since there was no Buddhist temple in Nogales, Horwath made a donation to the Museum in Hiroshi’s memory.

Apparently, that put Horwath on a list and he began getting literature and other mailings from the Museum. That included Lexus Opportunity tickets and he began donating money annually.

“I’d been to the Museum,” he explained. “I grew up with Japanese Americans (who worked for his father).”

Over the years, people like Henry Kuwahara, Fred Ota, and Ken Ito worked many years for the Horwath family business. It left an impression on young Daniel, who observed, “They were very important to our industry. It is a hard business and they worked hard.”

Dan remembers taking judo classes at the Pasadena dojo when he was growing up with his brother. They were the only non-JAs.

Dan was quite surprised to be told he had won the Lexus. It was never his intention to actually win, but “to give something back.” Still, his wife will have a new car when Toyota brings out the 2013 line.

Dan still gets up at 3 a.m. each day to get to work at the produce market. His wife works with accounting and food safety, but their two children are off on other careers.

Dan is quick to recall the large influence Japanese Americans had in his business and ticked off several businesses like Morita Produce and Olympic Produce which were run by Nikkei. Things are changing, but he would like their memory to survive.

What is interesting is that Dan originally bought $500 worth of opportunity tickets back in November when they first were available. Then, this last March, he bought another $500. It was out of the second batch that Tracey Doi pulled his winning ticket.

In the end, it was gratifying that someone like the Horwaths get the new Lexus. Their support of the Museum is admirable and their motives are ideal.


Dr. Greg Kimura, President & CEO of JANM, congratulates Dan Horwath, the winner of the 2013 Lexus 450h
Mike Shinoda with Glorious Excess motorcycle

New Silent Auction item just added! Mike Shinoda hand-painted & signed motorcycle

We have another amazing Silent Auction item for the 2012 Gala Dinner!

A Honda Fury Motorcycle, Hand-Painted & Signed by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda!

Mike Shinoda with Glorious Excess motorcycleTake home this amazing customized Honda Fury motorcycle, hand-painted and signed by Linkin Park vocalist, Mike Shinoda!

This customized motorcycle was featured in Glorious Excess (Dies): Paintings by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda (2009) at the Museum and has never been driven on the road.

Aside from his musical talents as the rapper, songwriter, keyboardist, vocalist, and rhythm guitarist, Mike Shinoda is incredibly gifted as an artist and painter. He has had a hand in most artistic facets of Linkin Park’s imagery, including album artwork, band merchandise, and on-stage production art.

The Honda Fury is the most distinctive custom Honda has ever created. Long, lean and mean, stretching nearly six feet from axle to axle, this machine literally screams with chopper style. And once you’ve saddled up and fired that big 1312cc V-twin, you’ll know you’ve experienced a motorcycle like none other.

Glorious Excess motorcycle at JANM

Terms: Includes: one (1) custom designed Honda Fury motorcycle, hand-painted and signed by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda. Bidders must be at least 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license and able to present evidence of adequate insurance. Winner subject to verification of compliance with rules and may be required to execute liability release and affidavit of eligibility/publicity release. Other paperwork pending which may delay final delivery of motorcycle to winning bidder. The winning bidder is responsible for the pick-up and/or delivery of the Motorcycle from the Japanese American National Museum located at 100 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The winning bidder is responsible for any income, sales taxes or other taxes, license, title, registration and other expenses associated with receiving the Motorcycle. Winning bidder agrees to release the Japanese American National Museum, and American Honda Motor Co. Inc., from any liability, including without limitation, property loss, injury, or death resulting from participation in this auction.

Donated by: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Check out the other Silent Auction packages >>

For more information about the 2012 Gala Dinner & Silent Auction and After-Party at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live on Saturday, May 5: janm.org/dinner2012

2012 Gala Dinner After Party

2012 Gala Dinner After Party

2012 Gala Dinner this Saturday!

Our 2012 Gala Dinner & Silent Auction is just 2 days away!!!

Staff, volunteers, and leadership are busy with the many, many final preparations for the big event. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year where we raise much of our annual operating funds. It’s also a great event to attend!

Here’s a preview of what we have planned for this Saturday night at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live:

2012 Silent Auction catalogAn incredible Silent Auction jam-packed with all kinds of great packages in 8 sections (Art, Buy-It-Now, Entertainment, Food & Wine, Luxury, Sports, Travel, and Treasures). You can get a sneak peek by downloading the Silent Auction Catalog. The Silent Auction is open during our yummy Seafood Reception hosted by American Fish & Seafood Co. and Sumitomo Corporation of America.

Our Gala Dinner & Program theme this year is Transforming a Forgotten Story, and will highlight the evolution of the Japanese American World War II story from almost forgotten to being shared internationally today. We will be presenting former Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta with our Distinguished Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement and Public Service.

The program will also include Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, author of Farewell to Manzanar and filmmaker John Korty who was the director of the made-for-TV film based on the book. Plus, a song from George Takei’s upcoming musical Allegiance will be performed!

2013 Lexus GS 450hWe will also be drawing the winner of the Lexus Opportunity Drawing where a lucky person will win a 2013 Lexus GS 450h, and a live Bid for Education where we raise money that provides free admission and buses for many school groups to visit throughout the year and learn about the Japanese American experience.

2012 Gala Dinner After PartyBut that’s not all! Our Young Professionals Network is hosting an After Party! It’s free for Gala Dinner guests, or $20 for JANM Members / $25 for non-members. Download the flyer for more details.

Check janm.org/dinner2012 for more details!





Save the Date: 2012 Gala Dinner

We’ve already begun planning for next year’s Gala Dinner!

The 2012 Gala Dinner is set for Saturday, May 5. We’ll be back at the JW Mariott Hotel at L.A. Live.

Our staff is currently working to finalize ticket & sponsorship opportunities, so stay tuned for more info.

In the meantime, we’re excited to announce that Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. will once again be providing a Lexus for our Lexus Opportunity Drawing! This time, you’ll be able to win an all-new 2013 Lexus GS 450h hybrid!

The model is being redesigned for 2013. For those who know something about cars (not me!), it’s the world’s first premium performance sedan to be equipped with a V6 Atkinson cycle gas engine and two-motor hybrid system, in a front engine rear-wheel drive vehicle.

For a chance to win, tickets are $25 each, or 5 for $100 (buy 4, get 1 free!). For details, download the flier/form below.

Download the Opportunity Drawing form (PDF) >>

2013 Lexus GS 450h