Earlier this week, la.cityvoter.com announced that the Japanese American National Museum was voted “Best Museum” on the 2013 Los Angeles Hot List. JANM was runner up for Best Museum in 2011 and 2012, but this year, LA voters placed JANM on top of 38 other great museums—including institutions like the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the L.A. County Museum of Art—for the number one spot!
JANM was voted not only for its unique exhibitions, but for it’s public programs and exceptional staff and volunteers as well!
To all of those who voted for JANM, thank you so much! Also, thank you to our visitors, Museum members, staff, and dedicated volunteers for making JANM an amazing and vibrant institution!
Fall is a great time to check out the Museum, be sure to view our exciting exhibitions and upcoming public programs:
Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986 is now open! Come view a selection of images from comic books representing four turbulent decades. This exhibition illustrates how evolving racial and cultural archetypes defined America’s perceptions of Asians. For more information please visit: janm.org/marvels-monsters
Mark your calendars for the upcoming exhibition, Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts, opening on November 12, 2013. This exhibition chronicles the resilience and bravery of WWII Nisei soldiers both on and off the battlefield. For more information and updates please visit: janm.org/goforbroke
Stop by the Museum for November’s Target Free Family Saturdays: Awesome Autumn from 11AM – 4PM on November 9th! We’ll have a variety of FREE activities including crafts, origami, a bounce house, a reading of Thanksgiving atObaachan’s with author Janet Mitsui Brown, and more! For details, please visit: janm.org/target
The day was jam-packed with loads of entertainment and activities! From a guided Gallery Tour with curator Jeff Yang, to a Photo Booth that snapped photos of guests in their costumes, there were activities that took place all day for people of all ages and interests! Thanks to all the visitors who joined us, and a BIG “Thank you” to every staff member and volunteer for helping!
Our November Target Free Family Saturdays: Awesome Autumn is next weekend! It’s FREE all day and will take place on November 9th from 11AM – 4PM. For details: janm.org/target
Check out these photos from the October Target Free Family Saturdays event!
[Click on the photos to see full images]
Wow! We had such an incredible time at this year’s Natsumatsuri Family Festival on August 10, 2013. Nearly 4,000 guests came to enjoy a day full of cultural performances, demonstrations, activities, and crafts. A big thank you to everyone who made it out (and extra kudos to those who came from as far away as Bakersfield and Frazier Park—that’s a whole lot of driving!).
Take a look through this event recap and see if you can spot yourself!
This year, we added a few new perks to thank our Members and Courtyard Kids. Museum members were able to use special “fast pass” lines for some of our most popular activities, including the yukata dress-up and the screenprinted tote bags. Members also got prime seats at our Aratani Central Hall performances and demonstrations. To all of our members who came out for Natsumatsuri, thanks again for your support!
Speaking of Central Hall events, we had a day jam-packed with great performances! Roger del Norte and Lupita Infante stole the show with a Japanese-Spanish mariachi duet, accompanied by the band MEXICAPAN. It was standing room only for Roger and Lupita, and the crowds didn’t let up for the L.A. Matsuri Taiko performance that finished up the day.
Long before that, we kicked the day off with a visit from the Nikkei courts of San Francisco, Honolulu, and Seattle. The queens and princesses came by for a meet n’ greet with JANM President/CEO G.W. Kimura, followed by a tour of our Common Ground: The Heart of Community exhibition from our knowledgeable docents.
As you probably noticed, this year’s Natsumatsuri was all about celebrating summer with some old and new traditions! From learning to play taiko drums with volunteer Hal Keimi to listening to Rev. Bill Briones of Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple explain the history of Obon in both Japan and the United States, we went back to the roots of traditional Japanese festivals. (The wacky paper hats craft is a much-loved tradition of our own!)
We’re big believers in interactive activities fun at JANM. This year, we invited visitors to make self-portraits and fans upstairs, while we once again hosted the “What Are You?” photo activity and omikuji fortunetelling downstairs. Traditional Obon dancing lessons and airbrush tattoos were also big hits.
What was your favorite part of the day? See below for more photos!
Thanks to our wonderful volunteer photographers for documenting the day: Russell Kitagawa, Nobuyuki Okada, Richard Watanabe, Tsuneo Takasugi, Shoji Tokumasa, Richard Murakami, June Aoki, Caroline Jung, and Daryl Kobayashi.
What better way to get into the spirit of summer festivals than with some new duds? Try on a yukata with the help of Suehiro Kimono Agency and get your photo taken at our Natsumatsuri Family Festival this weekend on Saturday, August 10!
Yukata are traditional Japanese garments for both men and women. Unlike kimono, they are worn for casual occasions, especially during the summer for special events such as obon or firework displays. They are unlined and made of cotton—making them nice and cool for those long, hot days.
In Heian-era Japan, court nobles wore linen yukata after bathing, a practice later adopted by the public with the popularization of public baths. Today, they are often brightly colored with fun patterns such as florals or geometric designs. Many young women coordinate their yukata color with that of their obi, or sash—some even wearing a more transparent obi on top for decoration. Some go all out and also wear geta, or traditional wooden clogs, and a kanzashi, a cute hair ornament.
2013 Natsumatsuri Family Festival FREE ALL DAY!
Saturday, August 10, 2013
11AM – 5PM
2PM – 5PM: Try on a yukata and have your picture taken!
Suehiro Kimono Agency will dress you in a yukata so you can have a special picture to take home! Yukata are traditional light Japanese garments worn during the summer to keep cool.
We all had a blast at the Target Free Family Saturdays event on July 13! It was great to see so many families hanging out and working together to make family portraits and journals! The audience was packed for all of our book readings, especially Allen Say and his daughter Yuriko’s telling of The Favorite Daughter. While some of our young visitors made tasty and fresh summer salads with Kidding Around the Kitchen, others worked on recording their family stories in our writing workshop.
If you missed this Target Day, come on out to the next one, Zap! Pow! Bam!, on October 12th. And don’t miss our upcoming free Natsumatsuri on August 10th!
Thanks again to everyone who showed up, and all of our great volunteers who helped out. Check out more photos on our Facebook page!
Photos by: Caroline Jung, Russell Kitagawa, and Tsuneo Takasugi
The very fun Natsumatsuri Family Festival is right around the corner—Saturday, August 10, 11 am – 5 pm. The National Museum welcomes ALL children to participate in free crafts and cultural activities—but there’s a special call out to Members!
To reward our members for supporting the National Museum, we will have “Member fast pass” lines for such popular activities as yukata dress-up, tote bag screen printing, and airbrush kid tattoos, not to mention a limited number of reserved-seating for the Japanese Mariachi and LA Matsuri Taiko performances.
The Japanese American National Museum is a community-based, cultural institution open for ALL people to learn about the stories of Japanese America. At JANM, we realize that our members and donors make an investment for EVERYONE and when we can, we give back a little extra to those supporters who help realize our mission and programs. Thank you for your continued support and we’ll see you at Natsumatsuri!
Did you honor a special child (or children) in your life this year? If you did it with the gift of a permanent engraving in the Plaza of the Japanese American National Museum, then your invitation has already been sent for our Saturday, August 10, 2013 Courtyard Kids luncheon.
This luncheon is invitation-only and will be a fun and refreshing time to celebrate some of our youngest supporters.
RSVP’s are due by Thursday, August 1. Please contact Gina Nieto (firstname.lastname@example.org or 213.830.5669) so that we may prepare food, goodie bags, and reserved tote bags (to be screen printed by your child later that day).
Even if your family can’t make the lunch but would like to attend Natsumatsuri—and take advantage of the member fast pass lines and reserved seating—please let Gina know and we will set aside a goodie bag and tote bag.
We are cutting the origami paper, ordering the bounce house, and lining up the entertainment…and you know what that means! JANM is gearing up for our annual Natsumatsuri family festival! On Saturday, August 10th, from 11 AM to 5PM, join us to celebrate summer with crafts, cultural performances, and activities—all for free.
This year, we’re going retro with lots of traditional summer festival activities. Get your blood pumping with a taiko lesson from JANM docent Hal Kiemi before learning what obon is all about. As always, there will be tons of fun activities and crafts all day, from screenprinting tote bags to making wacky paper hats.
It’s not all old school—we’re making new traditions this year too! Japanese mariachi singer Roger del Norte will perform with MEXICAPAN and singer Lupita Infante for the first ever mariachi concert at JANM.
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