1:00 PM13:00

Day of Remembrance: Radio Discussion & Community Art Project


Day of Remembrance: Radio Discussion & Community Art Project

Date: Sunday, February 17, 2019
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Place: Japanese American Museum of SJ
535 N. 5th Street, San Jose
Tickets: RSVP required. Free tickets.
(408)294-3138, publicprograms@jamsj.org

Join JAMsj in exploring the meaning of Day of Remembrance and the relevance of what Japanese Americans have learned from the World War II mass incarceration experience for understanding what is happening today. The event will feature a discussion moderated by Rose Aguilar, host of “Your Call,” a public affairs show on NPR affiliate KALW 91.7 FM with panelists from Chinese, Mexican, Muslim, and other communities who will add their own experiences to that of Japanese Americans.

This year’s JAMsj Day of Remembrance event will include a hands-on activity inviting participants to create paper illuminated lanterns that cast delicate patterned shadows. These shadows reflect cultural patterns (a Mexican papel picado flower and a Arabic motif), as well as abstracted patterns of barbed wire and chain link fences. Just as the light breaks outside the boundaries of the lantern cage, so does our hope and our drive to seek inclusion for everyone within our American tapestry. This #DontExcludeUs activity will result in small lanterns participants can take with them on the evening Day of Remembrance march in Japantown. Dangling from these lanterns will be replicas of Japanese exclusion processing tags. One side of the tag will be mirrored, reflecting back the viewer as we highlight the continued relevance of this important moment in history.  A large lantern installation will also be included as part of the project. This project is designed by artist Corinne Okada Takara.

Admission is free but requires an RSVP to publicprograms@jamsj.org

Be sure to join us after for the Day of Remembrance commemoration at 5:30pm at the Buddhist Church.

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1:30 PM13:30

American Sutra: Lecture and Book Signing

The Japanese American Museum of San Jose and The San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Presents a Lecture & Book Signing by the Author of

A story of faith and freedom in the second World War
By Duncan Ryūken Williams (renowned USC professor)

This groundbreaking history tells the little-known story of how, in one of our country’s darkest hours, Japanese Americans fought to defend their faith and preserve religious freedom. The mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II is not only a tale of injustice; it is a moving story of faith. In this path breaking account, Dr Williams reveals how, even as they were stripped of their homes and imprisoned in camps, Japanese-American Buddhists launched one of the most inspiring defenses of religious freedom in our nation’s history, insisting that they could be both Buddhist and American. Dr Williams is Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages & Cultures at USC.

DATE: MARCH 31, 2019

TIME: 1:30 to 3:30pm


Book Signing and Reception will follow.

Books will be available at the event for $29.95 plus tax. Books may also be preordered from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Powell’s.

Event is free & open to the public but donations are gratefully accepted.

Please call San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin to sign up for the lecture

(408) 293-9292 or text to (408) 482-5849, with your name, number in party and state if you wish to reserve a copy of the book.

For further information, please contact Janice Doi at janicendoi@gmail.com

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12:00 PM12:00

Speaking Up!

Speaking Up!

Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution

In San Jose's Historic Japantown:

'Speaking Up! Fred Korematsu's Legacy for the 21st Century'

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Wesley United Methodist Church – Fellowship Hall
566 North Fifth Street
1 pm – 3 pm

The Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj)
535 North Fifth Street

Free admission from 12 noon - 4 pm with docent led tours

The movie, Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story, will be shown at JAMsj at 12:15 and again after the main program at JAMsj at 3:15

Karen Korematsu of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute and Zahra Billoo of the Council on American-Islamic Relations will lead a panel discussion of what "Speaking Up!" means for students and citizens in today's world. The Fred T. Korematsu Institute will provide an instructional kit to all teachers who register in advance and attend the event. This instructional kit includes a K-12 Korematsu Institute Teacher’s Guide, videos and accompanying lesson plans, and posters. Kits give you access to digital materials, including the entire Korematsu Institute Teacher's Guide and additional lesson plans on five documentaries on the Japanese American incarceration.

RSVP is highly recommended to secure a seat by emailing publicprograms@jamsj.org or by calling 408-294-3138 by January 20, 2019.

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9:00 AM09:00

Winter Boutique 2018

JAMsj Winter Boutique

November 10th, 2018

9am - 10am: Early Admission for JAMsj members (Membership registration available at the door for early entry)
10am - 3pm: General Admission

San Jose Buddhist Church
Betsuin Gymnasium
640 N. 5th Street, San Jose, CA 95112

Annual Favorites to Include:

Japanese style collages
Clothing and accessories
Handcrafted jewelry
Washi crafts
Other specialty gifts

Donation Drawing

First: $500
Second: $300
Third: $200

Plus many more prizes from artists and merchants. Winners need not be present at the time of the drawings.

Free admission
Silent auction
Food concessions

For general Winter Boutique information or questions, please contact JAMsj:


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4:00 PM16:00

For The Sake Of The Children: Film Screening & Panel Discussion

"For The Sake Of The Children"


The public is invited to participate in a screening and panel discussion of the new documentary film, “For the Sake of the Children,” on October 28 (Sunday). The community event will be held at the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin at 640 North Fifth Street, in San Jose’s Japantown at 4pm.

The Poston Community Alliance is co-sponsoring the documentary with Midori Kai, Inc.,  San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin and the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. 

Poston was one of ten concentration camps that imprisoned more than 120,000 Japanese American citizens and Japanese immigrants living in California, Oregon and Washington State following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Their incarceration was authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt through Executive Order 9066 signed on February 19, 1942.

The film’s executive producer, Marlene Shigekawa, was born in the Poston Concentration Camp near Parker, Arizona and is president of the Poston Community Alliance. “This project began in 2012 as an outgrowth of my own family’s incarceration at the Poston camp and the traumatic impacts from that experience which have resonated throughout my entire life. As I delved deeper into my own story, I connected with four generations of descendants as well as families from the other camps whose stories also needed to be shared,” Shigekawa explained.

Initially conceived to focus specifically on mothers who gave birth to and raised children while incarcerated at Poston, the documentary was eventually expanded to include family stories from other camps after the Alliance received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Previous screenings have been in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Missoula, Montana, Fresno, Sacramento and Larkspur. Shigekawa produced the film with director Joe Fox and Directors of Photography, James Nubile and Sean Dolan of Fly on the Wall Productions.

The Poston Community Alliance works to preserve the stories, artifacts and historic structures of the concentration camp. The Alliance is currently leading an effort to stabilize original classrooms at the Poston Camp I Elementary School site and create a visitor center.

For more information about the film and the Poston Community Alliance, visit www.forthesakeofchildren.org.

Panelists joining the post-screening discussion will include Patty Tsubokawa Reeves and Stephanie Gillman, cast members, and Zahra Billoo, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic.  The moderator will be Robert Handa, news reporter, NBC Bay Area News. 

There is no admission fee for this screening although RSVPs are requested.  Donations for the screening will be accepted and benefit the four sponsoring organizations:  Poston Community Alliance,  Midori Kai, Inc.,  San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin and the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. 

Please text reservation to (925) 596-1770.  Contact Marlene Shigekawa (510) 290-1944, for any questions regarding this event.

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1:00 PM13:00

NCRR: The Grassroots Struggle for Japanese American Redress and Reparations

Please join San Jose Nikkei Resisters as we celebrate the publication of:

NCRR: The Grassroots Struggle for Japanese American Redress and Reparations
By Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress

Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018 • 1 - 3 pm
YuAi Kai Senior Center • 588 N. 4th St, San Jose

Co-sponsored by Yu-Ai Kai, Nihonmachi Outreach Committee and Japanese American Museum of San Jose

RSVP: sj.nikkeiresisters@gmail.com

• How did less than 1% of the US population win this historic victory during the conservative era of the Reagan Administration?

• How was the movement for redress/reparations shaped by the grassroots struggle and the willingness by those incarcerated to speak out?

• What lessons can help us fight attacks on civil rights today?

Meet editors of the NCRR book.
Join us for a panel discussion and spoken word poetry.
Light refreshments served.
Books will be available

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1:00 PM13:00

Talk Story with Shane Sato

Over 18 years in the making, photographer Shane Sato has been shooting moving portraits of Nisei soldiers to create a one of a kind coffee table book. Poignant images of men who fought for America while America put their families and loved ones in prison. This 184-page 12x12 hardcover book contains portraits of over 80 Japanese American WWII veterans.  His book unveils the wide range of feelings the Japanese Americans must have experienced after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Sato artistically captures these men’s emotions—expressively photographed in a way not many have seen.  His ability to bring out personality in what are usually stoic subjects is touching. The story of the Nisei is inspiring… and each portrait is accompanied by candid photos and a short story—usually a personal one, whenever possible.  Without writing a history book, Sato “talks story” to share the lives of the Nisei to future generations so that their accomplishments and history are not forgotten. This portrait book is not just a glimpse into Japanese American history, but a triumphant story of American history.

Shane Sato, Photographer and Co-Author

Shane Sato has spent most of his career working in publicity and advertising in the United States and in Asia. He has worked in many aspects in the Asian-American community, photographing for movies, magazines, and events for over 30 years. Being born a Sansei (3rd generation) to Nisei (2nd generation) parents from Hawaii and the mainland has given him a unique perspective to his Japanese-American WWII Veteran portrait series. He continues to work in his Los Angeles Arts District studio.

Shane’s book of Japanese American Nisei WWII Veteran portraits is titled, “The Go For Broke Spirit: Portraits of Courage.” He is currently wrapping up photography on the 2nd volume of the book. (www.thegoforbrokespirit.com)  

Robert M. Horsting, Co-Author, Oral Historian, and Researcher

Robert has worked with Shane over the past three-plus years as his camera assistant, oral historian, and co-writer in the successful effort to produce this first book, and looks forward to sharing more of the Nisei veteran’s legacy in the upcoming 2nd volume.

Robert is also an Emmy, Edward R. Murrow and RTDNA Unity awarded producer (“Witness American Heroes" Aka: “Unknown Warriors”) and documentary filmmaker.  He has been a volunteer with the Go For Broke National Education Center's Hanashi Oral History Program (Goforbroke.org) since 2001 and has helped to record nearly 250 Japanese American WWII and Korean War veteran stories from across the USA.  

"The Go For Broke Spirit: Portraits of Courage.” 

This photographic coffee table book has been taking shape with the first personal portraits of Nisei (2nd generation Japanese American) WWII veterans that Shane captured in 2000 through 2017.  His attention to lighting and his ability to create a relaxed environment for each veteran are evident in the personality that comes out of the portraits, so don’t be surprised if you reflect the emotions you see and discover that a picture really can touch your soul.  You’ll also find a personal story of the veteran’s experience and personal candid photos of the young men that went to fight for our country.  This volume contains 81 portraits and stories.

Time & Date:

October 27th, 2018 at 1:00pm


(408) 294-3138

Event Cost:

Free with admission to the museum
Adults: $8
Seniors 65+ and students with valid ID: $5
JAMsj Members and children (12 and Under): Free


Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. 5th Street
San Jose, CA  95112

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1:00 PM13:00

Meet the Author: The Little Exile

Come and meet the author, Jeanette S. Arakawa.

About her book: “Her family and 120,000 others of Japanese ancestry are forcibly relocated to internment camps far from home. Living conditions in the camps are harsh, life after camp is similarly harsh, but in the end, as she and her family make their way back to San Francisco, Marie sees hope for the future. Told from a child’s perspective, The Little Exile deftly conveys Marie’s innocence, wonder, fear, and outrage.”

Members: Free, Students/Seniors: $5, Adults: $8
RSVP Required, Contact: publicprograms@jamsj.org

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1:00 PM13:00

Film Screening: The Ito Sisters

THE ITO SISTERS is a feature-length documentary film that captures the stories of three Japanese American sisters, interviewed in their 80’s and 90’s, as they recount how their immigrant parents struggled to make a life in America at the beginning of the 20th century. 

Director and producer Antonia Grace Glenn, producer and editor Gregory Pacificar and scholar Evelyn Nakano Glenn will be on hand for a Q&A session following the screening.

Members: Free, Students/Seniors: $5, Adults: $8
RSVP Required, Contact: publicprograms@jamsj.org

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to Mar 4


Hinamatsuri is a Japanese spring festival celebrated by families who have girls, wishing their daughters good health and growth. Beautifully handcrafted traditional dolls representing the emperor, empress, attendants, and musicians were displayed for honor and posterity.

Come to JAMsj to experience this seasonal Japanese tradition!  Free with admission to the museum!

Doll Display:

  • Saturday March 3rd -- 12:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Sunday March 4th -- 11:00am to 4:00pm

Kid’s Hina-Doll and Card Crafts:

  • Sunday March 4th -- 11:00am to 3:00pm
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5:00 PM17:00

Special Cultural Event: English Rakugo from Japan

Kanariya Eiraku, from Tokyo, Japan, performs Rakugo in English for International Organizations, at foreign embassies and educational institutions, from elementary schools to colleges.

Rakugo is a 400 year old tradition of comic storytelling in Japan. A minimalistic performance, Rakugo features a lone storyteller dressed in a kimono, kneeling on a zabuton (cushion), while using only a fan and a hand towel for props. They entertain the audience with a comical monologue followed by a traditional story.

Eiraku believe Rakugo is beneficial in life and English Rakugo will help people acquire English language skills, develop a sense of humor and improve their presentation skills.

Limited Seating - RSVP Required. JAMsj Members will be allowed to make reservations until January 14, 2018. RSVP’s will be open to the public after January 15, 2018.

Contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call (408) 294-3138 to reserve a spot.


TUESDAY, FEB 27, 2018
10AM - 12PM at San Mateo Japanese American Community Center

415 South Claremont Street
San Mateo, CA 94401

RSVP: Phone (650) 343-2793
Email: sanmateojacc@gmail.com

Both events are free - Thanks to our sponsors:
JAMsj, SMJACC, JCCNC and Country Inns & Suites

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1:00 PM13:00

The Kitaji Bibles

The JAMsj is hosting a presentation of the historical Kitaji Bibles which were carefully translated into Japanese and richly illustrated by Captain Masuo Kitaji, of the Japanese Salvation Army Corps in Oakland on February 17, 2018 at 1pm.

Members: Free, Students/Seniors: $5, Adults: $8
To reserve a seat, contact: publicprograms@jamsj.org or call (408) 294-3138.

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12:30 PM12:30

Thursday Cinema at JAMsj: Beyond Barbed Wire

Beyond Barbed Wire is an emotionally charged telling of a bizarre moment in America's history. The stories, poignant and humorous, recount the struggle that the offspring of interned Japanese Americans faced when they fought for America in WWII, as the Army's newly formed 442nd Division - the most highly decorated division in the Army's history. Narrated by Pat Morita.

Members: Free, Students/Seniors: $5, Adults: $8
You are welcome to bring your own goodies to enjoy while watching the video.
Please RSVP by calling (408)294-3139 or email publicprograms@jamsj.org

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to Feb 1

Call for Stories

Call for Stories

An ongoing project at JAMsj

We are calling upon members of the Japanese American community to share their memories and recollections about World War II. Now, more than ever, it is crucial we talk to the relatives, friends and community members who still recall vital stories of wartime on the West Coast and being uprooted from their homes. Our task is simple: To archive and share oral histories while we still have those firsthand accounts from Japanese Americans. We seek to collect these stories in this timely cultural moment, and also wish to preserve the rich histories of people who are still living and represent a very crucial link to Japanese American history. Our collective memory is valuable and we are making it our mission to archive and project those stories from our family members and friends. If you know someone whose story should be told and shared, please contact us at oralhistory@jamsj.org.

Check out the stories we have on record on the Sharing the Story: Oral History page.

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