Japanese American National Museum Store Online

The award-winning Museum Store of the Japanese American National Museum features distinctive Asian American merchandise for all occasions and generations. Their unique product line represents the essence of the Japanese American experience, while also promoting an appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity. All proceeds from the Museum Store support Museum programs and exhibitions.

The articles in this series were originally written for the Japanese American National Museum’s online store [janmstore.com]  to give a deeper understanding of the authors, artists, and traditions featured in the store. 

food en

On a Roll: The Global Business of Sushi

A piece of raw fish sitting on a small ball of rice.

At first glance, it seems an unlikely tool for understanding the complex dynamics of global economics.

But as author and journalist Sasha Issenberg discovered, a look at the business behind sushi reveals an intricate web of cultures, industries and money. Sushi, says Issenberg, provides a compelling view of how dramatically the world is changing.

Issenberg’s new book, The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy, explores the world of sushi—and its reflections of the world at large. The author spent two years working ...

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identity en

The Issei Legacy: Passing the Values of the Issei onto Younger Generations

Cherishing the values of the first generation of Japanese migrants to the United States of America, Tsukasa Matsueda, Ed.D. writes a compelling book that is simultaneously an honoring of the Issei and a message to younger generations.

Dr. Matsueda honors the Issei by recounting their history of struggle in the U.S.; He recapitulates the episodes of racism that they faced as they first took their part in U.S. society as cheap labor and then as a fictitious military threat during World War II. In order to get through these difficult times, the Issei relied in a system ...

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culture en

Sakura: Beautiful Flowering Trees of Japan

The cherry blossom, known as sakura, is the national flower of Japan. Different from the fruit-bearing trees found in other countries, these flowering trees are enjoyed mostly for their beautiful blossoms and the beauty of the falling snow-like petals. Because the blossoms only last for a few days in the spring, many travel to common viewing sites where a festive atmosphere is enjoyed by all; friends and families gather, bringing picnic baskets and sake to be shared with music and song.

Hanami, or cherry blossom viewings, began in ancient times when aristocrats wrote poetry, sang songs, and held picnics under ...

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sports en

Japanese American Baseball

Baseball, the quintessential American sport, has enjoyed immense popularity in Japan, as witnessed by the country’s recent championship at the inaugural World Baseball Classic. But did you know the role Japanese Americans played as early ambassadors of the sport?

The game in its modern form was invented by Alexander Cartwright in 1845. Although a pick-up style game had been played by children in North America from the mid 1700s, prior to Cartwright, there were no formalized rules of play. The game quickly spread from New York throughout the country. It was introduced in Japan in 1872 by an American ...

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identity en

Pure Beauty: Rebecca King-O’Riain’s Look at Japanese American Beauty Pageants

Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain has written a fascinating book, Pure Beauty, about Japanese American community beauty pageants, exploring how race, ethnicity, culture, and gender are linked in social practice. As revealed in her research, these beauty pageants reflect important conflicts within the Japanese American community over national citizenship, gender, and race and raise questions about the struggle to maintain racial and ethnic lines within the community.

Dr. King-O’Riain has always felt a strong bond to her Japanese ancestry. Because her grandfather, grandmother, and mother were incarcerated in Rowher, Arkansas, and her aunt was born in camp, she has always ...

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