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. 

culture en

Naomi Hirahara – Strawberry Yellow

Fans of Naomi Hirahara should prepare to turn off their cell phones and curl up in their favorite reading chair. Their most beloved detective, Mas Arai, will put his investigative skills to work once again in Hirahara’s newest novel, Strawberry Yellow.

Upon learning of his second cousin Shug’s sudden death, Mas returns to Watsonville, a small town in Northern California. Mas’ plan to make a brief appearance in his hometown to attend the funeral is quickly thwarted when Minnie, Shug’s widow, shares her suspicions that Shug was murdered and pleads with Mas to extend his stay. Unable ...

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war en

After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics - Dr. Greg Robinson

The wartime roundup and removal from the West Coast of 120,000 American citizens and permanent residents of Japanese ancestry has generated an enormous literature, including important contributions from Dr. Greg Robinson. But the postwar period of resettlement and renewal of Japanese American communities, largely unstudied, is also compelling and deserving of attention. Robinson, Professor of History at l’Université du Québec À Montréal, has just published the first in-depth look at this period in After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics.

Through a series of essays grouped into five broad thematic sections, After Camp examines ...

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Blossoms and Thorns: A Community Uprooted: New documentary portrays a vanishing industry

Richmond, California, in the year 1942 calls to mind the bustle of naval shipyards and a whirlwind of housing construction. A semi-rural town before World War II, the city was forever changed by the war and the thousands of defense workers who migrated there to work in various wartime industries.

Another story, that of Richmond’s Japanese American residents and their cut-flower nursery businesses, is less well-known. An early twentieth-century immigrant success story, many of these families lost their homes, farms, and businesses when they were forcibly relocated and incarcerated by the federal government during World War II.

The documentary ...

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community en

Uncovering Hidden History: Author Greg Robinson Explores Japanese American Journalism in Pacific Citizens

“I was stunned when I started, and to some extent still am, at how rarely this precious source seemed to be used or cited by historians of Japanese Americans, notably those of the war years,” says scholar-author Greg Robinson.

Robinson is talking about the Pacific Citizen newspaper, which for more than 80 years has chronicled the Japanese American and broader Asian American communities. The paper is published by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the nation’s oldest and largest Asian Pacific American civil rights organization.

The publication—and two of its pioneering journalists—are the subjects of Robinson’s ...

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war en

When Heroes Weren’t Welcomed Home: Author Linda Tamura on Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence

“I can still recall the pit in my stomach as I read full-page ads urging Japanese American residents not to return to their community from the camps where they had been exiled,” scholar and author Linda Tamura says.

Tamura had been researching her grandmother’s story, which led to Tamura’s previous book, The Hood River Issei: An Oral History of Japanese Settlers in Oregon’s Hood River Valley.

“I recall sitting in the basement of the Hood River County Library surveying wartime issues of The Hood River News,” says Tamura. “News headlines even used the ‘J’ word. But most ...

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