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. 

community en

Stories from Little Tokyo: The Woman in the Picture

A chance encounter in the Japanese American National Museum’s store led to a surprising discovery.

Penny Akemi Sakoda was visiting the Museum with relatives and friends, when her daughter noticed a picture on the cover of a music CD, Festival Time in Japan.

Astonished, Sakoda’s daughter turned to her and said, “Mom, this is you!”

The image was a photograph, taken 47 years earlier, when Sakoda was crowned as Los Angeles’ 1960 Nisei Week Queen.

Festival Time in Japan, an album featuring music from the 1950s and 1960s, was originally an LP record, Sakoda says. “I knew my ...

lea más

culture en

Oshogatsu Traditions in the United States

In the Western world, New Year’s Eve is a big day for parties to celebrate the end of a year and the fresh start of a new one. In Japan, the beginning of the New Year, or Oshogatsu, is when friends and family gather together for what is considered to be the most important holiday of the year. It is celebrated throughout the country and by Nikkei around the world with symbolic food, decorations, activities, and other traditions to wish for an auspicious year. In the United States, it is also a holiday whose celebration has melded Japanese and ...

lea más

media en

Only the Brave: Lane Nishikawa honors Japanese American Veterans

In all of his pursuits as an actor, writer, and director, Lane Nishikawa has “continually broken ground in examining the human condition of the Asian American experience.” In Only The Brave, Lane Nishikawa gives viewers a unique perspective into a piece of World War II history that is little known to the American public. Only The Brave celebrates “the unparalleled courage of the Nisei soldiers who voluntarily fought in World War II while many of their families were imprisoned in internment camps back in the States.”

The son of an accountant and beauty salon owner, Nishikawa was born in Wahiawa ...

lea más

media en

Ronin Rabbit: Stan Sakai’s Amazing Usagi Yojimbo

"To make a living in any of the arts is difficult—whether it be acting, writing, painting, music, or, in my case, cartooning," says Stan Sakai, creator of the wildly popular Usagi Yojimbo comic book series. "Parents, of course, want the best for their children, and a traditional job is the safest way to earn a living. However, I really wanted to get into writing and drawing, and my parents supported my decision, but with reservations."

"What really turned them around was my first booksigning in Hawaii," says Sakai. "My dad went over to the store, but it was so ...

lea más

media en

Masakazu Yoshizawa: Music Master and Magician

As a respected composer, arranger and master of shakuhachi, other Japanese flutes, taiko, clarinet and piano, Masakazu Yoshizawa demonstrates how excellence can be achieved through an obsession with technique and structure. When he was first introduced to music, he remembers tediously hand-copying musical scores over and over again to understand the underlying structures and rhythms.

In his elementary school, every student was required to choose an instrument, and Yoshizawa first dedicated himself to the accordion—and then revealed his uncanny musical gifts by quickly learning the intricacies of the piano, trumpet and clarinet.

Yoshizawa came to America with little idea ...

lea más