The Japanese American National Museum is the only museum in the United States dedicated to the early experience of Japanese Americans. The museum tells the story of the American Japanese who struggled with a lofty ambition, brilliant achievements, frustration and disappointment, also have a triumph. Like the legends created by the American Japanese, it is a story of faith.
This is a well laid out museum with a wide variety of multimedia and artifacts about the four generations of Japanese immigrants to the United States. Here are some early artifacts, from the different areas of work performed by early settlers, and some pictures of the places where they settled and what they did. As seen in newspaper clippings and cartoons, the first part is rife with discrimination. Then the middle part was focused on WWII and detention camps. The last part was how the government dealt with the issue. It showed the courage of soldiers who fought for America as Japanese-Americans. Although it was a sobering tour, it was well worth it. There are temporary exhibits here, but we missed them.
I participated in a very insightful discussion of the Japs imprisoned during World War II and today, as we saw on the U.S. border. The museum was blunt about the idea: when we looked back a few years ago, opposition to Muslims appeared again; There are also reports that many children are forced to separate from their parents and are being held in terrible conditions in our Government, and that violations of the basic dignity of human beings should not "reappear". The participants in this discussion were heartened that Americans should not forget the mistakes of our country in the past, a message that echoes on the walls of this museum. This is a very worthwhile museum with some unique activities such as the discussions I attended with George Takei and all the usual exhibitions and shows.
As a long time visitor to JANM, I highly recommend this to locals and travelers alike! I think it rounds out the Little Tokyo experience nicely, which is always such a "Japangeles" experience (there is a streetwear brand of the same name, which you can find in the village area at a kiosk cart booth thing!!) - a mix of rich history, traditional culture, and modern Los Angeles, a blend of which is the core of Los Angeles' identity to begin with. The bookstore alone has such great Japanese treasures and a ton of literature to purchase to continue with your education! The exhibits are always a great blend of Japanese innovations both technological and cultural, and the state of Japanese Americans, past, present, and future. The building itself is gorgeous, and there's a traditional tea room that you can have tea at too! :) If you have any interest in history or Japanese American culture, this place is for you, hands down!! :)
This review is mostly in regards to their Hello Kitty Panel Discussion where 4 university professors came and analyzed the icon that is Hello Kitty.Their interpretations were very interesting as they stated that Hello Kitty doesn't have a mouth and is oppressed. Sometimes Hello Kitty is featured in different things, but usually that of stereotypical "women" roles. The branding of Hello Kitty has really taken off now the popular icon reaches people age 4 to 64! Yes, I'm guilty of also being a Hello Kitty fan.Anyway, the workshop was very interesting and engaging as the professors presented their viewpoints, then answered questions.I will be visiting the Hello Kitty exhibit before it ends, but I've been to JANM other times for other specialties. Each time has been a great experience with topics ranging from the Japanese Internment Camp to Japanese Tea Ceremonies. The flow of each exhibit has always been wonderful, engaging, and fun.
Ever since I was young I've been a huge fan of Hello Kitty. So lucky for me when I came down to LA For the holidays the Hello Kitty exhibit was still going on! The exhibit ends on April 26, 2015 so have no fear there's still time to see it! General admission is $20 and there are no student are senior discounts for this exhibit unless you're a member of the museum, then it's free!
A really interesting place.
Japanese Cultures :)
Preston_Dominguez: 369 E 1st St, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA 90012-3901
Jeremy_Dodson: I recommended Olvera Street,Little Tokyo,Museum of Contemporary Art,Los Angeles City Hall,The Grammy Museum