‘Legacy of a Lost Neighborhood’ at California Museum

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SACRAMENTO — The California Museum will present “Legacy of a Lost Neighborhood” on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

sacramento-japantown-coverHonor the legacy of local Japanese Americans in this special workshop on citizenship, constitutionality and the concept of redress. Workshop activities will include:

• Presentation on “Sacramento’s Historic Japantown: Legacy of a Lost Neighborhood,” a book by Kevin Wildie. Ten percent discount and signing in the Museum Store.

• “Time of Remembrance” learning program presentation by formerly interned docents.

• Self-guided tours of two exhibits, “Uprooted! Japanese Americans During WWII” and “Art of Gaman: Arts & Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946.”

• Hands-on internment camp-era crafts appropriate for kids ages 5 and up.

Free for members or with paid admission. Free parking in surface street lot on the corner of 10th and O streets

The museum is located at 1020 O St. in Sacramento. For more information, call (916) 653-7524 or visit www.californiamuseum.org.

About the Book

By 1910, Japanese pioneers had created a vibrant community in the heart of Sacramento — one of the largest in California. Spilling out from Fourth Street, Japantown offered sumo tournaments, authentic Japanese meals and Eastern medicine to a generation of Delta field laborers.

Then, in 1942 following Pearl Harbor, orders for Japanese American incarceration forced residents to abandon their homes and their livelihoods. Even in the face of anti-Japanese sentiment, the neighborhood businesses and cultural centers endured, and it wasn’t until the 1950s, when the Capitol Mall Redevelopment Project reshaped the city center, that J-Town was truly lost.

Drawing on oral histories and previously unpublished photographs, author Wildie traces stories of immigration, incarceration and community solidarity, crafting an unparalleled account of Japantown’s legacy.

About the Exhibits

The museum’s longest-running exhibit, “Uprooted!” surveys a century of Japanese American history in California and features the personal stories of formerly interned Californians.

Following the history of Japanese Americans in California, visitors experience life behind barbed wire in recreated barracks that display photographs and artifacts from the Japanese American Archival Collection at CSU Sacramento. Continuing through the 1980s, the exhibit also chronicles how former internees overcame the hardships of the camps and worked to re-establish their communities and achieve redress for their losses.

Each winter, the museum offers an education program about the internment, led by people who experienced it personally. For more information, visit the “Time of Remembrance” page.

A showcase of more than 120 artifacts made by Japanese Americans while interned, “The Art of Gaman” is a traveling exhibit that explores the creativity and ingenuity of internees as well as the Japanese concept of gaman, or to endure the unbearable with patience and dignity.

Tools, everyday objects, illustrations, paintings, furniture, toys, clothing and more are presented with historical context through photographs, documents and films in the exhibit as curated by Delphine Hirasuna, the San Francisco-based author of the 2005 book “The Art of Gaman,” with advisory support from the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and the Japanese American Citizens League.

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