“Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066” and “New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei” will be closing at the Japanese American National Museum on Aug. 13 and Aug. 20, respectively.
The museum, located at 100 N. Central Ave. (at First Street) in Little Tokyo, is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.
“Instructions to All Persons” commemorates the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which led to the tragic and unlawful incarceration of 120,000 individuals of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Shortly after the signing, a series of civilian exclusion orders were publicly posted all along the West Coast, notifying persons of Japanese ancestry of their impending forced removal. “Instructions to All Persons of Japanese Ancestry” were the infamous words seen at the top of the posters.
Historical examples of these documents and others of the period, along with documentary videos, form the substance of the exhibition. Contemporary artworks by Wendy Maruyama and Mike Saijo are featured as well.
“Instructions to All Persons” is intended to engage visitors in critical discussions of the Japanese American incarceration experience and its continuing relevance today. It aims to examine the social impact of language and encourage viewers to contemplate the lessons of the past, as well as to compare World War II experiences with current events.
“New Frontiers” creates a portrait of the pioneering actor, activist, and social media icon while offering an innovative means of engaging with the social history of America. The exhibition features numerous never-before-seen personal items through which visitors will learn not just about Takei but also about the constantly evolving fabric of America’s cultural identity, political outlook, social mores, and media landscape.
In September 2016, Takei and his husband, Brad, donated a treasure trove of materials from throughout his life to the museum and a selection of these items serves as the foundation for “New Frontiers.” Included are photographs, correspondence, scripts, campaign materials from his 1973 Los Angeles City Council bid, and one-of-a-kind artworks made by his legions of fans.
Additional information about both exhibitions is available at www.janm.org.