Gallery Chat on WWII Japanese American Internment at Tucson Jewish History Museum on January 20, 2017

As part of the WWII Japanese American internment of about 120,000 civilians, two of the larger camps were at Gila River and at Poston in Arizona. Several of the families of those who were interned still live in Arizona, some here in Tucson. Well known Tucson educator the late Dr. Hank Oyama and his mother were interned at Poston Relocaiton Center.

Text of Brandon’s gallery chat available here at:

Schedule of Events for Tucson Japanese Festival on January 14, 2017

See for updates — door prizes and schedule of performances. Many thanks to our donors for gift certificates received from Ginza Sushi, Yoshimatsu, Sushi on Oracle, Sushi Cho, Sushi Zona, & Samurai Japanese restaurants and Bing’s Boba Tea– to be given away as door prizes. Another donor for this festival is H.I.S. International Tours Inc. which offers many tours to Japan.

UPDATE:  Akiwa Abe Brown will be performing koto along with Paul Amiel on shakuhachi flute in a duet, plus her own solo “Rokudan”.  This performance time is about 1:50 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Stage B, but may be moved to CC251 in the event of rain.

Akiwa Abe Brown performing on her koto

Paul Amiel performing on his shakuhachi flute at 2015 New Year’s Mochitsuki

Celebrate Japanese New Year at Tucson Japanese Festival on Jan. 14, 2017



Coming up on January, 14 2017:  Tucson Japanese Festival (featuring New Year’s mochi pounding) 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pima Community College Downtown campus, 1255 N. Stone Ave (NW corner of E. Speedway Blvd.) in Tucson. Sponsored by SAJCC (Southern AZ Japanese Cultural Coalition), Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers, Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson.

Celebrate the New Year of the Rooster with Mochi (rice) pounding, Japanese cultural activities, games, calligraphy & crafts, taiko drumming, martial arts performances, ikebana displays, food (plus takoyaki booth).   $5 admission fee, children under 5 years are free.  If willing to help, please email

See for updates — door prizes and schedule of performances.  Many thanks to our donors for gift certificates received from Ginza Sushi, Yoshimatsu, Sushi on Oracle, Sushi Cho, Sushi Zona, & Samurai Japanese restaurants and Bing’s Boba Tea– to be given away as door prizes. Another donor for this festival is H.I.S. International Tours Inc. which offers many tours to Japan.

“Allegiance” film to show on December 13, 2016

George Takei’s musical film “Allegiance” to show in Tucson (and elsewhere nationwide) on December 13.



“Their loyalty was questioned, their freedom taken away, but their spirit could never be broken. Rejoice in one family’s triumphant story of hope, love, and forgiveness in the new Broadway musical: Allegiance.

Inspired by true events, Allegiance is the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans are forced to leave their homes following the events of Pearl Harbor. Sam Kimura seeks to prove his patriotism by fighting for his country in the war, but his sister, Kei, fiercely protests the government’s treatment of her people. An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, Allegiance follows the Kimuras as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves. Legendary performer George Takei — (Star Trek, “Heroes”), who was himself an internee as a child, stars alongside Tony® winner Lea Salonga – (Miss Saigon, Mulan) in this enthralling and epic new musical.
But as long-lost memories are unlocked, Sam finds that it is never too late to forgive and to recognize the redemptive power of love.”

 Playing in Tucson at Oro Valley Marketplace, Foothills 15, El Con 20, Century Park Place 20.  See movie theaters for details on December 13.
Theater locations:

Fourth Annual Autumn Ikebana Exhibition at Yume Japanese Gardens

ikebana-picture-iiiFourth Annual Autumn Ikebana Exhibition – Nov. 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 2016

Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson, open daily 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“Dozens of traditional Japanese flower arrangements (Ikebana) will be on display throughout the Gardens to delight you in our Fourth Annual Autumn Ikebana Exhibiiton. This year’s exhibition is special, because we are extending it from three days to an an entire week, November 20-27 (with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, November 24, when the Gardens will be closed.)

The exhibition is dedicated to our late Board Member and friend Drinda Green, who was Ikebana enthusiast herself. Flower arrangements will be made by the Tucson-area members of five different schools of classical and contemporary Ikebana, all using distinctive and beautiful vases acquired by Drinda over years of collecting.

Regular Gardens admission rates apply.”

Two Japanese films to show at Loft Theater as part of 2016 Loft Film Fest

Two Japanese films are part of 2016 Loft Film Fest at the Loft Cinema, Nov. 9 to 13:
“After the Storm” will be shown on Nov. 10,  at 2 p.m. and “Creepy” on Nov. 11 at 9:45 p.m.  More info on these two films is on our Calendar.
Info on all films for the Loft Film Fest is at:  Southern AZ Japanese Cultural Coalition is a Community Partner for both films and will have an info table at each screening, about an hour before.  Loft Cinema is located at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. in Tucson.


3 exhibits on Japanese American WWII Internment Camps at Tucson Desert Art Museum

“Gambatte!” photo show at Tucson Desert Art Museum, Nov. 4, 2016 to April 30, 2017, commemorating 75th anniversary of E.O.9066 on Feb. 19, 2017


Mae Yanagi, May 8, 1942; Hayward, CA
Photographer: Dorothea Lange

“GAMBATTE! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit” Photographs by Paul Kitagaki, Jr.

November 4, 2016 – April 30, 2017

“GAMBATTE! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit” is the first body of work devoted to capturing the past and the present of Executive Order 9066 through photographs and oral histories. Executive Order 9066 was issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, which led to the imprisonment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Through the juxtaposition of historic images and contemporary portraits of the same individuals if their descendants, Kitagaki takes us on a visual exploration of the Japanese concept of Gambatte, or triumph over adversity.

Companion exhibits at same time/place:  “Behind Barbed Wire: Japanese American Incarceration in Arizona”, and

“Art of Circumstance: Art & Artifacts Created by Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII” .

Lectures and other events to coincide with this exhibition to be announced (see Calendar listing for January 22 and Feb. 18, 2017).

Tucson Desert Art Museum,, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Rd. Tucson Arizona, 520-202-3888.  Hours are Wed. to Sun, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Opening reception for this exhibit on Nov 4th, 5 to 7:30 p.m. See website for details. Free for members, all others $7.00.


Adults $10.00
Seniors $8.00
Students/Educators $6.00
Youth (7-14) $4.00

Japanese Americans in Hawaii panel discussion on Nov. 3rd


6:15 – 8:00 PM
Himmel Park Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave. Tucson
sponsored by SAJCC

Retired East Asian Professor Dr. Min Yanagihashi has written a paper on this topic and will be moderating a panel discussion.  Free and open to the public.

  “Questions for the panel: 1) In your family, how were traditional culture and values and behavioral norms handled?  (2) In regards to Japanese heritage, looking outside the family, comment on some events, activities, institutions, or organizations that impacted your life in Hawaii.”

Tentative schedule:
6:15 – 6:45  (30 min.)  comments on his paper on this topic (click on blue hyperlink) written by ret. Professor Dr. Min Yanagihashi (Nisei from Oahu)
6:45 – 7:45  (60 min.)  panel discussion.  After the two questions, panelists can comment on Min’s paper, ask questions of each other, etc.

Panelists will all be Japanese Americans born/raised in Hawaii: Min’s wife Evelyn Kodama Yanagihashi, M.Ed (Nisei han from Oahu), Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, JD (Sansei from Big Island), Dr. Naomi Okumura Story (Sansei from Maui), James Tokishi, B.S.(Yonsei from Oahu).  Evelyn is a retired school teacher, Naomi is an educator, and James is a transporation modeler for Pima Assn. of Governments. And I’m a former practicing attorney.

(Issei were the original immigrants from Japan, Nisei are their children, Sansei are the Nisei’s children, Yonsei are the Sansei’s children, Gosei are the Yonsei’s children, and so on.)

Poster designed by Crystal Akazawa.



“Kyoto Considered” photo exhibit opens at Yume Japanese Gardens on October 21

  • fushimi“On Friday, October 21, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, Yume Japanese Gardens will host a free reception in our art gallery to open a special photo exhibit on Kyoto by Yume Gardens founder and Executive Director Patricia Deridder. She has visited this most traditional of Japanese cities for decades, and her images capture the iconic inhabitants, buildings, and gardens of Japan’s former imperial capital with love and insight. Framed photos will be on sale throughout the exhibition, with all tax-free purchases going to the operating fund of the non-profit Gardens.

    The exhibition will run until December 31 and entrance will be free with regular Gardens admission.  www. Yume Gardens is located at 1230 N. Alvernon Way, south of the Tucson Botanical Gardens, east side.