2013 / Thru August 25 / Japanese American National Museum exhibits “Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History”


20130424 JANM-VisibleInvisible-JeroFamily

Enka singer Jero’s family portrait (Courtesy of Jerome White, Jr.)

The Japanese American National Museum, in collaboration with the USC Hapa Japan Database Project, exhibits Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History, from April 7 through August 25, 2013.

Through photos, historical artifacts, multimedia images, and interactive components, Visible & Invisible explores the diverse and complex history of the mixed-roots and mixed-race Japanese American experience.

The 2010 U.S. Census revealed that a growing number of individuals identified themselves as “multiracial” and, it is anticipated, that by the next census count, a majority of Japanese Americans will be multiracial.

Visible & Invisible reveals the long “mixed” history within the Japanese American community including the history of racial segregation and anti-miscegenation laws that prohibited, and even criminalized marriages, between White and non-White individuals.

Today, the Japanese American community continues to explore questions of belonging and identity as Hapa Japanese Americans expand notions of family and community.

Visible & Invisible addresses these important questions by understanding the history of the Hapa Japanese American experience and it challenges the community to consider the possibilities for future generations.

The exhibition’s Co-curators are: Cindy Nakashima, author of The Sum of Our Parts: Mixed-Heritage Asian Americans; Lily Anne Yumi Welty, UCLA Institute of American Cultures, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, and Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara; and, Duncan Williams, USC Professor and Director of the USC Center for Japanese Religions and Culture, Founder, Hapa Japan Database Project, former Director, UC Berkeley Center

In conjunction with Visible & Invisible, the Japanese American National Museum will present two public programs relating to the Hapa experience.

On Friday, April 5 at 7:30 pm, a film screening of Hafu: The Mixed Race Experience of Japan , will feature the experience of five “hafu” individuals in modern day Japan.

The second program, Hapa Hoops: Japanese American Basketball and Community with Rex Walters, on Saturday, June 22 at 2 pm, will explore the experiences of Hapa in the Japanese American basketball leagues.

Hapa Hoops includes a screening of Crossover, a basketball documentary produced by JANM’s Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center, and will be followed by a conversation with Rex Walters, a veteran player of the Japanese American leagues and the NBA.

The Japanese American National Museum is located at 100 North Central Avenue in historic Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles.

For more information, call (213) 625-0414, or visit www.janm.org

Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Thursday from noon to 8:00 pm.

Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for seniors; $5 for students and children; Free for museum members and children under age six.

Admission is free to everyone on Thursdays from 5:00 to 8:00 pm and every third Thursday of the month from noon to 8:00 pm.

Closed Mondays, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.