From left: James Hirabayashi, George Aratani, Sen. Daniel Inouye, Manabi Hirasaki

The Japanese American National Museum will present its 2013 Gala Dinner, Silent Auction, and After Party on Saturday, April 13, at the recently renovated Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

This year’s theme, “Vision, Values, Voices,” will highlight how the museum’s work has successfully shared the first-person voices and evolving perspectives from the Japanese American experience. Throughout the evening, the dinner program will illustrate the far-reaching impact of JANM’s on-site and traveling exhibitions, public programs, national conferences, media productions, collections, and online resources.

Additionally, the program will acknowledge JANM’s early supporters — George Aratani, Jim Hirabayashi, Manabi Hirasaki, and Sen. Daniel K. Inouye — all of whom were pivotal in the creation of the mission and vision of the museum.

Since its incorporation in 1985, JANM has remained dedicated to the fulfillment of its mission to “promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.” Its vision is to ensure that the Japanese American experience remains relevant within the context of the larger American story and that the museum provides a forum for all to explore their own cultural heritage and identity.

Each year the gala dinners have presented remarkable stories from the Japanese American community, all of which have not only become an integral part of the museum’s core work, but also continue to inspire and transform lives each day.

The dinner program will include specific highlights on how the evolving Japanese American story has inspired and transformed lives as told through the voices of museum staff, volunteers, leadership, and others such as Norman Y. Mineta, former U.S. secretary of transportation and chairman of the museum’s Board of Governors. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii and Irene Hirano Inouye, president of the U.S.-Japan Council and former president and CEO of JANM, will also be featured as speakers in conjunction with the Bid for Education program.

At this year’s gala, JANM will give special tribute to an extraordinary leader and friend, Sen. Inouye, whose commitment to the principles and values of democracy influenced the formation of the museum’s vision and educational programs, such as the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and the Bid for Education program, which provides vital funds for bus transportation, admission, curriculum development, and educator training to tens of thousands of students annually.

JANM’s Board of Trustees has made a lead gift in honor of Inouye for his Bid for Education program. Additional gifts can be directed toward the museum by contacting the Development Department at (213) 625-0414.

As the museum’s largest single annual fundraiser, all proceeds from the dinner provide much-needed funds for ongoing educational programming, outreach, and operational needs. Major sponsors for the dinner are:

Signature Sponsors — Dr. Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki and Union Bank/Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.;

Presenting Sponsors — Aratani Foundation, Nitto Tire USA Inc. and Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.;

Diamond Sponsors—  American Airlines, Boeing, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Guy and Audrey Watanabe;

Emerald Sponsors—  American Fish & Seafood Co. and Wells Fargo;

Bid for Education Leaders — Sempra Energy and Edison International.

Additional support has been provided by:

Journal Sponsor — American Honda Motor Co., Inc.;

Gift and After-Party Sponsor — Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc.;

VIP Reception Co-Hosts — American Fish & Seafood Co. and Ernst & Young LLP.

The Dinner Committee is led by co-chairs Ernest Y. Doizaki, JANM trustees and president, American Fish & Seafood Co.; Gene S. Kanamori, JANM governor and director of human resources, Keiro Retirement Services; and Tammie Kanda, director of special events and programs, Corporate Communications Department, Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

The event includes a silent auction and a seafood buffet reception, hosted by American Fish & Seafood Co., which begins at 5 p.m. The dinner program, emceed by KTLA 5 news anchor Frank Buckley, begins at 7 p.m. and includes the Lexus Opportunity Drawing for a 2013 Lexus 460 F Sport donated by Toyota Motor Sales USA. Inc., and the live Bid for Education.

This year also marks the return after two years to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, which has recently undergone major renovations and upgrades.

For more information on dinner, including sponsorships, individual tickets, Opportunity Drawing tickets, silent auction donations, and special hotel and airfare rates, visit, email at, or call (213) 830-5669.

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