CARSON — The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute (GVJCI) announces “Japanese Argonauts on the Dominguez Rancho,” co-sponsored by the Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum (DRAM) and with support from the George and Sakaye Aratani Endowed Chair, UCLA.

The event, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at DRAM, 18127 S. Alameda St., Rancho Dominguez, will feature a performance by GVJCI Taiko, speakers, and refreshments following the program.

The program will spotlight the history of Nikkei on the Rancho Dominguez before, during, and after World War II; Japanese- and Japanese American-related records in CSU Dominguez Hill’s Archives & Special Collections, including post-war home videos; the importance of preserving primary resources; and how studies on the Dominguez Nikkei enrich current knowledge of family and local history, while revealing links to broader themes and issues. Speakers include:

Don Hata, emeritus professor of history, CSUDH. He and his late wife Nadine Ishitani Hata co-authored “Japanese Americans and World War II: Mass Removal, Imprisonment, and Redress,” which has been in continuous print since 1974 and is now in its fourth edition (2011).

Eileen Reiko Yoshimura, director of financial management for the Port of Los Angeles since 2008, among other finance positions that she has held throughout her 30-plus-year career with the City of Los Angeles. She is also board member of the Japanese American Optimists.  Yoshihara earned her undergraduate degree in history with an East Asian studies minor from CSUDH. In 1980-81 she produced a detailed study of documents and correspondence on Issei and Nisei in the Dominguez Family Papers at CSUDH.

Tom Philo, archivist/cataloger for the Archives & Special Collections Department at CSUDH, whose stated goal is to be the repository of record for the South Bay. In seeking to document the rich multicultural history of the South Bay, CSUDH hopes to add to the fine work of other cultural institutions, notably the Palos Verdes Public Library with its Forty Families Story project, as well as various historical societies, including those in San Pedro, Torrance, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Hermosa Beach.

Lane Hirabayashi, George and Sakaye Aratani Professor of the Japanese American Incarceration, Redress, and Community and professor of Asian American studies at UCLA. He is known for his eclectic and sweeping scholarly interests and interpretations, and among his numerous publications, one title is illustrative for this program on linkages between early Japanese on the Dominguez Rancho: “New Worlds, New Lives:  Globalization and People of Japanese Descent in the Americas and from Latin America in Japan” (2002), which he edited with Akemi Kikumura-Yano and his late father, James A. Hirabayashi.

The Rancho San Pedro (also known as the Dominguez Rancho) was an enormous land grant give to Juan Jose Dominguez in the late 1700s, which remained in the Dominguez family until the late 20th century. While the Dominguez Rancho is often used to personalize ownership of the Rancho San Pedro, it now generally refers to the Rancho Dominguez Adobe, which was the home of the Dominguez family for years and is now the Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum.

DRAM’s exquisitely maintained lawns, flower gardens, and walking paths, as well as the original Spanish colonial structures, make the Dominguez Rancho an oasis unknown to many South Bay residents.

The program will take place outdoors next to the carriage house. Museum tours will be offered before the program at 12 p.m. and immediately after the program. There is a suggested $4 donation for tours.

For more information about the event contact, the JCI office at or (310) 324-6611 or DRAM at (310) 603-0088 or through its website at

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