The Japanese American National Museum announces the lineup of authors for the fall 2023 JANM Book Club, a public program series that highlights new publications by Japanese Americans or related to Japanese American history and culture.
The featured authors are Naomi Hirahara, Eric L. Muller, Gwen Muranaka, and Dr. ShiPu Wang. Tickets for each program are $16 ($9 for seniors and students, free to JANM members) and are available at http://janm.org/events.
• Saturday, Sept. 9, 2 to 3:30 p.m.: “Evergreen” with Naomi Hirahara
Edgar Award–winning author Naomi Hirahara dives into the history of Little Tokyo through her newest book. “Evergreen,” the follow-up to the Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning “Clark and Division,” is the story of a Japanese American nurse’s aide who navigates the dangers of post-World War II and post-Manzanar life as she attempts to find justice for a broken family.
Hirahara’s presentation will include photographs from 1946 Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights, and Burbank trailer parks. This event will include an optional self-guided tour of Little Tokyo landmarks featured in the book.
• Saturday, Oct. 7, 2 to 3:30 p.m.: “Lawyer, Jailer, Ally, Foe” with Eric Muller
Eric L. Muller, Dan K. Moore Distinguished Professor of Law in Jurisprudence and Ethics at University of North Carolina School of Law, and Mia Yamamoto, criminal defense attorney and daughter of Elmer Yamamoto, a lawyer in the Poston concentration camp, will discuss “Lawyer, Jailer, Ally, Foe: Complicity and Conscience in America’s World War II Concentration Camps” and the issues of justice, ethics, and race that emerge from Muller’s work.
During World War II, the federal government placed a white lawyer at each of the ten concentration camps with contradictory instructions: provide legal counsel to the Japanese American incarcerees, and keep the place running. Muller brings to vivid life the stories of three of these men, illuminating a shameful episode of American history through imaginative narrative grounded in archival evidence.
• Saturday, Nov. 18, 2 to 3:30 p.m.: “Drawing by Heart” with Gwen Muranaka
Gwen Muranaka will discuss her book, “Drawing by Heart: Cartoons from the Pen of Gwen Muranaka.” She is a fourth-generation Japanese American and senior editor of The Rafu Shimpo, the oldest and largest bilingual Japanese newspaper in the U.S. For the last 20 years, she has covered numerous events in the Southern California Japanese American community.
Throughout her journalism career, Muranaka has drawn cartoons, including “Noodles,” published weekly in The Japan Times in Tokyo, and “Small Kid Time” for Pacific Citizen. Currently she illustrates “Dad’s Three Cats” for The Hawaii Herald and The Rafu Shimpo.
• Sunday, Nov. 26: “Pictures of Belonging” with ShiPu Wang
Dr. ShiPu Wang, curator of JANM’s nationally traveling exhibition “Pictures of Belonging: Miki Hayakawa, Hisako Hibi, and Miné Okubo,” will sign the accompanying catalog on Museum Store Sunday. Spanning eight decades, the publication reveals a broader picture of the American experience through the artworks and life stories of three trailblazing Japanese American women in dialogue with each other for the first time.