Japan & Black L.A. Initiative: Japanese American National Museum Visit

On March 15, 2022, Black clergy of predominantly African American local churches of the United Methodist Church along with leaders of Japanese and Japanese American organizations toured the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) and engaged in a discussion moderated by Loyola Marymount University professor Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks.  Joining the tour were representatives of the offices of California State Senator Steven Bradford, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell and Los Angeles City Councilmember Nithya Raman.   

The group were led on tours of the main “Common Ground” exhibit by Director of Collection Management and Access and Curator Dr. Kristen Hayashi and Director of Programs Clement Hanami.
The group was also guided through the recently opened “Sutra and Bible: Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration” special exhibit by co-curator Dr. Duncan Ryuken Williams, Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions & Culture, who is also a Soto Zen Buddhist priest.
Following the tours, the briefing session began with remarks by President & CEO of JANM Ms. Ann Burroughs, Consul General Akira Muto, and Rev. Mark Nakagawa, West District Superintendent of the United Methodist Church-California Pacific Conference.  In the group discussion moderated by Dr. Takada Rooks, the group engaged in dialogue to share their impressions of the exhibits and further explore the shared connections between the African American and Japanese American communities. 

Museum Tour