– view detailed event schedule [here] –

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MBT will continue to celebrate its 75th anniversary with a special visit from Los Angeles’ Japanese American National Museum (“JANM”). Key museum staff will be in Chicago Friday May 17th to Sunday May 19th to present CONTESTED HISTORIES, the museum’s traveling exhibit that displays never-before-seen art and craft objects created by Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII.

With this special opportunity to host CONTESTED HISTORIES in Chicago, JANM staff and Chicago community leadership have collaborated to offer a series of programs to reflect, discuss, learn and process this collective history. These programs, collectively entitled FINDING HOME (Re)Building a community in the Second City, will take place during the exhibit of CONTESTED HISTORIES on May 17-19.

Brief program descriptions are included below. A detailed schedule can be viewed [here].

All events take place at the Midwest Buddhist Temple – 435 W Menomonee, Chicago IL 60614

Friday May 17th

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Contested Histories” Exhibit – The exhibit opens to the public from 10:45am to 5:00pm. JANM Art Director Clement Hanami will be on hand to answer questions about the collection.

Saturday May 18th

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Contested Histories” Presentation – JANM Art Director, Clement Hanami, will talk about the history, current state and future plans for the collection, including the controversial 2015 attempted auction of the entire collection that made national news.

Sharing Stories: Intergenerational Conversations” – Offered on Saturday and Sunday, these facilitated small group discussions provide a safe space to discuss the incarceration and its legacy. To help the planners, please register for this program here: bit.ly/sharingstorieschicago1

Activating Archives – Exploring Family History through Objects & Artifacts” – JANM’s Collections Manager Kristen Hayashi will team up with Eric Langowski and Josh Fidler of JACL-Chicago’s ‘Next Generation Nikkei’ group to tell stories of their respective families through archives, collections and objects. Kristen will also provide families with tips and tricks for discovering their own family history.

Open Mic Night” – A fun, casual way to end a Saturday night – come support some of Chicago’s hidden talent as community members take the stage to present their art. Want to perform? We’d love to have you! Sign up here: http://forms.gle/chTiYfdyzgbvUJ3R9

Sunday May 19th

Sharing Stories: Intergenerational Conversations” – See above, register here: bit.ly/sharingstorieschicago1

Garage Door Opener” – CHICAGO PREMIERE! Come watch 5 talented Chicago actors conduct a stage reading of Soji Kashiwagi’s “Japanese American dysfunctional family” comedy/drama. Kashiwagi is the director of Los Angeles’ Grateful Crane Ensemble, a theater group that pays tribute to the unique hardships and inspiring contributions of Japanese Americans through thought-provoking performance.

Stage Reading Q&A – Immediately following the play, writer/director Soji Kashiwagi will discuss the play’s content, the impact of incarceration on families, and his work through the Grateful Crane Ensemble.

– view detailed schedule [here] –


MAY 17-19 The Japanese American National Museum’s CONTESTED HISTORIES exhibit will be at MBT along with a special program FINDING HOME (Re)Building a Community in the Second City.  All activities will take place at MBT. The detailed schedule can be viewed [here].


POST-GINZA It’s no secret that MBT has an ongoing relationship with some of the finest masters of Japanese crafts through the Waza’s annual Chicago visit. They are inarguably a staple of Ginza’s unique charm. Thanks to Harumi Ichikawa who made the first ask, followed by an in-person visit to Kawakami-san in his Asakusa-based tenugui shop, master artisan Chihiro Kawakami, one of the senior members of the Waza, has agreed to create a special MBT 75th Anniversary tenegui to commemorate our milestone. More details to come.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 21 Mark your calendars! The Knu(er) Basics (some MBTers may remember them from many years back as the Knu Basics) have chosen a venue for their big reunion concert and it’s MBT! Come check out original band memebers Steve Arima, Jim Chikaraishi and George Formosa, and knuer-comers Alan Arima, Darrell Kaneshiro and Elaine Matsushita as they rock out. Stay tuned for more information, you won’t want to miss this! Time: To be determined. Location: MBT Social Hall Info: 312.943.7801.

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 3 SAVE THE DATE! Immediately after Service we will host a special MBT 75th Anniversary Luncheon. More information to come!

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