Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco

Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco
Information Source for the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Cultural Open Mic

On December 4, 2010, NJAHS held a holiday appreciation party for the members of NJAHS and those who volunteer to help the organization. Every participant was kind and warm, there were many stories that were passed along and experiences shared with us. There was also an open mike portion in which there were many musical talents and poetry readings. The afternoon started off with a potluck and sharing of stories with each other. Even those who didn't know anyone felt at ease and made new friends along the way. As the afternoon went on everyone was having a great time and enjoying some Christmas music and good food with great people. As two o'clock came we started the open mike for those who wanted to share their traditions, thoughts, poetry and music with us.

We had a gentlemen, Hiroshi Kashiwagi,who recited poetry and short stories that he has written from his experiences in internment camp (right picture). While he was reciting short stories and poems I could picture him as a little boy going through life as a Japanese American living in the United States. His books (Shoe Box Plays, Swimming in the American and Ocean Beach)are available at NJAHS. We also had the pleasure of learning a Malaysian song performed by Ashley Mo (left picture), who was a summer intern for NJAHS. She had everyone participate by teaching hand movements. Afterwards there was more poetry reading from extraodinary people. Peter Yamamoto, a long time volunteer for at NJAHS shared his poetry. Along with Ken Kaji who is a NJAHS Board Member also shared his wonderful poetry with us (lower right picture).
Peter Yamamoto (below)

Ken Kaji, member of the
board of NJAHS

Wesley Ueunten
Professor and curator of
Nuchi du Takara (below)
There were also musical talents, with performances by Jacob Bautista (lower right picture), an intern at NJAHS and Wesley Ueunten (left picture), a college professor and curator of upcoming NJAHS exhibit, Nuchi du Takara: Lessons from the Battle of Okinawa. Just listening to the performances takes you to another world. I felt like I was taken to Japan and watching traditional Japanese music being performed and getting lost in the music. While Jacob shared with us some is his hidden musical talent, it took some of us back to our memories of mainland Japan and watching a traditional performance that has been passed down through generations.

At the end of the party, we drew NJAHS' Benefit Raffle 2010. Winers are;
Grand Prize: Ticket# 0881 Airfare for Two to Japan
2nd Prize: Ticket# 0501 Airfare for Two to Hawaii
3rd Prize: Ticket# 0874 $1,500 Cash
The benefit drawing helped NJAHS raised over $6,800!
Thank you for participating and congratulations winners!

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