The JASC Legacy Center has a long history of producing physical and digital exhibits highlighting materials from the archives. While we do not currently have a facility with a dedicated gallery for physical exhibits, we offer the following digital exhibits as a way to experience the Chicago Japanese American story 24/7/365 from wherever you happen to be:
Journey along with three families to learn about pre-war life on the West Coast, World War II incarceration, postwar resettlement in Chicago, and the long-term impact of these experiences on multiple generations and Japanese Americans. Centered on first-person voices and rich with archival photographs and documents, this interactive multimedia experience was born out of the JASC Legacy Center’s oral history project. Educational components such as key terms and reflection questions are built into the site design, and supplemental resources with suggested discussion questions accompany each of the three stories. (2021)
Take a deep dive into the Japanese American Redress movement and learn about the important contributions of Chicago’s Japanese American community to this national effort. Featuring the voices of key individuals interwoven with archival materials, this interactive multimedia experience honors the work of an entire community fighting for justice in the wake of civil rights violations. (2021)
Early Days of the Japanese American Service Committee: The Chicago Resettlers Committee*
Learn about the origins of the Chicago Resettlers Committee (now JASC) and the pivotal role this organization played as the Japanese American community in Chicago expanded rapidly after World War II. (2015)
Beauty in Desolation: Art from the Camps, 1942-1945*
This exhibit highlights the wide range of decorative objects and practical items made by incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II. (2014)
Two Countries / Two Kibei*
This exhibit traces the journeys of two Kibei, American-born children sent to Japan by their immigrant parents in order to be educated in Japanese language and culture. One returned to America before the onset of war and endured separation from family members who remained in Japan. The other was unable to return to the U.S., and spent the war and ultimately her entire adult life living in Japan despite multiple attempts to repatriate to her country of birth. (2014)
Winning the Peace: The Story of Chicagoans in the Military Intelligence Service, 1941-1952*
This exhibit was produced by JASC in 2010 to honor World War II veterans by telling the story of Japanese American contributions to the Military Intelligence Service.
Origins of Now: ReBuilding Community*
Created in 2006 to celebrate the JASC’s 60th anniversary, this exhibit examines the question “Why are there so many Japanese Americans in Chicago?” Consisting of 15 panels, the content is viewable online and may also be requested for display for educational purposes. Requests to borrow the panels may be submitted to the JASC Legacy Center via email.
*Curated for JASC by consulting archivist Jane Kenamore.