Open today: 10AM - 3PM

Virtual Opening Preview of Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties

Date(s) - Thursday, February 17th
7:00 pm CST - 8:00 pm CST


dsc0801-version-2Presenting Sponsor:
The Yabuki Family Foundation

Reflecting on a dark chapter of U.S. history rooted in unfounded fears and prejudice, followed by decades of complex consequences, Then They Came for Me tells the story of the forced removal of 120,000 Japanese American citizens and legal residents from their homes during World War II without due process or the constitutional protections to which they were entitled. It is a narrative that echoes distressing parallels to the discrimination and intolerance surrounding the current immigration and refugee crisis in America and around the world. 

dsc0801-version-2The experiences of Japanese Americans from emigration in Japan through the post-War struggle to reestablish shattered lives are made palpable through large-scale images captured by renowned photographers, including Dorothea Lange, Clem Albers and Ansel Adams, combined with historical artifacts, family heirlooms and multigenerational stories.

In celebration of the opening of this extraordinary exhibit, hear from Milwaukee-based artist and photographer Kevin Miyazaki as he explores the story of his family’s incarceration during this time of history, his own art and its connections to historical imagery seen in the exhibit. Take in a rousing performance of traditional Japanese Taiko drumming by Milwaukee’s own Hibiki. Then get an exclusive tour of Then They Came for Me from JMM Curator, Molly Dubin.

REGISTER HERE to get access to the Zoom session.
RSVP Deadline: Monday, February 14

dsc0801-version-2About Kevin Miyazaki
Kevin J. Miyazaki is an artist and photographer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His artwork focuses on issues of ethnicity, migration and place, often addressing family history and the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War ll. Miyazaki was born and raised in suburban Milwaukee, culturally and physically far from ancestral roots in Japan, Hawaii and Washington state. His photographs have been exhibited at venues including the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Griffin Museum of Photography, Museum of Wisconsin Art, The Center for Photography at Woodstock and the Hyde Park Art Center.

About Hibiki, Milwaukee’s Taiko Group
Hibiki, which literally means “echo sound” in Japanese, is a taiko (Japanese drum) group based in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. 

Taiko is an ancient form of traditional Japanese drumming that has been involved in various aspects of Japanese culture and history over many centuries.  It has functioned as a form of communication in the military; is played during religious ceremonies, rituals and local festivals, and has been incorporated into traditional Japanese theater (Noh and Kabuki). More recently, an ensemble style of performance called kumi-daiko, has become a popular art form all around the world. 

It is our mission to promote interest in and understanding of Japanese culture through taiko drumming. Formed in 2009, Hibiki has been giving taiko drumming performances in various cultural enrichment events offered by schools, companies, and community organizations.

– Argosy Foundation
– Linda and Eli Frank 

– Anonymous Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation
– Nina and Richard Edelman

Jonathan and Amy Li Ansfield, Joan Becker Friedman and Mike Friedman, Sharon and Richard Canter, Green Bay Packers Foundation, Leslie Hayes, Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, Avi and Dannette Lank, Adam Shapiro, Jason Steigman and Dori Frankel Steigman

Media Sponsor: Wisconsin Public Radio

In Kind: Ron and Christine Kuramoto, Kevin Miyazaki, Cheryl Lund Miyazaki, Dave Suyama, Kathy Yullie

In connection with Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, February 18 – May 29, 2022.

Then They Came for Me was originated in Chicago by the Alphawood Foundation with the support and cooperation of the Japanese American Service Committee of Chicago. 

It also appeared ·in modified form at the International Center of Photography in New York and at the Presidio, San Francisco, made possible there through the generosity of the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation of Oakland, California. 

Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s presentation of Then They Came for Me represents an abridged and modified version of the original exhibition. 

Top Image: Dorothea Lange, Turlock, California, May 2, 1942. National Archives. 2.

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