Have you seen our new exhibition? In late May, we opened The Defining Courage Experience, a hands-on and participatory learning center in the heart of Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo historic district. The exhibition explores the concept of courage through the lives of the young Japanese Americans of World War II, and asks modern visitors to act with similar courage in their own lives.
The exhibition is one-of-a-kind in its dynamic, hands-on, and experience-based approach, engaging visitors through participatory learning experiences. These experiences teach the history of the Japanese American World War II story and its relevance to our lives today. This isn’t your typical history museum!
Throughout the exhibition, visitors get to “meet” hundreds of young Japanese American men and women from the World War II era. Our archivists worked hard to find photographs, quotes, and oral history clips from throughout our entire collection, and these are powerfully presented in the exhibits and hands-on activities. Countless hours were spent by our archivists, and the result is an exhibition centered around the real first-person stories of hundreds of young WWII soldiers and their contemporaries. In interactive high-tech and low-tech exhibits, visitors feel that they really “meet” these young men and women, discovering their courage first-hand as they experience our exhibition. Visitors can even make their own mini-documentaries, using our vast collection of historic photos and oral history videos!
Our exhibition is one way that we bring our archives out of the “old dusty boxes” and into the public knowledge. Our archivists are experts at discovering the most powerful, historic, and important pieces in our collection, and they love using numerous methods to showcase these to the public. It is through their hard work that our organization raises awareness of the Nisei soldier story and its continued relevance to our world today. If you haven’t stopped by our exhibition yet, pop in and see the fruit of their labors!