NATIONAL VETERANS NETWORK AWARDED JAPANESE AMERICAN CONFINEMENT SITES GRANT FOR NISEI SOLDIER TRAVELING EXHIBITION
NVN and National Museum of U.S. Army to develop 11-city traveling exhibition
The National Veterans Network (NVN) has been awarded a $348,867 grant from the Department of Interior National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites (NPS JACS) grant program that will help fund the “I Am An American: the Nisei Soldier Experience,” an 11-city traveling exhibition about the Japanese American World War II soldiers.
“We are grateful to receive the grant from the National Park Service, which will help the NVN, the National Museum of the United States Army and Army Historical Foundation (AHF) as we work together to develop this special traveling exhibition over the next two years,” said Christine Sato- Yamazaki, executive director at NVN. “This traveling exhibition will feature artifacts and stories of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service and U.S. Army soldiers who fought in the service of the United States to demonstrate their loyalty and patriotism at a time when they were discriminated against based on their ancestry.”
The grant will enable the NVN, AHF and the Museum to begin working on the content and overall design of the traveling exhibition. Based on the current Nisei Soldier Experience special exhibit at the National Army Museum, the traveling exhibit will expand to 1,200 square feet with approximately 35 significant historical objects, 50-75 images and three audio-visual kiosks with 10 individual soldier stories and an interactive map of the European and Pacific Campaign comprised of 16 campaign videos.
“We are proud to be developing the National Army Museum’s first traveling exhibition, and we look forward to working with NVN to bring this powerful American story to the public, especially those who are learning about this significant piece of our history for the first time” said Tammy Call, director of the National Museum of the United States Army.
The theme of the traveling exhibition “I Am An American” is based on the historical photo of Tatsuro Masuda’s grocery store in Oakland, CA. Masuda installed an “I Am An American” sign on his storefront on December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The exhibit will highlight the military service of the Nisei Soldiers from the perspective of the men and women who fought for democracy overseas, while they simultaneously fought a war against prejudice at home. The exhibit will include Nisei objects from the islands of Hawaii to the mainland U.S., including the Nisei Soldiers who enlisted out of or had family in the 10 War Relocation Authority (WRA) incarceration camps.
The traveling exhibit will travel to 11 cities across the United States starting in 2026 for five years. It is scheduled to be hosted in the following states: California (Los Angeles and San Francisco), Oregon, Hawaii, Wyoming, Texas, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana and New York.