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‘Seeds of Our Grandmothers’ Dreams’ at 341FSN

Rosie Yasukochi with her work “I’m Still Talking to My Grandma’s Ghost” (2017). Her work focuses on complicating, unpacking and explaining trans-generational trauma, multiracial identity, and the exotification of Asian cultuer and Asian American women through communal, collective healing. During WWII, her grandmother was incarcerated at Poston, Ariz. and her grandfather served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Her other work in the exhibit is titled “Me Love Me Long Time.”

Japanese American Women Speak (JAWS), an international network of Nikkei feminist artists dedicated to social change, opened its first public art exhibition, “Seeds of Our Grandmothers’ Dreams,” on Oct. 14 at 341FSN, 341 E. First St. in Little Tokyo, and is holding a series of accompanying workshops.

The featured artists — Mitsuko Brooks, Yuki Eto, Tani Ikeda, Kozy Kitchens, Sonomi Kobayashi, MariNaomi, kyoko nakamaru, Yuko Shimizu, diana tsuchida, Hannah Watanabe-Rocco, Rosie Yasukoshi, and Sharon Yamato — reimagines the dreams their elders once had before being forced into concentration camps. Their works will be on view until Sunday, Oct. 28.

Hannah Watanabe-Rocco is pictured with her mother, Amie Watanabe-Rocco, and grandmother, Yoko Watanabe. Her works in the exhibit are titled “don’t worry about me” and “everything is fine.” In addition to comics and drawings, she works in animation and co-wrote and co-performed the closing credits theme song for “The Powerpuff Girls” with Tristan Sedillo.

Upcoming events:

Tuesday, Oct. 23: “A Founding Spirit: Returning to Our Origin Story,” 5:30-7:30 p.m. Armory Center for the Arts Executive Director Leslie Ito will moderate a talk story circle.

Wednesday, Oct. 24: “Dreaming for the Collective: Calling in the Sacred on the Full Moon,” 7-8:30 p.m. Kyoko Takenaka and kyoko nakamaru invite Asian American femmes to dream into ancestral healing using sound, music, meditation and poetry.

Thursday, Oct. 25: “Beyond the Personal: Things We Learned from Camp,” 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Limited to 12 people. RSVP to

JAWS Tiny Couch Performances, 6-8:30 p.m. Musician Rey Fukuda and singer Danielle Oda will share new original works in an intimate living-room setting. RSVP:

Mitsuko Brooks with her work “Tempus” (2018), consisting of mesh fabric, book, plant matter, tea bags, quilting and sewing pins, bias tape and purse. She works to manipulate, reorganize and repurpose online texts, artifacts and trash through college and mail art. She was born on Misawa Air Force Base in Aomori Prefecture and grew up in Delaware, Oregon, Italy, Maryland and New York. Her other works in the exhibit are titled “The Meal of Death, The Wheel of Light” and “Bupropian Series: Malachite.”

Friday, Oct. 26: Film screening, 7-9 p.m. Renee Tajima-Peña’s “My America … Or Honk If You Love Buddha,” followed by short films and discussion with filmmakers Tani Ikeda, Kyoko Takenaka, Sharon Yamato and Hannah Watanabe-Rocco.

Saturday, Oct. 27: “Farming as Justice Work,” 1-3 p.m. Kellee Matsushita will discuss seed sovereignty as a tool to build community power and reclaim ancestral knowledge.

Japanese American Women Author’s Panel, 3:45-5 p.m. Featuring activist, essayist and poet Mitsuye Yamada will read some of her new works, followed by a discussion by Keiko Agena, Yumi Sakugawa and MariNaomi, moderated by Tani Ikeda.

Sunday, Oct. 28: JAWS pizza party planning session and deinstallation, 1-4 p.m.

For more information, email or visit

From left: MariNaomi, Yuki Eto, Mitsuko Brooks, Tani Ikeda, kyoko nakamaru, Rosie Yasukochi, Sharon Yamato, Sonomi Kobayashi, Akemi Look.

Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo

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