Members of the Kokoro2021 Planning Committee

The Kokoro Craft Show is a fundraising effort
developed by Friends of the
Japanese American National Museum (JANM)

During the 2007 U.S. economic downturn, the volunteers of the Museum were asked how they could help raise funds for JANM.  A craft boutique was suggested, and with the permission of then CEO/President, Irene Hirano, several volunteers who loved to shop at local craft events gathered to discuss ways to organize a Museum craft boutique.  The Kokoro Craft Show (formerly The Kokoro Craft Boutique) came to life on Saturday, May 4, 2009 and has continued as a successful volunteer fundraising event for JANM.

Kokoro is a Japanese word meaning heart, mind and spirit.  Artisans who handcraft or design their own merchandise are invited to participate, and their generous participation and donations support JANM’s many educational and cultural programs. 

Over the years, we have been able to make sizeable donations to JANM.   Each year, our financial benchmarks were met, but additional goals were also accomplished:  to meet, greet and introduce thousands of loyal Kokoro shoppers and supporters to the Museum.

The Kokoro Craft Show also partnered with the Little Tokyo community in Los Angeles by asking local restaurants to participate by giving Kokoro shoppers discounted dining throughout the Show month – a “win-win” for visitors exploring both the Show and Little Tokyo’s shops and eateries.

We thank the JANM volunteers and staff, the local community, vendors, and shoppers for their continued support of The Kokoro Craft Show!

  • A note related to the current health crisis:  

Due to the pandemic, we were not able to hold our in-person annual Kokoro Craft Show in 2020.  Although organizing a virtual event was not an easy process, the talented members of the Kokoro Planning Group produced a very successful virtual experience.  Our first-ever Virtual Kokoro2020 Craft Show was held November 14, 2020 through November 30, 2020.   This Fall, our 13th annual Kokoro2021 event will again be online so be sure to shop with us November 1-15.  We look forward to welcoming back our loyal artisans, shoppers and new friends to the 2021 Kokoro Craft event.  We appreciate all those who help us raise funds for the many programs of the Museum.