Zoom screenshot of Kokoro Craft Show Planning Committee members

Members of the Kokoro Planning Committee
Top row (left to right): Janet Maloney, Bernice Lee, Keiko Miya, Irene Nakagawa, Blossom Uyeda
2nd row: Al Kaku, Pat Ishida, Will Teragawa, Jan Morey, Rodney Cooley
3rd row: Alexa Nishimoto, Adrienne Lee, Maria Kwong, Grace Yamamura, Nahan Gluck
Bottom row: Masako Murakami, Tracy Tsutsumoto

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


Kokoro is a Japanese word meaning heart, mind, and spirit.  For artisans who handcraft or design, Kokoro is essential for capturing their passion as they create their art. To support the Japanese American community and its many independent artists, the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) invites these artisans to participate in the Kokoro Craft Show.

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. 

Overhead view of Aratani Central Hall during a prior Kokoro Craft Show

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.

Over the years, we have been able to make sizeable donations to the Museum that supports JANM’s many educational, cultural and volunteer programs. Every 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 partners with the Little Tokyo community in Los Angeles by asking local restaurants to participate by giving Kokoro shoppers discounted dining throughout the show’s month. Shoppers have an opportunity to experience the delectable local fare our community has to offer.

We thank the JANM volunteers and staff, the community, vendors, and shoppers for their continued support of the Kokoro Craft Show. It is an event showcasing not only the creative talents that make up Los Angeles’s diverse culture, but also fosters support in its arts, education, and its Kokoro.