Skeletal sculpture made from precariously balanced and delicately interlocking pieces of carved...
Isamu Noguchi, Remembrance, 1944. Photo: Kevin Noble. ©INFGM / ARS
Free Admission

Day of Remembrance

Sunday, February 19, 2023
11 am–6 pm

On the Day of Remembrance, February 19, we honor the experiences and memories of Japanese American communities affected by the World War II incarceration and its legacy, and reflect on lessons that this grave injustice holds for us today.

On February 19, admission is free. At 2 pm, Noguchi Museum educators Mariko Aoyagi and Harumi Ori lead tours of the Museum in English and Japanese. At 3 pm, artist Maya Jeffereis along with Alexis Takahashi, Emily Akpan, Lauren Sumida, Mari Shiratori, Mike Ishii, Yuriko Yamaki, Takeshi Furumoto, and Carol Furumoto of the New York Day of Remembrance Committee (NYDOR) lead a durational reading of Isamu Noguchi’s essay “I Become a Nisei” followed by a roundtable conversation about the text. A reading room of materials exploring the incarceration from diverse perspectives is available in the education studio, along with an information table to learn more about NYDOR’s activism work. 

To learn more about this program, please email

About the Reading

On February 19, 1942, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced removal and imprisonment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast—nearly two-thirds of whom were American citizens by birth—in ten concentration camps in desolate areas of the country through the duration of World War II. 

Isamu Noguchi was exempt from incarceration as a resident of New York, but he voluntarily entered the Poston, Arizona, camp in an effort to help fellow Japanese Americans, a community that he had previously little known or identified with, but “of whom because of war I had suddenly become a part.” He wrote of his experiences and observations in the camp, where he would remain for six months, in an unpublished essay intended for Reader’s Digest titled “I Become a Nisei.”

Unrealized plan for gardens, arts facilities, a mini golf course and other recreation facilities,...
Isamu Noguchi, unrealized plan for gardens, arts and recreation facilities at the Poston, Arizona, concentration camp, 1942. Blueprint. Photo: Kevin Noble. ©INFGM / ARS

Further Resources

New York Day of Remembrance Committee (NYDOR) is a group of Japanese American New Yorkers and allies dedicated to healing intergenerational trauma caused by the World War II incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry through community programming and partnerships, and by demanding justice for oppressed people facing racialized state violence and discrimination. 

NYDOR Website

Densho is an organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans to promote equity and justice today.

Densho Website

Explore a selection of readings about the incarceration from diverse perspectives. 

Selected Bibliography

About Maya Jeffereis

Maya Jeffereis is an artist working in video, performance, and installation whose work seeks to expand upon overlooked histories and archival gaps through counter and personal narratives, offering both critical perspectives and speculative possibilities. Jeffereis’ work has been presented in the United States and internationally, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Brooklyn Museum, and Queens Museum, among others. Jeffereis is a recipient of the A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship and Cisneros Initiative for Latin American Art. She has been a participant in Asia Art Archive in America’s Leadership Camp and an artist-in-residence at Lower Manhattan Cultural Center (LMCC), Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. She is currently a 2023 The Bronx Museum of the Arts AIM fellow and an artist-in-residence at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts SHIFT Program.

Related Publication

I Become a Nisei collects a 1942 essay by Isamu Noguchi written from the Poston, Arizona, concentration camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. The book includes eight color plates of artworks and related correspondence from The Noguchi Museum Archives.

This book was printed letterpress from hand-set metal type and hand bound by Jon Beacham of The Brother In Elysium, and was designed and published in collaboration with the artist. It includes a foreword by Brian Niiya, Content Director at Densho, an organization which preserves stories of the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans in order to promote equity and justice today. 

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