Visit the Japanese American Museum of San Jose CA and learn about the rich history of one of the largest and most influential communities in Silicon Valley.


After receiving their release from camp, many Issei (First-generation immigrants) returned to California and established thriving businesses such as hotels, farm labor contracting firms, groceries, produce stands, and restaurants, among other new enterprises.


After World War II, the Issei and Nisei (second-generation immigrants) once again flourished in their chosen professions. San Jose’s agricultural history helped many immigrant families maintain farms on the outskirts of town that supplied area markets with fresh fruits and vegetables. Other Issei headed toward urban areas to take advantage of the booming postwar economy. They helped found San Jose’s business district as well as many of the major hospitals and banks that continue to provide a foundation for Silicon Valley’s prosperity.


A passionate group of individuals, who had been denied their civil liberties during World War II because of their Japanese ancestry, fought long and hard to bring the story of this period of shame and injustice to the attention of the American public. In the early years of redress, they founded several institutions that have withstood time and have been instrumental in educating their communities about this important chapter in Japanese American history. These institutions include:


The Japanese American Museum of San Jose was established in 1991 to perpetuate the story of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in the spring of 1942.


History was made in San Jose when this museum opened its doors to the public in November 1997. It is the only Japantown-based museum in the United States that exists for all people with an interest in America’s past and future. We are located at 535 N. Fifth Street, San Jose, CA 95112. Our hours are Wednesday through Monday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and college students with ID, $5 for youth 12–17 years old, and free to children under 12 years of age accompanied by an adult.


Our museum has eight exhibit galleries that explore the history of Japanese immigrants from their homeland to San Jose, as well as highlight the contributions made by those who called America home. We have an award-winning education program, a collection of historical artifacts and archival materials, a beautiful garden, and a dynamic schedule of special events each year.