Filipino Americans and the History of San Jose's Japantown

  • en

Oct 201319

Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, California, 95112
United States

"Santa Clara Valley has a particularly unique history of Filipino American livelihood and growth. As early as the 1920s, a vital site of employment resided in the area known as present-day Japantown in San José. Working relationships and friendships were built among many Filipino and Japanese farm owners. In fact, Filipinos kindly helped maintain the operation of farms owned by Japanese families when they were forced into internment camps during WW II." - Filipino Memorial Project.

Organized in conjunction with the Santa Clara County chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society, this panel will explore the shared history of the Japanese American and Filipino American communities in San Jose’s Japantown and how the two communities might work together in the future in preserving the cultural heritage and history of the area. 

Panelists are:

Tom Izu
Executive director of the California History Center and Foundation at De Anza College in Cupertino. Izu has a long history of active service in the San Jose Japanese American community. A past board member of the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj), he now serves on its advisory board.

Ron Muriera
Administrator of FANHS,; FANHS national trustee, Santa Clara Valley chapter; and trustee, Northern California FANHS.

Robert V. Ragsac, Sr.
First-generation Filipino-American whose parents migrated to California in 1927. Born and raised in the Chinatown/Japantown area from the 1930s to the 1950s. Retired space systems engineer. Currently active in capturing the story and history of the first wave of Filipino immigrants who settled in San Jose during the 1920s and 1930s.

Dr. Estella Habal 
Associate professor of Asian American Studies at San Jose State University. Dr. Habal has written a number of books and essays on Filipino Americans, from their role in the International Hotel struggle to their participation in the 2008 presidential election.

Cost: Free with admission to the museum (non-members, $5; students and seniors over age 65, $3; JAMsj members and children under 12, free)

RSVP required. Reserve your spot by contacting or calling (408) 294-3138.


JAMsj . Last modified Oct 01, 2013 4:44 p.m.


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