Jimmy Tsutomo Mirikitani was an American-born artist and Sacramento local, who was placed in a Japanese internment camp with his family during WWII, and whose life was chronicled in the 2006, award-winning documentary The Cats of Mirikitani. Now, his experiences and his art have come to life for children as well, in the recently published children’s book “The Cat Who Chose To Dream” by Davis author and child psychologist Loriene Honda, featuring artwork by Jimmy himself.
“Published in 2014 by martin Pearl, “The Cat Who Chose to Dream” is a children’s book sharing the story of a cat’s choice to be incarcerated with the Japanese American family to whom he belongs as a gesture of support. Through the cat’s use of breathing and visualization exercises, readers share the cat’s triumph over his feelings of hopelessness and anger as he learns to transport his mind to a place in his heart where he no longer feels encumbered and restrained, but self-empowered and free. Featuring artwork by Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani and therapeutic techniques by child psychologist Dr. Loriene Honda, “The Cat Who Chose To Dream” teaches children how the imaginative mind can prove to be a powerful tool in surpassing adversity.”
In complementing the museum’s current exhibit “The Art of Gaman: Arts & Crafts from the Japanese American Internment, 1942-1946”, the California Museum is hosting a presentation of “The Cat Who Chose To Dream” as well as a book signing my author Loriene Honda on Saturday, April 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Other activities include self-guided tours of the museum’s exhibits, a screening of The Cats of Mirikitani, and hands-on activities for children 5 and up.
Advance tickets to this event are required and can be purchased here.