Japanese American National Museum

Volunteer: Harold "Hal" Keimi

The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. 

Harold “Hal” Keimi has been volunteering at JANM along with his wife, Barbara since 1990. For the past 30 years, he has served the institution in a variety of capacities. As a docent, trainer for new volunteers, origami instructor, and perhaps most notably, as the museum’s taiko drumming instructor, he has become an icon at the institution among staff past and present and also among the educators and students who visit JANM and learn about taiko. The loud and powerful drums are often one of the more memorable elements of a child’s visit to JANM as is evidenced in the countless letters and drawings Hal receives from students. What sets Hal apart most is his tremendous dedication and reliability. As the museum’s main taiko instructor, he holds the responsibility of leading taiko sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays for up to 120 students per day. Hal Keimi has many wonderful attributes, including the passion and enthusiasm he brings to everything he does. Be it in his weekly routine of teaching taiko or in his occasional role of host and emcee of volunteer social gatherings and holiday parties, Hal’s joyous spirit and boundless energy lifts the morale of staff and volunteers alike and inspires us all.