What: The Chinese & American Historical Museum 25 Year Anniversary SKZ Performance
Where: History Park San Jose, 1650 Senter Rd, San Jose, CA 95112
When: 3:05pm-3:25pm, Sunday, October 2.2016
SKZ was invited to join the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Chinese & American Historical Museum. The museum is called A Joss House which was a building in which people build a temple within to worship God during the western times in North America. Joss Housed were common in Chinatown. On May 4, 1887, a fire destroyed the first Chinatown but was rebuilt soon after.
Students came to the History Park with expectations of performing. The staff members were kind to give our students a tour of the Museum and the deep Chinese culture which resided in it. Students not only gained experience from performing but also gained knowledge on the history of San Jose they may have not known.
From this event, many staff and audience members congratulated us on a lovely performance. Many parents took time off of their busy schedules to have their children perform and participate for this event and we are grateful. This event does not only help us spread culture to others but share our culture with our own students. We are always excited to see parents witnessing the growth of their children both physically and mentally.
A Joss house is a place or temple where God is worshiped. During the frontier times in western North America, joss houses were a common feature of Chinatown. The earliest available information on the San Jose Joss House was printed in a map in 1872, somewhere between Market and San Fernando Street. On May 4. 1887, a fire destroyed the first Chinatown. After the fire, the Joss House was rebuilt (between the period of 1887 and 1888) in the Sixth and Taylor Street area. It was the practice to utilize the temple for physical and spiritual sustenance. Chinese would come to burn incense, worship God and consult God with his family matters or business venture. The first floor was used as a school and had as many as 30 youngsters attending after their normal public school was dismissed.
The San Jose Chinatown area was then known as “Heinlenville” (named after a Mr John Heinlen) and contained a variety of merchants, barbers, traditional doctors, and Chinese herbal medicine. The area dwindled in the 1920s as the younger generations sought careers outside the area and with a lack of new Chinese coming in due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, the area lost almost all of its Chinese population. In 1931, the last Chinatown fell to the wreckers’ hammers and crowbars. The San Jose Chinatown of more than 80 years had ended so was the “Old Joss House”.Share