Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Art, Culture & Identity Past Events


Sunday, August 21, 2016
2:00 PM—5:00 PM

Dramatic Reading—Death of a Salesman


Arthur Miller’s iconic play revolves around traveling salesman Willy Loman, who cannot understand how he has failed to achieve success and happiness. The probing drama reveals how Loman’s relentless quest for the “American Dream” has kept him alienated from his wife, his sons, and his friends. A thrilling and deeply revelatory tragedy, Death of a Salesman is an enduring classic of American theater.

This unique staged reading, directed by Michael Miraula and produced by Tadamori Yagi, will feature a predominantly Asian American cast. Through non-traditional casting choices, the reading will attempt to explore minority relations within the larger context of mainstream white America in the late 1950s.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Saturday, August 20, 2016
2:00 PM

Above the Fold Artist Lecture: Origami as a Language of Contemporary Design


Exhibiting artist Paul Jackson will discuss the growing influence of origami in contemporary design practice, from fashion to architecture. Using examples from around the world and from his many years of teaching design, Jackson will demonstrate how, in recent years, origami principles have been applied to materials other than paper, such as fabric, leather, plastic, and wood. He will offer reasons for this interest in origami, identify current trends, and suggest directions for the future. The lecture will be followed by a signing with the artist.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are strongly recommended using the link below.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In conjunction with the exhibition Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami
Saturday, July 16, 2016
2:00 PM

Above the Fold Lecture by Robert Lang



The last 15 years have been witness to a revolution in the application of mathematical techniques to origami, the centuries-old Japanese art of paper-folding. Exhibiting artist Robert J. Lang is recognized as one of the foremost origami artists in the world as well as a pioneer in computational origami and the development of formal design algorithms for folding.

In this talk, he will describe how geometric concepts led to the solution of a broad class of origami folding problems—specifically, the problem of efficiently folding a shape with an arbitrary number and arrangement of flaps—and, along the way, enabling origami designs of mind-blowing complexity and realism. The algorithms and theorems of origami design have shed light on long-standing mathematical questions and have solved practical engineering problems—Lang will present examples of how origami has enabled safer airbags, Brobdingnagian space telescopes, and more.

Free with museum admission.

This program is sold out. To be placed on a waitlist, please email

Presented with support from the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles.

Photo: Robert Lang, Pentasia, 2014. Photo courtesy of the artist.

In conjunction with the exhibition Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami
Thursday, May 19, 2016
7:00 PM

APIA Heritage Month Program—Asian American Child Actors Panel Discussion



In celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, join us for a special panel discussion with the Asian American child stars of today. Moderated by writer Jeff Yang, the panel will feature Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, and Ian Chen of Fresh Off the Boat; Ashley Liao of the Netflix original series Fuller House; and Lance Lim of Nickelodeon’s School of Rock. The actors will talk about their lives, their work, and what it’s like to be famous at such a young age.

This event is free and open to the public. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Please note that the date for this program has changed.

This program is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Photo: Forrest Wheeler

Saturday, May 7, 2016
2:00 PM

Dramatic Reading—Moss on the Mirror by Warren Sata


Moss on the Mirror is a fictional story inspired by the life and work of renowned photographer Toyo Miyatake. Taking place in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district in the late 1920s and early 1930s, where Miyatake’s practice flourished before World War II, the play examines the creativity, hope, and optimism, as well as the struggles and challenges, of the Japanese immigrant photographers community. Although not a literal retelling of actual events, the piece seeks to transport audiences to the feelings and circumstances of those times.

Moss on the Mirror was written by Warren Sata, a relative of J.T. Sata, who is a featured photographer in the exhibition Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920–1940.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Photo: Toyo Miyatake, Charles Teske, 1927. The Toyo Miyatake Collection.

Saturday, April 16, 2016
2:00 PM

Recollections of Family History


In this panel discussion moderated by exhibition curator Dennis Reed, family members of photographers featured in Making Waves will discuss the artists’ lives and activities.

The discussion will move through three time periods—the 1920s and ’30s, the World War II incarceration, and the postwar period—and include time for audience Q&A. Confirmed participants include representatives from the families of Harry Hayashida, Toyo Miyatake, J.T. Sata, and Shigemi Uyeda.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Photo: Toyo Miyatake, Charles Teske, 1927. The Toyo Miyatake Collection.




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