Events

Programs are free for museum members and included with admission for visitors, unless otherwise noted.

To see a complete listing of the JANM’s programs, visit janm.org/events.

 

Saturday, January 5, 2019
10:30 AM

Members Only Exhibition Tour: Kaiju vs Heroes

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In California in the 1970s, Mark Nagata was living an all-American childhood when an aunt and uncle serving on a US military base in Japan sent him a box filled with colorful kaiju and hero toys. For Nagata, those toys and the artwork of their packaging inspired him to study art, to zealously collect vintage Japanese vinyl toys, and to become a toy designer himself.

Join Mark Nagata for a gallery tour during which he’ll share more about his passion and his collection of toys. Limited to 25 participants.

RSVP by January 2 using the link below. You can also contact memberevents@janm.org or 213.830.5646.

Sunday, January 6, 2019
11:00 AM—5:00 PM

2019 Oshogatsu Family Festival - Year of the Boar

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FREE ALL DAY!

Welcome the Year of the Boar with with crafts, food, cultural activities, and performances!

  • Traditional mochitsuki (Japanese rice pounding ritual) performance by Kodama Taiko

  • Conversation with Kaiju vs Heroes artist Mark Nagata about his latest special limited edition toy figure, an homage to the character portrayed by Gerald Okamura in the movie Big Trouble in Little Tokyo which is being released that day. Nagata and Okamura will sign figures and a special print release.

  • Ruki: Power of Flow live art performance by Japanese calligrapher and hip hop dancer Kuniharu Yoshida and taiko player Walter Nishinaka

  • Candy sculptures by Shan the Candyman

  • Lucky zaru soba (cold buckwheat noodles) and and osechi-ryori (traditional Japanese New Year foods) tasting

  • Souvenir photos by Nerdbot Photo Booth

  • Fun Oshogatsu and Year of the Boar-inspired crafts, origami, and coloring activities

  • Fukubukuro (lucky grab bags) at the JANM Store

  • JANM Members Only reserved seating and express lines!

  • Free admission all day to see Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys, Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit, and Common Ground: The Heart of Community.

  • …and so much more!

    Visit janm.org/oshogatsufest2019 for complete schedule.

    Sponsored by Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, and The Nissan Foundation.

    Sunday, January 6, 2019
    12:30 PM—2:00 PM

    Artist Conversation with Mark Nagata

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    FREE

    12:30 p.m.–1 p.m.: Artist Conversation

    1 p.m.–2 p.m.: Toy and Print Signing with Mark Nagata and Gerald Okamura

    Presented in conjunction with Oshogatsu Family Festival

    To mark the release of Kaiju vs Heroes artist Mark Nagata’s latest special edition sofubi toy figure—an homage to the character played by Gerald Okamura in the movie Big Trouble in Little China—Nagata will discuss how this project came to fruition. Reserved seating for JANM members.

    Nagata and Okamura will sign figures and a special print of the header art for the toy. The figure is hand-painted by Mark and limited to 45 pieces. Express line for members.

    Past Events

    Friday, September 14, 2018
    7:00 PM—9:00 PM

    Upper Level Members and VIP Reception: Kaiju vs Heroes

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    Members at the Sustaining Level and above are invited to preview Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys before it opens to the public. See hundreds of dazzling vintage and contemporary Japanese vinyl toys, providing a feast for the eyes and the imagination. Program with a light reception to follow. Invitations were mailed in early August.

    Saturday, September 15, 2018

    Opening Day: Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata's Journey through the World of Japanese Toys

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    Kaiju translates to “strange creature” in English but has come to mean “giant monster” referring to the creatures like Godzilla and Mothra that inhabited the postwar movie and television screens of Japan. The advent of these monsters brought about the creation of characters to combat them—hence the emergence of pop-culture heroes like Ultraman and Kamen Rider.

    Immerse yourself in a colorful universe of vintage and contemporary kaiju and hero toys from Mark Nagata, a toy designer and fervent toy collector.

    Saturday, September 15, 2018
    10:30 AM

    Members Only Exhibition Tour: Kaiju vs Heroes

    events/JANM-Kaiju-vs-Heroes-signature-300px_2.jpg

    In California in the 1970s, Mark Nagata was living an all-American childhood when an aunt and uncle serving on a US military base in Japan sent him a box filled with colorful kaiju and hero toys. For Nagata, those toys and the artwork of their packaging inspired him to study art, to zealously collect vintage Japanese vinyl toys, and to become a toy designer himself.

    Join Mark Nagata for a gallery tour during which he’ll share more about his passion and his collection of toys. Limited to 25 participants.

    RSVP by September 12 using the link below. You can also contact memberevents@janm.org or 213.830.5646.

    Saturday, September 15, 2018
    2:00 PM

    Kaiju vs Heroes Opening Day Panel and Signing

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    In conjunction with the opening of Kaiju vs. Heroes, toy designer and collector Mark Nagata and Marusan toy company President Eiji Kaminaga will participate in a discussion about kaiju toy history, the world of Japanese toy collecting, and their companies’ histories (Nagata is the founder of Max Toy Company). The Marusan toy company created some of the first vinyl kaiju and hero toys of the 1960s and these toys make up a significant part of Nagata’s collection.

    The conversation will be moderated by Brad Warner, who worked for 15 years at Tsuburaya Productions, the makers of the Ultraman television shows. Warner is now an author and teacher of Zen Buddhism.

    Following the discussion, Mark Nagata will sign copies of Toy Karma, an accompanying book by and about Nagata, as well as a 13" x 19" print (10" x 17" image size) featuring a kaiju and hero image by toy photographer Brian McCarty, who will also be signing the print. The book is $24.95 and the print is $50. Both can be purchased the day of the event.

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

    In the George & Sakaye Aratani Central Hall

    Saturday, October 20, 2018
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    Mark Nagata Kaiju Painting and Signing

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    11 a.m.–12 p.m.: Signing

    1 p.m.–4 p.m.: Kaiju Painting

    In conjunction with the Kaiju vs Heroes exhibition, artist Mark Nagata will be coming to JANM to continue painting an Eyezon kaiju sculpture made by Toy Art Gallery. He will also sign books and other items.

    On that same day, the JANM Store will release three new limited edition Nagata designed toys! A Captain Maxx, a glow-in-the-dark Tripus hand-painted by Nagata, and a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted Tripus variant. These will only be available on-site on a first come, first served basis. (No discounts are available on these items.)

    Thursday, October 25, 2018
    7:00 PM

    Outdoor Movie Night: Godzilla (1954)

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    FREE

    JANM presents the granddaddy of all monster movies, the original Japanese Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira)!

    Made at a time when Japan was still recovering from the World War II atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this remarkably human drama has spawned more than 30 remakes and sequels. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the rampaging radioactive beast destroy an intricately detailed miniature of Tokyo as it was meant to be seen—on the big screen!

    Arrive early to check out Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys before the movie! Free admission to JANM from 5 p.m.–8 p.m., with last admission at 7:30 p.m.

    There will also be food and music beginning at 6 p.m. Popcorn will be available for purchase by Buttery Popcorn Co. and food by Takuma’s Burger. A limited number of chairs will be set up, available first-come, first-serve. Guests are welcome to bring their own chairs and blankets, but please be mindful of blocking others’ views of the screen.

    Presented in conjunction with Kaiju vs Heroes and in partnership with Haunted Little Tokyo. Supported by Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

    Saturday, November 10, 2018
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    JANM Free Family Days: Superheroes!

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    FREE ALL DAY

    This full day of crafts, performances, and other activities will be inspired by real-life heroes as well as the fictional characters of Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys.

    ALL DAY ACTIVITIES:

  • Superhero Capes: Attention all crime-fighting kids and their grown-up sidekicks! Make your own superhero cape and unleash your hidden powers.

  • Superhero Masks: Keep your secret identity under wraps with a handcrafted hero- or kaiju-inspired mask.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Fold an Ultraman superhero!

  • Superhero Selfies: Grab your cape and mask, strike a powerful pose, and snap a selfie in your new super outfit! Selfie sticks provided by JANM for this activity.

  • Save a Life with A3M: Become a real hero by seeing if you’re a bone marrow donor match. Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) focuses on recruiting marrow donors in ethnic communities because the odds of finding a match is much more likely within one’s own racial or ethnic group.

  • Veterans Day Letters: Write a letter of appreciation to a veteran, to be delivered by Operation Gratitude. It only takes a few minutes to write a letter, but it will bring lasting joy to the person who receives it!
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    SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES

    11:30 a.m.–12 p.m.: Ukuleles for Little Tokyo Performance
    U4LT engages Japanese and Japanese American seniors while providing free ukulele instruction in Japanese and English. Reserved seating for members.

    11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.: Superhero Training
    Our friends from Terasaki Budokan will help kids transform basketball fun into fantastical feats of physical fitness worthy of free prizes. Run at the speed of light, fly to slam dunk, make jaw-dropping no-look passes, and sink amazing far-away shots.

    12 p.m.–12:45 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.–2 p.m.: Superhero Drawing Workshop:
    Any mild-mannered child can transform into a fantastic superhero by joining artist and art educator Sylvia Lopez for this interactive workshop. Learn how to quickly sketch and draw a basic human form to create your very own hero character. All levels welcome! Reserved seating for members.

    12 p.m.–3 p.m.: Superhero Caricatures
    Watch yourself be turned into a superhero with a caricature drawn by an artist from Taylor Entertainment. For children only. Line ends at 2:30 p.m. Express line for members.

    12:30 p.m.–1 p.m.: Sho Tokyo Kendo Demonstration
    Sho Tokyo Kendo of LA Minobusan Beikoku Betsuin will deliver a captivating demonstration of kendo, a traditional Japanese martial art that utilizes bamboo swords and protective armor. Reserved seating for members.

    3 p.m.–3:15 p.m.: Kizuna Taiko Performance
    Enjoy a performance from Kizuna Taiko, a group made up of children and adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities and their parents and siblings from the Japanese Speaking Parents Association of Children with Challenges (JSPACC). Reserved seating for members.

    3:30 p.m.–3:45 p.m.: WizStars Performance
    Check out WizStars, a hip-hop dance ensemble featuring individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities and their parents or siblings from the JSPACC. Reserved seating for members.

    Please check back for updates.

    Sponsored by Dwight Stuart Youth Fund.

    Sunday, November 25, 2018
    1:00 PM

    Museum Store Sunday—Ishiro Honda Book Signing

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    November 25 is the second annual Museum Store Sunday! We join over 700 museum stores from all fifty states, ten countries, and three continents to provide a special shopping experience.

    Author Steve Ryfle will be at JANM to sign copies of his book Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa. Join us for some kaiju-themed refreshments!

    Ishiro Honda was arguably the most internationally successful Japanese director of his generation, with an unmatched succession of science fiction films that were commercial hits worldwide. With Godzilla (the first kaiju), Mothra, Rodan, The Mysterians, King Kong vs. Godzilla, and many others, Honda’s films reflected postwar Japan’s real-life anxieties and incorporated fantastical special effects, a formula that appealed to audiences around the globe and created a popular culture phenomenon that spans generations. Authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski shed new light on Honda’s work and the experiences that shaped it—including his days as a reluctant Japanese soldier, witnessing the aftermath of Hiroshima, and his lifelong friendship with fellow filmmaker Akira Kurosawa.

    In addition to the book signing, select JANM products and publications will be 25% off on 11/25/18, on-site only. (Discount cannot be combined with existing discounts and applies to applicable merchandise only.)

    Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa is available at the JANM Store.

    Visit museumstoresunday.org to find other participating museums.

     

     


    Mark Nagata, Memories, acrylic on board, 2005

     


    Mark Nagata, Memories, acrylic on board, 2005

     

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    kaiju-vs-heroes – FIRST & CENTRAL: The JANM Blog

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