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


Thursday, October 25, 2018
7:00 PM

Outdoor Movie Night: Godzilla (1954)



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!

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!



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.

Activities will include:

  • Superhero drawing workshop

  • Design your own superhero capes and masks

  • Superhero photo booth

  • Kendo demonstration by Sho Tokyo Kendo of LA Minobusan Beikoku Betsuin

  • Performances by Ukuleles for Little Tokyo, Kizuna Taiko, and WizStars

  • Write a letter to a veteran, to be delivered by Operation Gratitude

  • See if you can save a life with Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M)

  • Sponsored by Dwight Stuart Youth Fund.

    Past Events

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

    Upper Level Members and VIP Reception: Kaiju vs Heroes


    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


    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


    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 or 213.830.5646.

    Saturday, September 15, 2018
    2:00 PM

    Kaiju vs Heroes Opening Day Panel and Signing


    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



    Mark Nagata, Memories, acrylic on board, 2005


    Mark Nagata, Memories, acrylic on board, 2005


    JANM Email Updates



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

    An Interview with Toy Designer and Collector Mark Nagata
    September 11, 2018 Our newest exhibition, Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey ...

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