Kaiju vs Heroes

過去の展覧会

kaiju vs hero

Mark Nagata's Journey through the World of Japanese Toys

Kaiju-Con

Saturday, June 15, 2019

11 a.m.–5 p.m.

In conjunction with Kaiju vs Heroes, JANM is hosting a day-long Kaiju-Con that will include a vendor hall, workshops, panel discussions, and demonstrations all related to kaiju and Japanese toys. The day will culminate in a special free outdoor screening at 8:30 p.m., on JANM’s plaza of Mothra vs. Godzilla from 1964.

Videos from three of the Kaiju-Con sessions are viewable below or you can watch them on JANM’s YouTube channel.

#kaijucon

Tickets | Activities | Vendor Hall | Costume Policy | For Vendors

 

KAIJU-CON TICKETS

Kaiju-Con tickets, which will include same-day museum admission, are now on sale. Early bird pricing will be available through May 31. Purchase tickets by 5 p.m. PT on Friday, June 14, or until sold out, for one-hour early admission and two free raffle tickets!

Early Bird Pricing (May 1–31)

Starting June 1

Adult
$20 JANM Members
$25 Non-members
Adult
$25 JANM Members
$30 Non-members
Youth (ages 6–17)
$15 JANM Members
$20 Non-members
Youth (ages 6–17)
$20 JANM Members
$25 Non-members
Children 5 and under free with paying adult Children 5 and under free with paying adult

 

Not a current JANM member? Join or renew now to receive your member’s discount!

 

SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES

  • King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)
    12:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

    We present a special screening of the American version of this film dubbed in English. In it, a pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles Godzilla, who is accidentally released from a block of ice by a submarine crew. Writer and reviewer Richard Pusateri will introduce the film and answer questions afterwards.
    In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

  • Kaiju Sofubi: Soft Vinyl Monster Toys
    12:45 p.m.–1:45 p.m.

    The Marusan Toy Company created some of the first vinyl kaiju and hero toys of the 1960s. Join Marusan Toys, Inc. President Eiji Kaminaga for an educational and fun talk about the history and future of Marusan toys and kaiju sofubi. In the Koichi & Toyo Nerio Education Center


  • How to Paint Kaiju
    2 p.m.–3 p.m.

    Have you ever wanted to paint your own kaiju toys? Collector and toy artist Mark Nagata will demonstrate some of his tricks of the trade, showing you how to turn vinyl toys into vinyl art! In the Koichi & Toyo Nerio Education Center


  • Toy Collectors Roundtable
    3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

    Hear our panel of toy collectors talk about the hobbyist mindset. When is it right to grow your collection? Mint-in-box or on display? What to do when you run out of space? Lifelong collectors Quang Le, Justin Ishmael, and Mark Nagata will discuss these questions and more. Moderated by fellow collector Tom Franck. In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

 

ALL-DAY ACTIVITIES

  • Vendor Hall
    More than 20 vendor booths featuring vintage and contemporary vinyl toys, custom-painted toys, kaiju artwork, animation artwork, specially licensed Ultra series and Godzilla toys, comics, books, ephemera, and more!

    • Anime Jungle
    • Tony Benedict
    • Cat Magic Toys & Obsessed Panda
    • CHOGRIN
    • Chompton Stoodios
    • Cultured Critter Collective
    • FM Raw Toys and Art
    • Gravy
    • ISH / Blitzkrieg Toys / Rocom Toys / Ubox Industries
    • Willie Ito
    • Larry Quach Art
    • Last Bastion Studios
    • Lenzations
    • Lili Chin Art Inc.
    • Lulubell Toy Bodega
    • Marusan Toys Inc.
    • Max Toy Company
    • Mechavirus Toys
    • MegaMedia Enterprises
    • Joel Nakamura
    • Peekaboo Gallery
    • Sofvi Boys Club
    • S.W.A.R.M.M. (Mantiques / Toy Trauma)
    • Toy Art Gallery

    As of 4/26/19


  • Exhibitions
    Includes JANM admission to see Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys and Common Ground: The Heart of Community.

  • Raffle
    Win kaiju and hero prizes donated by our vendors! Tickets will be sold on-site and tickets drawn throughout the day. All prizes must be claimed by 5 p.m.

 

Mothra vs GodzillaMothra vs Godzilla (1964)

Outdoor Screening

8:30 p.m.FREE

JANM presents the quintessential sci-fi classic, Mothra vs. Godzilla, shown in Japanese with English subtitles. Watch Mothra battle the king of all monsters while mysterious twin girls hold the secret to controlling the destructive powers of the radioactive moth.

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.

Supported by Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

 

COSTUME POLICY

Kaiju-Con is a family event where costumes are permitted. However, for your own safety and the safety of other attendees, JANM staff have absolute and immediate discretion and right to inspect costumes, props, and any other item you bring to the event. The museum reserves the right to enforce check-in of items or ask that questionable costume elements be removed.

  • Costumes must suitable for all audiences. Do not wear items that feature profane or otherwise offensive language, or any other graphic content not suitable for all audiences.
  • No live steel (edged metal weapons) will be permitted. No metal or wood bats, metal pipes, or long metal chains. Costume items should not be made of glass or contain glass components.
  • Kaiju-themed hats or headwear may be worn as long as they do not obstruct vision.
  • Masks may be worn only for photo opportunities. Masks or any other face coverings should be carried and not worn at other times.
  • Very bulky costumes are discouraged as the event will be crowded and gallery spaces feature numerous cases and artifacts that should not be bumped into.
  • Body paint/liquid makeup and similar substances must be properly dried/sealed so as not to rub off on other guests and to prevent damage to the exhibition spaces.
  • Large purses, bags, backpacks, and cases are prohibited, as is all luggage.

We encourage you to contact us in advance if you have questions.

 

FOR VENDORS

Updated guidelines and procedures are now available.  Download Now

(as of 4/12/19)

If you have questions, please contact kaijucon@janm.org.

2018年09月15日-2019年07月07日

Japanese American National Museum

With mighty fangs, menacing horns, and iridescent gold scales, the lizard monster Drazoran crushes an imaginary city while Captain Maxx, wearing a bright red suit, flies in to save the day. Drazoran and Captain Maxx are two of the monsters and heroes that emerged from the creative mind of Mark Nagata, a toy designer and fervent toy collector. At JANM, Drazoran and Captain Maxx join hundreds of dazzling vintage and contemporary Japanese vinyl toys on display in Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys.

In California in the 1970s, Mark Nagata was living an all-American childhood. When he was nine, an aunt and uncle serving on a US military base in Japan sent him a box filled with colorful figures packaged with art-laden header and backing cards featuring alien-looking beings—kaiju and heroes—engaged in battle. These Japanese toys would eventually change Nagata’s life forever. That seemingly simple gift sparked a passion for Nagata that continues this day. 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.

Kaiju translates to “strange creature” in English but has come to mean “monster” or “giant monster” referring to the characters that became popular on Japanese film and television soon after World War II. The anxiety surrounding the lasting physical effects of radiation after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki no doubt helped give birth to super-sized monsters like Godzilla, Mothra, Ghidorah, and Rodan, and the advent of these monsters brought about the creation of characters to combat them. Hence the emergence of pop-culture heroes like Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and Kikaida. 

After the war, the United States closely monitored the types of industries allowed to revive in Japan. The toy industry was one of the first to be enabled to reinvent itself, and the kaiju films and television shows helped fuel it. Additionally, the toy industry helped stimulate Japan’s economy during the early postwar reconstruction period. These new artistic and economic factors fused with kaiju and hero characters to set the stage for a golden age of Japanese popular culture—one that Nagata first became enamored with as a nine-year-old boy.

Nagata’s pursuit of these Japanese toys took him on an unexpected journey that brought new realizations about his cultural identity as an American of Japanese ancestry. As a Sansei (third-generation Japanese American), Nagata once felt removed from his Japanese heritage. After the incarceration experience of the Issei (first generation) and Nisei (second generation), there was an unspoken shedding of openly Japanese cultural practices in America. Proving one’s “Americaness” meant pursuing and embracing a Euro-centric American lifestyle. The children of Nisei were encouraged to follow this path, with only cursory participation in Japanese culture (mostly eating food and celebrating holidays). 

Nagata’s story mirrors that of many of his generation, who sought to recover their ethnic heritage and reconnect with their ancestral homelands by studying Japanese, living in Japan as college exchange students, or participating in cultural pursuits such as bon odori dancing and taiko drum ensembles. One of the most accessible sources of a Japanese American connection for youth was through toys and popular culture. It was through this connection that Nagata entered a world that would eventually lead him to explore his cultural roots. Now, we invite you to immerse yourself in the same colorful universe of kaiju and hero toys that inspired one Sansei to delve into his cultural connections.

Major Sponsor: The Freeman Foundation

Associate Sponsor: LA DCA

Media Sponsor: Rafu Shimpo

#kaijuvsheroes

2018年09月15日-2019年07月07日

Japanese American National Museum

With mighty fangs, menacing horns, and iridescent gold scales, the lizard monster Drazoran crushes an imaginary city while Captain Maxx, wearing a bright red suit, flies in to save the day. Drazoran and Captain Maxx are two of the monsters and heroes that emerged from the creative mind of Mark Nagata, a toy designer and fervent toy collector. At JANM, Drazoran and Captain Maxx join hundreds of dazzling vintage and contemporary Japanese vinyl toys on display in Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys.

In California in the 1970s, Mark Nagata was living an all-American childhood. When he was nine, an aunt and uncle serving on a US military base in Japan sent him a box filled with colorful figures packaged with art-laden header and backing cards featuring alien-looking beings—kaiju and heroes—engaged in battle. These Japanese toys would eventually change Nagata’s life forever. That seemingly simple gift sparked a passion for Nagata that continues this day. 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.

Kaiju translates to “strange creature” in English but has come to mean “monster” or “giant monster” referring to the characters that became popular on Japanese film and television soon after World War II. The anxiety surrounding the lasting physical effects of radiation after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki no doubt helped give birth to super-sized monsters like Godzilla, Mothra, Ghidorah, and Rodan, and the advent of these monsters brought about the creation of characters to combat them. Hence the emergence of pop-culture heroes like Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and Kikaida. 

After the war, the United States closely monitored the types of industries allowed to revive in Japan. The toy industry was one of the first to be enabled to reinvent itself, and the kaiju films and television shows helped fuel it. Additionally, the toy industry helped stimulate Japan’s economy during the early postwar reconstruction period. These new artistic and economic factors fused with kaiju and hero characters to set the stage for a golden age of Japanese popular culture—one that Nagata first became enamored with as a nine-year-old boy.

Nagata’s pursuit of these Japanese toys took him on an unexpected journey that brought new realizations about his cultural identity as an American of Japanese ancestry. As a Sansei (third-generation Japanese American), Nagata once felt removed from his Japanese heritage. After the incarceration experience of the Issei (first generation) and Nisei (second generation), there was an unspoken shedding of openly Japanese cultural practices in America. Proving one’s “Americaness” meant pursuing and embracing a Euro-centric American lifestyle. The children of Nisei were encouraged to follow this path, with only cursory participation in Japanese culture (mostly eating food and celebrating holidays). 

Nagata’s story mirrors that of many of his generation, who sought to recover their ethnic heritage and reconnect with their ancestral homelands by studying Japanese, living in Japan as college exchange students, or participating in cultural pursuits such as bon odori dancing and taiko drum ensembles. One of the most accessible sources of a Japanese American connection for youth was through toys and popular culture. It was through this connection that Nagata entered a world that would eventually lead him to explore his cultural roots. Now, we invite you to immerse yourself in the same colorful universe of kaiju and hero toys that inspired one Sansei to delve into his cultural connections.

Major Sponsor: The Freeman Foundation

Associate Sponsor: LA DCA

Media Sponsor: Rafu Shimpo

#kaijuvsheroes

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