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Project Vision

JAPAN HOUSE seeks to foster awareness and appreciation for Japan around the world by showcasing the emerging art of the very best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation, technology, and more. An innovative project of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JAPAN HOUSE is comprised of three hubs—London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo.

JAPAN HOUSE LOS ANGELES occupies two floors in the popular Ovation Hollywood entertainment complex and brings various aspects of Japan to American and international audiences.

On the second floor, the facility spans more than 6,000 sq. ft. and features an exhibition gallery and a sub-gallery suitable for intimate gallery talks and smaller exhibitions. The fifth-floor space spans 8,000 sq. ft, and features a relaxing library, a multi-purpose event venue, and simply spectacular views of Los Angeles.

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JAPAN HOUSE Leadership

Yuko Kaifu headshot
© JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles

Yuko Kaifu

President

She started her career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Her previous assignments include the Embassy of Japan in Canada and various departments at Ministry’s headquarters in Tokyo, including North American Affairs Bureau, Economic Corporation Bureau, Foreign Policy Bureau, and Cultural Affairs Bureau as a Deputy Director.

During her service in Tokyo, she was appointed official interpreter for dignitaries including Her Majesty the Empress, Foreign Minister, and Prime Minister of Japan. In 2001, she was assigned to the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles as a Consul in charge of political affairs and community relations.

In 2007, she left the government to work at the Japanese American National Museum as the Vice President, and then at MUFG Union Bank as a Managing Director of Corporate Communications from 2009 to 2016. She joined Japan House Los Angeles in January 2016 to start up the organization. She serves on the boards of the US-Japan Council, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and the Advisory Board of UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies as well as many Japanese cultural and business associations.

She graduated from Nara Women’s University and received M.A. in Sociology from Queen’s University in Canada.

Design & Architecture

Junji Tanigawa headshot
Photo by Kenshu Shintsubo

Junji Tanigawa

Space Composer

Tanigawa founded space creation consulting firm JTQ Inc. in 2002, providing creative direction for clients to “deliver [their] messages through the medium of space”. He advocates his own spatial development method, “Space Compose”, and his experience-design in combining environment and situation has gained much attention from various fields. His major works include Kansei Exhibition at the Palais du Louvre’s Museum of Decorative Arts, Yakushiji Hikari Emaki in commemoration of the 1300th anniversary of Heijyokyo, LEXUS Brand Spatial Design, and MEDIA AMBITION TOKYO.

Design & Architecture

Kohei Nawa headshot
Photo by Nobutada OMOTE | SANDWICH

Kohei Nawa | SANDWICH

Level 2 Designer

Kohei Nawa was born in Osaka, Japan in 1975 and now lives and works in Kyoto. He received his MFA, and PhD in Fine Arts from the Kyoto City University of Art. In addition to his work as an artist, Nawa is the founder and director of SANDWICH, a creative platform for contemporary art, design, and architecture projects. Nawa's signature sculpture works transform taxidermied deer and other motifs, collected via the internet, through encapsulation in a myriad of glass spheres, or PixCells; a term he established combining the idea of a pixel, the smallest unit of a digital image, with that of a cell, the smallest structure of living matter. Nawa's "PixCell-Deer#24" is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's permanent collection.

Design & Architecture

Ryu Kosaka headshot
Photo provided by Shotenkenchiku

Ryu Kosaka

Level 5 Designer

Ryu Kosaka A.N.D. (NOMURA Co., Ltd.) Born in Tokyo in 1960. Ryu Kosaka is a graduate of the Musashino Art University’s architecture department. He joined Nomura Co., Ltd in 1986 and is currently the executive creative director of the Commerical Facilities Division and the head of A.N.D. Aoyama Nomura Design. His work includes Main Dining Room of the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, the JAL Sakura Lounge at Haneda International Airport and the internationally acclaimed W Guangzhou FEI Ultra Lounge in China for which he became the first Japanese national to be awarded Best Bar at the prestigious Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.

Honorary Advisor

 

Larry Ellison, Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer, Oracle

 

Steering Committee

 

Kenko Sone, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles

Douglas G. Erber, Former President, Japan America Society of Southern California

Gil Garcetti, Photographer, Los Angeles County District Attorney (1992-2000), UNESCO-IHE Cultural Ambassador (2014-2017)

Thomas Iino, Founding Chairman, US-Japan Council; Director, First Choice Bank

Gary N. Jacobs, Chairman Emeritus, AJC Asia Pacific Institute

Mickey Kantor, U.S. Secretary of Commerce (1996-1997); U.S. Trade Representative (1993-1996); Partner, Mayer Brown LLP; Chair, Lexmark International, Inc.

Beth Marlis, Vice President, Musicians Institute; Chair Emeritus, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

Hironori Kobayashi, President, Japan Business Association of Southern California

Peter O’Malley, President, Los Angeles Dodgers (1970-1998)

Palmira Perez-Najarian, Journalist

Kaoru Shoji, Executive Director, Japan National Tourism Organization

Osamu Taki, Chief Executive Director, Japan External Trade Organization JETRO Los Angeles

Yasuko Uchida, Director, Japan Foundation Los Angeles JFLA

Patricia Wyatt, President & CEO, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center

Jeff Yamazaki, Former President, Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California 

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