Skip to Content

Events - 07.25.2023

“POKÉMON X KOGEI” Artistry | Insights from Tsunekazu Ishihara and Masahiro Karasawa


07.25.2023 (Tue.)


05:00 PM - 06:15 PM


JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5



To commemorate the opening of the exhibition, “POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft,” JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles hosted a special talk program with Mr. Tsunekazu Ishihara, President and CEO of The Pokémon Company, and Masahiro Karasawa, Director of the National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa, Japan.

Under curatorial supervision from the National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa, Japan and with special support from The Pokémon Company, the exhibition features over 70 works born from diverse materials and long-standing techniques created by twenty of Japan’s most accomplished craft artists. The collaboration between The Pokémon Company and the National Crafts Museum, which brought the exhibition to life, began with the intriguing question: ‘What would happen when Pokémon meets kogei (Japanese craft)?’ Just this past spring, the exhibition made its debut at the National Crafts Museum and is now set to captivate audiences in Los Angeles, marking its first appearance outside Japan. The exhibition beautifully highlights Japanese craft through its collaboration with the global phenomenon of Pokémon – appreciated by all ages around the world.

This enlightening event broadens your perspective on the rich world of Japanese craft opened up by the creative interplay between Pokémon and kogei. Conversations touched upon the genesis of the exhibition and The Pokémon Company President Ishihara’s reverence for and desire to spotlight kogei, as well as the stories behind the exceptional artists and artworks as Director Karasawa shared his unique knowledge and perspectives on the collection.

It is our hope that this rare occasion reveals both Pokémon and kogei as you have never seen them before, offering countless new discoveries and stories for you to share. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles would like to express our sincere gratitude to the National Crafts Museum and The Pokémon Company group for their support of this exhibition and opening program.

*To watch the video in full screen, please click on the image above, then click on the YouTube icon on the lower right-hand corner. 

About the Speakers

Tsunekazu Ishihara
President and CEO, The Pokémon Company

Born in Toba City, Mie Prefecture, in 1957. Graduated from the University of Tsukuba Graduate School of Art and Design in 1983. Involved in the development of various video games as a game producer before founding Creatures Inc. in 1995. In 1996, produced Pokémon Red and Green, which became the basis for all subsequent Pokémon related products, and after that, ...

Read more.

became the producer for all Pokémon video games. In 1998, founded POKEMON CENTER Co., Ltd. (now The Pokémon Company) and became the president and representative director. Currently, handles brand management for all Pokémon products, including video games, trading card game, videos, and apps.

Masahiro Karasawa
Director, National Crafts Museum

Born in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. Karasawa holds a graduate degree in fine arts from the Aichi University of the Arts. After working as a curator at the Aichi Prefectural Ceramic Museum, in 2003 Karasawa accepted a post as a curator for the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. In 2010, he became the director of the Crafts Division. He assumed his current post in 2020.

Read more.

In 2018, Karasawa was awarded the 39th Koyama Fujio Memorial Prize (Merit Award). Karasawa specializes in the history of modern and contemporary ceramics. He is a member of the Japan Ceramic Society Prize award committee. Karasawa’s publications include Kamabetsu gaido Nihon no yakimono Seto [Kiln Guide, Japanese Ceramics: Seto] (Tankosha, 2002). Karasawa is a coauthor of Nihon yakimonoshi [The Concise History of Japanese Ceramics] (Bijutsu Shuppansha, 1998) and Yakimono wo shiru 12 no suteppu [Twelve Steps for Understanding Ceramics] (Tankosha, 2019). He has planned and overseen a wide variety of exhibitions including Mineo Okabe: A Retrospective (2007), About the Tea Ceremony—A Viewpoint on Contemporary Kōgei (Studio Crafts) (2010), From Crafts to Kōgei —In Commemoration of the 60th Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition (2013), Celadon Now: Techniques and Beauty Handed Down from Southern Sung to Today (2014), Bizen: From Earth and Fire, Exquisite Forms (2019), and Modern Crafts and Tea Utensils: Furnishings in Each Season (2021).

About the Moderator

Courtesy of Susan Hirasuna

Susan Hirasuna
Anchor and Reporter, KTTV Fox 11 Los Angeles

Susan Hirasuna is a proud hometown girl. She was born in Encino, raised in Simi Valley and graduated from the University of Southern California. For more than two decades, she anchored the weekend news and reported for Fox 11. Susan’s work has been recognized by the Los Angeles Emmy awards, the Golden Mikes and New England Emmy awards.

Read more.

In 2012, she traveled to Japan on a fellowship to report on recovery and rebuilding efforts, a year after the great quake and tsunami. As an anchor, she’s handled extended coverage of the Route 91 shooting in Las Vegas, the death of Princess Diana and too many wildfires and police pursuits to count. Susan is a longtime member of the Asian American Journalists Association and served on the LA board for years. Currently, she is still active with the chapter as an advisory board member.

Related Exhibition

POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft exhibition logo


POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft exhibition in JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles' main gallery

Top: ©2023 Pokémon. ©1995-2023 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.
Bottom: ©JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles


07.25.2023 (Tue.) – 01.07.2024 (Sun.)


Mon. – Fri. | 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sat. – Sun.  | 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM


JAPAN HOUSE Gallery, Level 2



Check Exhibition

Media Sponsors

KCRW and LAist logos

Promotional Partners

Animation Is Film Festival 2023 & Starbucks logos
Back To Top