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Starting out in Art

Especially in junior college, where in San Bernardino VC, Valley College it’s called.

That’s the first time that I thought, what really mattered was not my race anymore. That it was, I could draw and paint, and I knew it and they knew it, and that was the criteria. Finally, that it wasn’t your outside, it was something that you had, that you, you got going for you, and they appreciated it there.


arts San Bernadino San Bernardino Valley College

Date: September 8, 2011

Location: California, US

Interviewer: John Esaki, Kris Kuramitsu

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Ben Sakoguchi, born in 1938, is a painter and printmaker who has lived in the Los Angeles area his entire life, except for the time when he and his family were incarcerated in Poston Arizona. After studying painting in the 1960s at the University of California, Los Angeles, he developed a distinctive style that is rooted in pairing a narrative painting tradition with a pop culture vocabulary. He is best known for his long running “Orange Crate Label” series, using the classic crate label format to explore diverse subject matter and to combine them in a way that allows for both sharp critique and wry humor. His work is deeply and politically engaged, and he takes a deep delight in the craft and beauty of painting itself. Sakoguchi was a professor at Pasadena City College for nearly 35 years. Visit his website at bensakoguchi.com. (Oct. 2011)

Eric Nakamura
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Eric Nakamura

Giant Robot, a stepping stone for young artists

Giant Robot co-founder and publisher

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Mike Shinoda
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Mike Shinoda

Role as an artist

(b. 1977) Musician, Producer, Artist

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Akira Watanabe
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Akira Watanabe

Taiko, an element that represents strength (Spanish)

(b. 1974) Director of Ryukyu Matsuri Daiko in Peru

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Evelyn Yoshimura
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Evelyn Yoshimura

Emergence of Graphics in Gidra

Community Activist

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Kay Sekimachi
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Kay Sekimachi

Thriving art culture at camp

(b. 1926) Artist

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Kay Sekimachi
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Kay Sekimachi

On the process of making her leaf bowls

(b. 1926) Artist

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Kay Sekimachi
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Kay Sekimachi

On the process of creating her Japanese paper bowls

(b. 1926) Artist

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Kay Sekimachi
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Kay Sekimachi

From double weaving to microfilament “flat” hangings

(b. 1926) Artist

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Kay Sekimachi
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Kay Sekimachi

Marriage to Bob Stocksdale

(b. 1926) Artist

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Kay Sekimachi
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Kay Sekimachi

Learning how to weave

(b. 1926) Artist

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Kay Sekimachi
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Kay Sekimachi

Mother also wove growing up

(b. 1926) Artist

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Mitsuru "Mits" Kataoka
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Mitsuru "Mits" Kataoka

The first print image from film

(1934–2018) Japanese American designer, educator, and pioneer of media technologies

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George Kazuharu Naganuma
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George Kazuharu Naganuma

Art helped him to feel less foreign in school

(b. 1938) Japanese Peruvian incarcerated in Crystal City

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George Kazuharu Naganuma
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George Kazuharu Naganuma

Painting murals and signs in the army

(b. 1938) Japanese Peruvian incarcerated in Crystal City

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Iwao Takamoto
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Iwao Takamoto

Developing Art Skills in Camp

Japanese American animator for Walt Disney and Hanna Barbera (1925-2007)

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