John Esaki

John Esaki is the Director of the Japanese American National Museum’s Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center. His work includes: Director of Maceo: Demon Drummer from East L.A.; Harsh Canvas: Artist Henry Sugimoto; Top of their Game (a work about JA athletes); Words, Weavings and Songs (profiles of Wakako Yamauchi, Momo Nagano, Mary Kageyama Nomura); Stand Up for Justice: The Ralph Lazo Story; and Co-producer of Crossroads: Boyle Heights; 9066 to 9/11; BIG DRUM: Taiko in the U.S.; Beyond the Japanese Garden; Barbara Kawakami: A Textured Life; Drawing the Line: Japanese American Art, Design and Activism in Post-War L.A. Mr. Esaki received a BA in English and a teaching credential from UC Berkeley, and he has taught at Carmel Middle School as well as a Community Documentation and Ethno-Communications course at UCLA. Mr. Esaki has a MFA from UCLA and was a post-doctoral Fellow in Asian American studies at UCLA.

Updated May 2014 

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Nanka Nikkei Voices

VC – A Quarter Century in Little Tokyo

Twenty-five years have passed in what seems only a few moments: the Little Tokyo years of VC. Its founders pragmatically called it Visual Communications, Southern California Asian American Studies Central, Inc. in 1971 after a humble birth in the living room of photographer Bob Nakamura, where the first project emerged as an ingenious modular exhibition of the camps for the JACL “Visual Communications” committee. A cadre of dedicated media workers grew through a succession of offices from the Seinan district on Jefferson to Silver Lake and eventually to San Pedro and Boyd downtown…

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