JANM presents a free online exhibition of Wakaji Matsumoto’s rare photographs. (Photo courtesy the Japanese American National Museum website)

WHO/WHAT: The Japanese American National Museum presents “The Story of Wakaji Matsumoto: An Artist in Two Worlds, 1917-1944,” highlighting the artist’s rare photographs of the Japanese American community in Los Angeles prior to World War II and of the urban life in Hiroshima prior to the 1945 bombing. Matsumoto was born in Hiroshima in 1889 and later traveled to the U.S. to work in his father’s farm, with a dream to become a graphic artist. Luckily, his wife, Tei, ran the farm, which gave Matsumoto time to become a professional photographer in both L.A., and Japan, where they later returned to live. Matsumoto died in 1965 and Tei in 1995. His photographs remained undisturbed until their grandson, Hitoshi Ohuchi, a fellow photographer, discovered them in 2008. Recognizing its significance, Ohuchi had the photographs placed in the Hiroshima City Archives. The exhibition also features essays by Matsumoto’s granddaughter Karen Matsumoto, and the exhibit’s curator, Dennis Reed. Also included are photo galleries, a timeline, educational resources and short documentary videos produced by JANM’s award-winning Watase Media Arts Center.

WHEN/WHERE: Saturday, Dec. 10, 5-6:30 p.m. PST, for more information and to register, please visit janm.org/events/calendar and click on “The Story of Wakaji Matsumoto.”


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