JapanPhilly2020 connects Philadelphia to Japan with a year of art, business, and culture.

The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia presents JapanPhilly2020 to connect Philadelphia and Japan with a dynamic series of Japanese art, business, and cultural activities in 2020, which includes new and expanded programs as well as partnerships with numerous other institutions for exhibitions, performances, and more that will capture audiences from the Mid-Atlantic region and around the country.

Along with our Obon Festival, the highlight of JapanPhilly2020 will be Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration Between Japan and Philadelphia, an exhibition at Shofuso showcasing the cross-country friendship between Shofuso’s architect and designers from the Philadelphia region.

JapanPhilly2020 Curators’ Talks

Our JapanPhilly2020 Curators‘ Talks offer an exclusive opportunity to hear from some of the Philadelphia region’s most-prolific curators as they highlight our region’s connections with Japan.


“Collaborative Cataloging Japan, Japanese Experimental Moving Image, 1955-1979”

Ann Adachi-Tasch
September 23, 5-6pm

Ann Adachi-Tasch, executive director of Collaborative Cataloging Japan, will host “Collaborative Cataloging Japan, Japanese Experimental Moving Image, 1955-1979” as a virtual presentation. This talk will highlight the different pockets of the experimentalism of avant-garde film and video production that was active in Japan from the mid-1950s through the 1970s. The talk will also briefly cover CCJ’s mission and its method and strategies for safeguarding this legacy. Register here.


Manjiro image

“Manjiro: Drifting, 1841–2020”

Judy Guston with Kiyoshi Hirata
October 23, 8-9 pm (October, 9-10 am JST)*
*Talk will be bilingual in English and Japanese 

In coordination with the special exhibit on The Rosenbach, this talk tells the story of Manjiro, who, as a teenager, left his tiny Japanese village on a fishing trip in 1841. A violent storm left him shipwrecked and set the course that would lead Manjiro to become the first Japanese person to live in the United States. Register here.




Munakata and Flory viewing a finished product.

Munakata Shiko and Arthur Flory’s Creative Exchange through Printmaking

Hester Stinnet with Felice Fischer
November 13th, 5-6 pm

In the spring of 1959, a remarkable joint project was born when the Japanese printmaker Munakata Shiko came to Philadelphia to work with Arthur Flory, who taught Munakata all about lithography.  Their collaboration and friendship continued and remains an important legacy of the post-war cultural “soft power” of art at its most effective. Works by both artists will be featured during this presentation by Hester Stinnett and Felice Fischer. Register here.



The Third Space

Rob Buscher
December 15th, 5-6 pm EST

Join “The Third Space” exhibit curator Rob Buscher as he discusses the history of Japanese American Resettlement in the Greater Philadelphia region during and after WWII. Topics will include Quaker allyship, Nisei organizing, Japanese American artists, and War Relocation Authority propaganda. Register here.

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