Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Postwar Japanese Design and Ikko Style

John Maeda

John Maeda

“Mr. Tanaka was not affiliated with any academic institution as a design educator professionally, neither in Japan nor worldwide. Furthermore, Mr. Tanaka was well known for being a person that did not care for public lectures or guest appearances in academic circles. Those who knew Mr. Takana know as well as I that to simply watch – just once – how he carried himself in all situations with humility, grace, and natural expertise, was the opportunity to learn the pure spirit of design of living. His straightforward and unadorned manner of life was in striking contrast to the usual vanity and glittery lifestyles of the majority of designers. Mr. Tanaka was a regular human being — he showed us the simple fact that to speak to all humans, you have to be a human yourself.”

John Maeda is a Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and former president of Rhode Island School of Design.


“Tanaka Ikko came into my life in 1987 when I helped on an exhibition entitled Ikko Tanaka: Graphic Design of Japan at the Doizaki Gallery of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. Instantaneously, we noticed our Kansai dialect and quickly became lifetime friends. After the JACCC exhibition, Tanaka helped to bring to the JACCC a monumental exhibition by Tokyo ADC, Design Tokyo, and Tokyo Illustration Society. My inspiration of Tanaka Ikko is his canon, ‘Stealing with your eyes and ears.’ He guided us on the Self to understand the action without intervening thoughts. I continue to embrace this conversation throughout my life.”

Lunch at Ikko Studio 1987

Ikko posters at JACCC 1987

Ikko posters at JACCC 1987

Hirozaku Kosaka is Artistic Director at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, curator, and an ordained Shingon Buddhist priest.


Panelists: Nikolaus Hafermaas, Chair of Graphic Design at Art Center College of Design; Noriko Aso, Associate Professor of History at University of California Santa Cruz; Andrew Kutchera, Lecturer in Design at USC Roski School of Art and Design.

Program is Included with Museum Admission, followed by reception.



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