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USC Noboru Inamoto Lectureship

The friends and family of Noboru Inamoto established the Inamoto Lectureship in 1997 as a means of fulfilling the lifelong ideals of Professor Inamoto: to support closer ties between individuals and institutions in the United States of America and Japan and other East Asian countries.

With thanks to Barbara Inamoto, our generous retiree, donor, and widow of Prof. Noboru Inamoto, the USC Emeriti Center is co-sponsoring a series of evening lectures at the Huntington Library. The first one is on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Future lectures are listed below. Please join us if you can!

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens:

Rothenberg Hall
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
7:30 p.m.

Free and open to the public / No reservations required

This lecture was made possible by the USC Emeriti Center’s Noboru Inamoto Endowment promoting understanding of Japanese culture and Frank and Toshie Mosher.

From Castles to Tearooms:
An Overview of Japanese Architecture and Carpentry Traditions

Bruce Coats, Professor of Art History and the Humanities, Scripps College
Japan’s architectural history is rich and varied, with wooden structures towering above the plains at Himeji to intimate settings for observing artworks and enjoying tea in Kyoto. Common to many of these building types is complex wood joinery created by hereditary carpenters. This lecture will examine several extraordinary buildings in detail and explore construction technologies that developed during the Edo Period (1600-1868).

Framing a New Elegance: The World of George T. Marsh and His Japanese House
March 28, 2017 (Tuesday) 7:30 pm

Originally conceived by art dealer George T. Marsh as an exotic setting by which to entice his clients to buy curiosities, the Huntington’s Japanese House is a rare and beautiful remnant of a transformational moment in design history. Hannah Sigur, Santa Clara University, shows how Marsh and his house provide a focal point for the international coterie of people, expositions, objects, and above all the distant country that sparked a radical and permanent break with the past, making Japanese aesthetics the basis of good taste.

The Lives of a Memorial Building: from Nara and Beyond
April 25, 2017 (Tuesday) 7:30 pm

Some of the oldest timber structures that survive in Japan are a group of small buildings built in Nara in the eighth century to commemorate important patrons of Buddhism. Jun Hu, assistant professor of art history at Northwestern University, explored the meanings and functions of this particular architectural typology in eighth-century Japan, traced its origins in China, and its development as a feature of Japanese Buddhist architecture.

Katsura, Picturing Modernism in Japanese Architecture, Photographs by Yasuhiro Ishimoto
Yasufumi Nakamori, Curator & Head of the Department of Photography and New Media, The Minneapolis Institute of Art
May 23, 2017 (Tuesday) 7:30 pm

The 1960 publication Katsura: Tradition and Creation in Japanese Architecture was a seminal photographic publication about the relationship of modernity and tradition in postwar Japan. In this talk, Dr. Nakamori will explore Yasufumi Ishimoto’s original photographs, his vision of Katsura, and the influence of architect Kenzo Tange (1913-2005) who used Ishimoto’s images to point the way to a new direction in Japanese architecture.

All lectures are free; no reservations required. Rothenberg Hall

If you would like to be added to the Center for East Asian Garden Studies email list, contact

Michelle Bailey, Curatorial Assistant, Center for East Asian Garden Studies
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Following are the events that have been held as part of the series:


James Folsom, Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
An Icon Turns 100: The Huntington’s Japanese Garden


Felice Fischer, Curator of Japanese Art and Senior Curator of East Asian Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art
If You Build It They Will Come: A Brief History of Japanese Architecture in Philadelphia


Thomas Elias, Former Director, U. S. National Arboretum, Honorary Director, National Bonsai Foundation
Penjing From Its Roots to the Present Day


Kendall H. Brown, Asian Art Historian, Professor of Asian Art History, California State University, Long Beach
The Evolution of the World’s Japanese Gardens


The Japanese American Experience: Intergenerational Perspectives on Changing Family Values and Culture
Moderator: Cheryl Tsuyuki
Panelists: Sean Miura, Keiko Nakada, Kae Nakayama, Randy Nakayama, Katsuyoshi Nishimoto, and Ryan Onishi


A Japanese Cultural Exchange: Student Panel of Japanese Culture, Art, and Music
Moderator: Stanley Rosen, Professor of Political Science, USC


Jonathan Reynolds, Professor of Art History, USC
A Tale of Two Katsuras: Ishimoto Yasuhiro and the Photographic Representation of the 17th Century Imperial Villa at Katsura


Michael Blaker, Professor, author, and consultant on Japanese business and governmental affairs
Can Japan Become a Major Diplomatic Power?


Robert T. Singer, Curator & Head, Japanese Art Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
What Makes Japanese Art Unique


Peter Berton, Distinguished Professor of International Relations, USC
Japan’s Territorial Dispute with Russia


Robert A. Scalapino, Robson Research Professor of Government Emeritus, UC Berkeley
Japan’s Foreign Policy in the 21st Century


James Yamazaki, Clinical Honorary Professor of Pediatrics, UCLA
Children of the Atomic Bomb: Prelude to the Twenty-First Century Post 911


Peter Berton, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, International Relations, USC
Japan on the Psychologist’s Couch


Frank B. Gibney, President, Pacific Basin Institute, Pomona College
Japan’s One-Party Disaster


Fred G. Notehelfer, Professor of History, UCLA
Rethinking the Meiji Restoration