Cult RoomsFor Osaka’s extravagant 1970 Expo, Isamu Noguchi created a propulsive centerpiece that married Japanese and Western traditions.

Cult RoomsFor Osaka’s extravagant 1970 Expo, Isamu Noguchi created a propulsive centerpiece that married Japanese and Western traditions.

After World War II, there came a point when Japan—exhausted by decades of nationalism and long-cloistered by its leaders for fear of cultural dilution—felt a powerful hunger for outside ideas. The artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi, the son of a Japanese father and white American mother, was uniquely positioned to introduce ideas that were familiar enough to be accessible, but exotic enough to feel progressive. Growing up in Japan, he was considered American; once he moved back to the United States to attend boarding school and then university, he was seen as Japanese (despite taking a white American name—Sam Gilmour—for a time). These symmetrical experiences of being “othered” in two places he could call home no doubt contributed to a clear sense of empathy, and a...

The full version of this story is only available for subscribers

Want to enjoy full access? Subscribe Now

Subscribe Discover unlimited access to Kinfolk

  • Four print issues of Kinfolk magazine per year, delivered to your door, with twelve-months’ access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

  • Receive twelve-months of all access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

Learn More

Already a Subscriber? Login

Your cart is empty

Your Cart (0)