2021 / Japanese American Cultural & Community Center to exhibit “Torch: 1932 Los Angeles Olympics Photos by Toyo Miyatake” from July 11 to August 8

The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center presents featured exhibition Torch: 1932 Los Angeles Olympics Photos by Toyo Miyatake at the George J. Doizaki Gallery from July 11 – August 8.

The July 11 opening event is a part of The Big Games in Little Tokyo program presented in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC), and the Terasaki Budokan, in cooperation with the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles.

In 1932, Toyo Miyatake (1895-1979) was hired by Japan’s Asahi Shinbun newspaper to document the Los Angeles Olympics. One hundred three Japanese athletes, the second largest delegation, won seven gold medals.

While most of these were in swimming, Japan also made Olympics history in track and field when Chuhei Nambu broke the world record for the triple jump. The Japanese community here in Little Tokyo welcomed the athletes and celebrated them with a parade on 1st Street.

For Japanese in the US, this was a complex time. Olympics nationalism is evident in both the photos and poems, echoing the expansionist militarism of the Japanese Empire. At the same time, years of anti-Asian exclusion and Alien Land Laws would eventually culminate in incarceration camps for Japanese Americans.

These photos by Miyatake demonstrate his genius behind the lens. Translated poems from the Torch (1933) poetry publication, commemorating the 1932 Olympics, will also be on display, along with memorabilia from the 1932 and 1964 Olympics.

Visit the George J. Doizaki Gallery

This exhibit is available to view in-person from July 11 to August 8, 2021, no reservations necessary! Please note the hours of operation below, as well as additional guidelines to help keep our visitors safe.

Gallery Hours:

Tuesday – Sunday:  12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Closed on Mondays

Visitation Guidelines

  • Face coverings over nose and mouth must be worn at all times during your visit
  • Please maintain 6 ft physical distancing while in the gallery
  • Any guests that tested positive for COVID-19 or have experienced COVID-like symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of taste or smell) within the past 14 days are asked to not attend.
  • Food is NOT PERMITTED in the gallery
  • No pets allowed
  • Maximum of 6 guests at a time
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Explore the Exhibition

Experience the exhibit from the comfort of your own home.

Selected works from the exhibit