NSU Cultural Night


2013-2016 | Nikkei Student Union (NSU) at UCLA

Role(s): Graphic designer, illustrator

Project Type: Print design, program, flyer

Client Type: Collegiate cultural organization

Nikkei Student Union at UCLA hosts an annual Cultural Night in Royce Hall. The Cultural Night production has always been held around February 19 to coincide with the 1942 signing of Executive Order 9066. Over the years, the production has transformed into a unique artistic experience that showcases various talents that are all driven by a unifying cultural theme. The theme shifts from year-to-year but always relates in some way to the Japanese American community and provides novel perspective on the various aspects of the Japanese American culture. With this year’s Cultural Night production, Nikkei Student Union hopes to provide novel perspective on the development of Japanese American families as a result of cultural and historical influences.

I volunteered to be a Graphic Designer for several NSU Cultural Nights during my time in UCLA. I designed flyers that were passed out on Bruin Walk and the community (Westwood and Little Tokyo). I also designed the program passed out to attendees which had information on the synopsis, drama cast, performance groups and etc. It was a pleasure designing for the NSU Cultural Nights because the stories and themes are relevant to me as a Japanese American.

The examples below are the most relevant designs.

2015 | Worlds Apart

The design on the program/flyer is based on the story of a brother's and sister's difficult experiences in Japan and the United States during World War II. Both struggled to navigate their Japanese American identities in countries that don't fully embrace them. The design also has a teddy bear which is a motif that represents the emotional connection between family members despite being physically far apart due to the war.





2016 | Senbazuru

The design on the program/flyer is based on the story of college students saving the Little Tokyo Village Plaza from demolition. Little Tokyo is a historical Japanese enclave in Downtown Los Angeles which is meaningful to the Japanese American community. There are unique landmarks in Little Tokyo such as the Japanese Village Plaza, yagura (tower), Japanese American National Museum (JANM), Go For Broke monument and much more. It's important for the younger generations to understand the signficance of the monuments and buildings in Little Tokyo so they can be preserved for the future.

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