JANM Volunteer Design Committee members James Miho (left) and Ray Fukumoto in April 1990. (Photo by Nancy Araki)

The Japanese American National Museum issued the following statement on April 27.


JANM mourns the passing of James Miho, the groundbreaking graphic designer and educational leader who created the JANM logo. Comprising two waves from the East and West, our logo represents the fusion of cultures and influences across generations.

James Miho designed the JANM logo.

Born in Gridley, Calif., in 1933, Miho was incarcerated in the Tule Lake concentration camp during World War II. He fought in the Korean War and became so inspired by the art and architecture he saw while on leave in Japan that he pursued graphic design at the ArtCenter College of Design.

Upon graduation in 1955, he began his career at N.W. Ayer & Son in Philadelphia. While there, he helped create the “Great Ideas of Western Man” series of print ads for the Container Corporation of America during the 1960s and 1970s. His firm, James Miho Inc., created inspiring and timeless designs.


Miho was predeceased by his wife, Tomoko Miho (née Kawakami), in 2012. Born in 1933 in Los Angeles, she was incarcerated at the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona and attended the Minneapolis School of Art and the Art Center School in Los Angeles, where she earned a degree in industrial design. A graphic designer and recipient of the 1993 AIGA Medal, she was known for her understanding of the relationship between space and object.

In the 1980s she founded her own studio, Tomoko Miho & Co. Her clients included Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Isamu Noguchi Foundation, Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, Willem de Kooning Foundation, Kodansha International, and Aveda.

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