Mia Nakaji Monnier

Mia Nakaji Monnier is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor. She was born in California to a Japanese mother and American father, and has lived in eleven different cities and towns, including Kyoto, Japan; small town Vermont; and suburban Texas. To contact her or see more of her work, visit mianakajimonnier.com

Updated July 2015

media en

The Pond - Part 1

It was just before Christmas when I went to Auntie Junko and Uncle Bill’s house on my own for the first time. I got to the bus stop around nine to wait for the 9:15 bus to Downtown. Because it’s L.A., people always assume the buses will be late. It’s when they aren’t that they surprise you, and I didn’t really feel like waiting an hour in the rain for the next one. As I sat on the bench counting my change, I watched BMWs and Mercedes turn out of the Chevron station ...

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Eric Nakamura Reflects on "Giant Robot Biennale 2: 15 Years"

In 1994, Eric Nakamura and co-founder Martin Wong put together the first issue of Giant Robot Magazine, then a photocopied publication, filled with Asian-inspired pop culture finds. Fifteen years later, Giant Robot has become a success story with shops in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York—and an additional gallery and restaurant in L.A. Giant Robot has evolved to be more than a magazine or even a shop, but rather a culture, a lifestyle.

On October 24, 2009, following the successful 2007 exhibition Giant Robot Biennale: 50 Issuesthe second Giant Robot Biennale opened at the Japanese American ...

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A Great American Life

In the spring of 1945, a young man showed up at Walt Disney Studios hoping to find a job in their animation department. He brought with him no experience to speak of, but a “portfolio” consisting of two notepads bought at the five-and-dime store, filled with drawings. The other men in the Disney waiting room with him were older, and carried large, impressive, black leather portfolios, but in the end, it was the inexperienced, young man who was taken in and given a job. This man, the 20-year-old Iwao Takamoto, began at Disney as an “in-betweener,” filling in the gaps ...

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