The Project

The Japantown Mural Project is a celebration of the vibrancy of San Jose's historic Japantown neighborhood through artworks by 50 local artists. The environment is a barren, undeveloped plot of land that once served as the City of San Jose's Maintenance Yard. Chain-link fencing is now covered with more than 60 large mesh panels of color. It stretches a quarter of a city block along 6th and Jackson Streets in the heart of Japantown.

The subject matter is highly interpretive, including personal and commissioned works, and encompasses a wide variety of mediums and aesthetics. It also includes references to the site's former life; 100 years ago, it was one of San Jose's very first Chinatown settlements known as 'Heinlenville.' A majority of the artists maintain art studios in Japantown, have displayed their artwork in neighborhood galleries, or consider this wonderful place their home.

The Japantown Mural Project is truly representative of its own unique community and will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come.

Red Obi

Red Obi

by James William Moore

James William Moore

The Artwork
While photographing the dancers at San Jose's Japantown Obon Festival, I was like a kid in a candy store. The vibrant colors of the kimonos at the Obon Odori overwhelmed my senses. I felt myself drawn in by the variety of patterns in the fabrics - some were traditional, while others demonstrated a more modern sensibility. Even the obis displayed a wonderful range of styles, from the intricacy of the way they were tied to the array of colors and textures that were incorporated into the dancers' costumes.

This particular kimono and obi captivated me. They brought to mind a lovely gift wrapped up with a great big red bow.

The art of photography is about more than just catching a scene on film. It’s about capturing a mood, preserving an event, or showing a well-known image in a new or unusual way. James has always felt that a good photograph should tell a story or elicit an emotion.

Every photograph should be unique, offering the opportunity to find something extraordinary, intriguing, and captivating.

James has traveled the world to photograph iconic landmarks, as well as places away from the hustle and bustle. In each picture, he has attempted to capture something a little different, taking a look closer to see what can be found within these easily (and some not so easily) recognizable locales.

James William Moore has been photographing the world as he sees it for over ten years, traveling from the great cities of Europe to the Hawaiian Islands, and countless points beyond.

James currently has studios in San Jose and Palm Springs.

Sponsored By

Japantown Community Congress of San Jose · Office of the Consulate General of Japan · Wesley United Methodist Church
Jack's Bar & Lounge · Dr. Stephani Nguyen of Japantown Dental · Kay's Shiseido · Dr. Jerrold Hiura & Lucia Cha

Contemporary Asian Theater Scene · Japantown Neighborhood Association · Union Bank of California · Chris & Minako Tsuji

Japanese American Museum of San Jose · Yu Ai Kai Senior Center · Banana Crepe · Halcrow Partners · Pan Pacific Bank · Alex Alsorady & Darcie Kiyan
Sophie Horiuchi Forrester · Helen Hayashi · Roy & PJ Hirabayashi · Aggie Idemoto · Reiko Iwanaga · Jeanne Katsuro · Tamon Norimoto · Kristin Okimoto
Jeffrey Oldham · John Ristow · Rev. Gerald & Kathy Sakamoto · Victoria Taketa · Leah Toeniskoetter · Joe Yasutake

With Thanks

Japantown Community Congress of San Jose · The City of San Jose Arts Commission · Dr. Jerrold Hiura · The Rast Family
Corinne Okada Takara · Ruth Tunstall-Grant · Cherri Lakey · DJ Ashford
Empire Seven Studios · The Arsenal · Sign-a-Rama of Downtown San Jose

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