TT Takemoto

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TT Takemoto is an American artist and associate professor of visual studies and dean of Humanities & Sciences at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Takemoto's work explores issues of race and queer identity. They have presented work internationally, and received numerous grants for their work, notably from ART Matters, the James Irvine Foundation and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Their film Looking for Jiro received Best Experimental Film Jury Award at the Austin LGBT International Film Festival, [1] and opened MIX 24: New York’s Queer Experimental Film Festival. [2]


Takemoto also writes articles for Afterimage, Art Journal, GLQ, Performance Research, Radical Teacher, Theatre Survey, Women and Performance, and the anthology Thinking Through the Skin. Takemoto is a board member of the Queer Cultural Center and co-founder of Queer Conversations on Culture and the Arts.


BA, University of California, Berkeley; MFA, Rutgers State University of New Jersey; MA, PhD, University of Rochester. [3]


Their work examines issues of illness, race, queer identity, memory, and grief.

Early work included work with Angela Ellsworth, under the collective name Her/She Senses [4]

Takemoto's film "Looking for Jiro Onuma" explores same-sex intimacy and queer sexuality for Japanese Americans incarcerated by the US government during World War II. [5] The film, in which Takemoto performs as Jiro, grew out of an archives project curated by E. G. Crichton, artist-in-residence at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transsexual Historical Society of San Francisco. This project matched contemporary artists with historical persons whose papers were found in the archive. Takemoto was matched with Jiro Onuma, a gay bachelor and dandy in San Francisco until he was incarcerated in the Japanese American Internment Camp at Topaz, Utah, in 1942. The sculptural piece which resulted from their investigation of his archival box was “Gay Bachelor’s Japanese American Internment Survival Kit.” This "survival kit" created objects for Jiro, body building literature and equipment. [6]

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Jiro Onuma was a first-generation (issei) Japanese American gay man who was incarcerated in the Topaz Concentration Camp in Topaz, Utah in 1942. Onuma was born in Kanegasaki, Iwate Prefecture in 1904 and moved to the United States in 1923. The collection of his photos and personal belongings held by the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco is the only material in this archive that tells us about the life of a gay Japanese American man who lived in San Francisco before World War II and was interned in an incarceration camp during the war. Tina Takemoto, a fourth-generation Japanese American artist and a visual studies scholar at the California College of the Arts, created a film titled Looking for Jiro (2011) that was based on Onuma's archival materials and received the Best Experimental Film Jury Award at the Austin LGBT International Film Festival.


  1. "Tina Takemoto - biography". Tina Takemoto. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  2. "Hyphen Magazine - Issue 25 - generation - online exclusive - Looking Jiro". Spring 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  3. "Tina Takemoto faculty page" . Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  4. Ahmed, Sara (2001). Thinking through the skin . New York: Routledge. pp.  104–105. ISBN   0415223563.
  5. Takemoto, Tina (2014). "LOOKING FOR JIRO ONUMA A Queer Meditation on the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II". GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. 20 (3): 241–275. doi:10.1215/10642684-2422665. S2CID   145132740 . Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  6. Latimer, Tirza True (January 27, 2012). "Life in the archives". Open Space. SFMOMA. Retrieved March 7, 2015.

[[Category:American academics of Japanese descent]