Introduction of the Los Angeles Team


Japan House Los Angeles is pleased to announce its leadership team below.

© Japan House Los Angeles

Yuko Kaifu serves as the President of Japan House Los Angeles. Prior to joining Japan House in January 2016, she was Managing Director in the Corporate Communications Department of MUFG Union Bank, owned by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, where she was charged with media relations, internal/external publications of the bank, and with CSR activities for the Japanese and Japanese American communities and for the US-Japan relations.

© Japan House Los Angeles

Michael McDowell is the Executive Vice President for Japan House Los Angeles. Previously, McDowell was the first Vice President for Cultural Tourism at the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, wherehe promoted Los Angeles as a premier cultural center for visitors worldwide since 2004. In 2011, he also assumed responsibility for marketing efforts created to attract African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino and LGBT visitors.Before that, McDowell held leadership positions at the CalArts and USC as well as top positions in higher education, government and publishing on the East Coast.

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Leslie Tamaribuchi

Leslie Tamaribuchi is the Producing Director at Japan House Los Angeles, where she is responsible for the administration of all public programs. Previously, she served on the Creative Producing and Management faculty at California Institute of the Arts and as Producing Director of CalArts Center for New Performance. Before CalArts, Tamaribuchi was Managing Director of Cornerstone Theater Company. She studied at Kyoto University and Konan University, collaborated with sho-gekijo and butoh artists, and earned masters and bachelor degrees from Harvard University. Tamaribuchi has served on grants panels for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, and the city and county of Los Angeles, among others.


Kenya Hara serves as the Chief Creative Director of the global Japan House project in Los Angeles, London and Sao Paulo.

Tamotsu Yagi provides local expertise and guidance as the Creative Director specifically for the Los Angeles location. Click here for more information.


Each of the three Japan House locations are beautifully designed by internationally acclaimed Japanese architects and designers, under the guidance of Kenya Hara, the Chief Creative Director. For Los Angeles, Junji Tanigawa's creative concepts are delivered by second floor designer, Kohei Nawa, and fifth floor designer, Ryu Kosaka.

Click here for more information.


The Los Angeles team meets with its steering committee, led by Consul General Akira Chiba of Japan (to Los Angeles), and supported by a diverse group of renowned leaders in their respective fields, both locally and nationally. Click here to see the full list. Click here to see the full list.