Steven Heller’s new book, The Swastika and Symbols of Hate: Extremist Iconography Today, posits that the swastika and related signs will forever represent human horror. Rev Dr. T.K. Nakagaki, author of The Buddhist Swastika and Hitler's Cross: Rescuing a Symbol of Peace from the Forces of Hate, believes that the swastika and hakenkreuz (hooked cross) are not the same and that the former is a 20th-century misrepresentation of a century’s old religious icon. In a conversation moderated by D-Crit alum and design reporter Anne Quito, the two will discuss the respective significance of the complex ancient mark and it relevance in the current socio-political climate.
Rev. Dr. T. K. Nakagaki is a Buddhist priest, ordained in the 750-year-old Jodoshinshu tradition of Japanese Buddhism. He graduated from Ryukoku University in Kyoto, majoring in Buddhist History in 1983, and later conducted advanced study in Jodoshinshu Buddhist doctrine at Gyoshin Buddhist Seminary in Osaka, Japan, from 1983-1985. He received an M.A. in Linguistics from California State University at Fresno in 1994, and earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Multifaith studies from the New York Theological Seminary in 2012. Rev. Dr. Nakagaki is currently President of the Buddhist Council of New York, Hiroshima Peace Ambassador, Peace Correspondent of Nagasaki City, Community Clergy Liaison for the NYC Police Department, and former Vice President of the Interfaith Center of New York. He is the author of three books in Japanese and is also a noted Japanese calligrapher.
Steven Heller is co-chair of SVA MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur. The author, co-author or editor of over 180 books on design, illustration and related themes, he writes The Daily Heller for Print magazine and is on the faculty of MA Design Research, Writing & Criticism.
Anne Quito is a journalist and design critic based in New York City. A staff reporter at Quartz, her coverage underscores the design angle of politics and business news. She is the inaugural recipient of the Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary. Anne graduated from Georgetown University with a master’s degree in Visual Culture in 2009 and is an alumna of the School of Visual Arts Design Criticism MFA where she wrote a thesis on the nation branding of the world's newest nation, South Sudan. She is the writer and editor of Mag Men: Fifty Years of Making Magazines.