When I first heard about this new exhibit at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma I knew I wanted to see it, preferably sooner rather than later.
Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii is open until January 1, 2018. “Takuichi Fujii drew and painted throughout the three and a half years of his imprisonment, from his forced removal in May, 1942 through the closure of Minidoka War Relocation Center in October, 1945.”
Tina got there fist and wrote a poignant account of her family’s experience and her observations on the sketches. This time period was a dark stain on US history.
While the Japanese were by far more effected, I only learned recently that a small number of German nationals and German-Americans were interred but it was on a much more individual basis. It explains even more why my father changed the pronunciation of our name to sound less German.
Nearly all the paintings on display were completed while he was interred first in Puyallup and then Minidoka, Idaho. I was surprised he could obtain paints but I noted that the larger watercolors were done on cardboard.
I was most interested in the diary. We might call it a sketch journal now. On display were many pages from a blank book that was about 5×7 inches. On one side was a diary entry, written in Japanese and on the other was a watercolor or ink sketch. It shows a personal and intimate view of what he experienced in the camps.
Tina had sketched the sculpted portraits of Fujii and his wife. So I chose to do a very small sketch of the diary itself. The image on the right side is a bit of photo collage.
Photography was allowed so here are some of the pieces that interested me most: