Signs of Home
The Paintings and Wartime Diary of Kamekichi Tokita
On the day Pearl Harbor was bombed, Tokita started a diary that he vowed to keep until the war ended. In it he recorded with great vividness and insight the events, fears, rumors, restrictions, and his own emotional turmoil before and during his detention at Minidoka. The diary in this book is a rare personal account of this time written as events were unfolding and by a person of maturity and stature.
This book contextualizes Tokita’s paintings and diary within the art community and Japanese America. It also introduces us to an amazing man who embraced life despite living through challenging and disheartening times.
About the Authors
"To see history unfold through Tokita's words and images is to gain a whole new perspective on that conflict [Japanese internment during World War II] and the nature of all immigrants to America who suddenly find themselves identified as the enemy."—Bob Duggan, Bigthink.com, January 2012
"A fascinating book that accomplishes more than one purpose. The first part is a biography of Tokita . . . the second is Tokita's diary from 1941-44. . . . Signs of Home includes plenty of examples that prove his status as an important regional artist."—Jeff Baker, The Oregonian, December 2011
". . . one of the more beautiful and soulful books you might lay your hands on . . ."—Mike Dillon, City Living, December 2011
"If 'painting Seattle' feels like the welcome restoration of a long-lost chapter in local art history, the wartime diary is a thornier business . . . filled with uncertainties and ambivalence that make some of the received wisdom about the internment camps feel a little too pat."—Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times, December 2011
"There was a spirit in Kamekichi Tokita that scarcely vacillated in spite of the crises he confronted in his days and his diary. Tokita's art, his diary, his family, and his moral strengths are his legacies."—Stephen H. Sumida, from the Foreword
Other Titles by Barbara Johns
Other Titles by Stephen H. Sumida
Other Titles from Scott and Laurie Oki Series in Asian American Studies
Other Titles in ART / American / Asian American
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