I visited the site of the folk art festival today and had a wonderful time photographing.
There was another reason for my visit. I attended a lecture called the art of Gaman.
Organized by curator Delphine Hirasuna, with advisory support from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Art of Gaman showcases arts made by Japanese Americans in U.S. Internment camps during World War II.
Gaman is a Japanese term of Zen Buddhist origin which means "enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity"
I listened with sadness as Delphine Hirasuna recounted the events that occurred after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
120,000 Japanese Americans were given a week to pack their belongings and report to the Internment camp leaving behind their businesses, their houses and often families.
These Japanese Americans, half of whom were children, were incarcerated for up to 4 years, without due process of law or any factual basis, in bleak, remote camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards.
The exhibition opened today was to showcase the art produced during the years of separation.
Anne Chizuko Yukota – Interned at Poston Arizona.
Embroidered Linen towel.
Residents of block 317 of Poston III along with some visitors signed this cloth, which Yukota embroidered to commemorate the camp experience. Even her 4 year od daughter Georgia Ann, embroidered her name on the cloth.
As I listened, I found it hard to think of the gentle, forgiving Japanese residents who accepted their internment with dignity and yet half way around the world the Japanese army was invading the world.
The art was amazing, showcasing the creative expression that often comes from adversity.
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This looks like fantastic exhibit. Wish I could be there. It reminds me of the stories my mother used to tell of seeing her Japanese friends being boarded on trains to be taken to internment camps. She had several Japanese friends she had grown up with in her rural town and wanted to be there to support them as they were forced to leave their homes and businesses.
It was very interesting. I had seen documentaries on the subject but to see it through this medium was emotional.