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Resilience and Fortitude in the Face of Injustice: World War II and Japanese Americans

What: Art and Artifact Exhibit
When: March 26 - May 18
Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday: Closed
Where: Nealley Library
This special exhibit honors the more than 110,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who were forcibly removed from their homes and unjustly detained and incarcerated in remote camps throughout the United States during World War II.

Show features Art and Artifact Exhibits

  • 2008 Day of Remembrance posters are visible in the rear area of the SAC Nealley Library, leading to the Artifact Exhibit. One of these two posters was selected by the Japanese American National Museum for their 2008 Day of Remembrance Program. The posters and all signage for the Nealley Library Resilience and Fortitude in the Face of Injustice: World War II and Japanese Americans exhibit was created by Karl Tani, graphic artist and SAC/SCC adjunct faculty.

  • Executive Order 9066 Art Exhibit - Poster prints of Hatsuko Mary Higuchi’s Executive Order 9066 paintings are currently on display in the lobby area of the Santa Ana College Nealley Library.  In Executive Order 9066, a series of 11 paintings, Mary depicts faces with anonymous, or no features, symbolizing the mass anonymity to which over 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were reduced–denied due process and judged guilty solely by reason of their race.  Mary Higuchi’s haunting portraits are a warning that we must remember the lessons of the past. What happened to Japanese Americans must not repeat itself with similar actions against other groups.

    Hatsuko Mary Higuchi was born in Los Angeles, California in 1939. She and her family were imprisoned in the U.S. War Relocation Authority’s Colorado River concentration camp at Poston, Arizona from 1942 until 1945. Mary holds a teaching credential from UCLA and a MA from Pepperdine University. She was an elementary school master teacher from 1962 until her retirement in 2003. Currently an established artist, she paints a variety of themes such as landscapes, figures, and abstracts.  She uses watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, collage, and calligraphy.

  • Artifact Exhibit – Display of personal belongings taken to, or handcrafted by parents and grandparents while they were incarcerated in the camps. The exhibit is located at the rear of the SAC Nealley Library until May 18, 2012. Items displayed range from:

    • luggage taken by the Motokane family when they were sent to camp,
    • delicate and colorful display of handcrafted bird pins made by Fred Tani, the patriarch of the Tani family,
    • progressive display of the crafting stages of a bird pin, from scrap of wood to finished product,
    • display of U.S. Army medals awarded to Kazumi Kawafuchi who served as a member of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion (part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team),
    • two dog tags, one for Kazumi Kawafuchi, and the other for his loyal dog companion “Poochie”,
    • photographs of wooden chairs crafted by Karl Tani’s father for his family to use in the barrack unit,
    • Karl Tani’s Series Four ration book listing his home address as 39-9-a (Block 39, Barrack 9, Unit a),
    • box with drawers created by Fred Tani for his wife’s sewing supplies,
    • a girl’s chest of drawers created for Carol Miura by her grandfather,
    • a copy of Yoshiaki Motokane’s first Denson High School yearbook from the Jerome, Arkansas camp,
    • A photograph of teenager Yoshiaki Motokane sitting outside a barrack
Many thanks to Carol Tomiko Muira, retired SAC Art Department professor; to Karl Tani, graphic artist and SAC/SCC adjunct faculty (and to his brothers Dennis and Gordon); to Carolyn Motokane, Santiago Canyon College counselor; and to her husband Glenn Kawafuchi and Kai Kawafuchi for making the loan of these artifacts possible.
Hope can get you through anything.”
― Jamie Ford