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Hatsuko Mary Higuchi - Oral Testimonies of Former Japanese-American Internees

Hatsuko Mary Higuchi

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. Poster prints of her 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 features or none at all, 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 what happened to Japanese Americans is a precedent for similar actions against other groups, unless we remember the lessons of the past.