Art in Incarceration: Artistry in the Japanese American Internment Camps
Loaned by Izui family
Mikisaburo Izui, along with thousands of other Issei men on the West Coast and elsewhere, was deemed an enemy alien and apprehended by the FBI. While his wife and sons were incarcerated in the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho, he was held in Department of Justice camps at Fort Missoula (Montana), Camp Livingston (Louisiana), and Kooskia Work Camp (Idaho). After two years, he was allowed to rejoin his family in Minidoka. These nine envelopes embellished with watercolor and ink sketches were done by Izui while incarcerated at Minidoka in 1944 and 1945. The illustrations depict everyday scenes in camp and indigenous wildflowers, reflecting the artist’s lifelong interest in botany. The entire Izui family resettled in Chicago after the war, following relatives and the promise of jobs.
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