8/29/10

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT NOW

Hello supporters of the Poston Restoration Project!

We are about 2K short of the required "matching funds" needed in order to use the National Park Service grant money awarded to assist with moving one Poston barrack from the city of Parker 17 miles south to the site of Poston I.

(Wouldn't it be exciting to see an original 2-tiered roof Poston barrack in the vicinity of the Poston Memorial Monument the next time you drive out for a tour?)

All monetary donations are tax deductible.
Make checks payable to: The Poston Restoration Project

Mail to:
Marlene Shigekawa, Treasurer
956 Hawthorne Drive
Lafayette, CA 94549

Thank you!

Dianne Kiyomoto
Board Member/Archivist
Poston Community Alliance, Inc.
The Poston Restoration Project
electronic mail: diannerd79 at yahoo dot com




8/24/10

Dept of Justice Detention Camps

Over 7,000 Japanese Americans & Japanese from South America were held prisoners in the Dept of Justice internment camps, which were managed by the Immigration & Naturalization Service during WW II. Eight of the 27 Dept of Justice Camps were used to imprison Japanese Americans. These camps were located in Texas, Idaho, North Dakota, New Mexico, and Montana.

The Poston Chronicles frequently announced the names of the paroled Japanese males who were released from the Dept of Justice camps. They were allowed to re-join family members imprisoned at Poston.

The guards at the Dept of Justice Camps were Border Patrol agents. (Military Police were used at the relocation centers.) The Dept of Justice camps were designated for non-American citizens, which included Buddhist ministers, Japanese Language School instructors, Japanese Newspaper workers, and other Japanese Community adult leaders.

DID YOU KNOW....
About 2,210 people of Japanese ancestry were removed from 12 Latin American countries by the U.S. State & Justice Dept. They were imprisoned at the U. S. Depart of Justice Camps. About 70% were prisoners from Peru, with 80% of those Peruvians being Japanese. The official reasons for the deportations: 1. To secure the Western Hemisphere from internal sabotage, and 2. To provide bartering "pawns" for exchange of American citizens captured by Japan. After the war, 1,400 were not allowed to return to their homes in South America. More than 900 Japanese Peruvians were "voluntarily" deported to Japan. Three hundred went to court and were allowed to settle in the United States.

Seagoville, Texas: Built in 1941 by the Bureau of Prisons as a minimum-security women's reformatory. During WW II, it was used to imprison people from Central & South America, married U. S. couples without children, and about 50 female Japanese Language School teachers from California.

Lordsburg, New Mexico: On July 27, 1942, a border patrol shot 2 critically ill Japanese American prisoners under 'questionable' circumstances.
Photo: Lordsburg, New Mexico Dept of Justice camp prisoners from the Monterey, Salinas and Watsonville area.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
: Originally imprisoned Japanese American men from California. All were transferred to the Relocation Centers or placed in U.S. Army custody by September 24, 1942. Until February 1943, the camp imprisoned German and Italian nationals. From February 1943 to June 1945, over 2,000 Issei (1st generation) and Nisei (2nd generation) Japanese American men were held captive. Many of the prisoners had come from Tule Lake.

Crystal City, Texas
: The German nationals were the first prisoners. The camp was intended for Japanese Americans. The Germans were never relocated. The camp was divided into separate sections for each ethnic group of prisoners. Languages spoken at Crystal City included Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, and English; ages of the prisoners ranged from newborn to elderly. The Crystal City internment camp had 4 schools to educate the numerous children detained there. The children of Germans and Japanese who desired repatriation were sent to language schools taught by prisoners.

Fort Lincoln, North Dakota
: Was used to house so-called "recalcitrants" from Tule Lake Segregation Center and Santa Fe Dept of Justice Camp who had renounced their American citizenship. Japanese nationals were also imprisoned who were to be repatriated after the war.

Fort Stanton, New Mexico
: Was used to house German nationals during the war. The Dept of Justice also established a disciplinary camp for those deemed "incorrigible agitators." There were 58 Japanese Americans were imprisoned there.

Fort Missoula, Montana: During 1942, about half of those imprisoned at this Dept of Justice camp were Japanese American. The other half were Italian nationals. After the Japanese Americans were given very brief hearings, they were transferred to other Dept of Justice camps or Relocation Centers (to join their families). In 1943, 29 Japanese Americans remained imprisoned at this facility.

For more reading on the Texas Department of Justice facility living conditions, go to
: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/WW/quwby.html

http://www.nancybartlit.com/the-book/santa-fe-japanese-american-internment-camp



8/23/10

Poston Block 222



Photo: Poston block 222. 1944. Front L-R: Sakae Ishihara, Aiko Yano, Rima Yano. Back: Mrs. Sakaguchi, Mrs. Yoshizaki, Mrs. Minakawa.
Photo courtesy of Aiko (Yano) Uyeoka.




Michi Oka

                  Photo: Poston block 222. 1944. Michi Oka with Umino baby.


                     Recent artifacts shared by Aiko (Yano) Uyeoka.



8/22/10

Poston II Buddhist Church Marriages

Photo: Buddhist Church Reverend Yoshio Iwanaga (Poston block 219-2-D)


COUPLES MARRIED AT POSTON II BUDDHIST CHURCH

November 1942
Mitsuru Suko & Mariko Ono

February 1943
Tom Mine & Kiku Yamamoto

March 1943
Sgt. Sam Shiotsuka & Misao Yamano
Minoru Inagi & Akiko Hoshizaki

April 1943
Frank Shingu & Fumi Yaguchi

September 1943
Yoneo Gota & Sakaye Nakamura
Yoshio Shibata & Shizuko Ito
Masashi Yamane & Hatsuko Yoshizaki
Masashi Tazumi & Dorothy Nishimura
Hiroshi Hashimoto & Oichi Kakiuchi
Katsumi Matsumoto & Lois Nishimura

November 1943
Ken Sato & Toshi Yuki

December 1943
Manabu Fukuda & Tomiko Sakata
Joe Morimune & Suzu Iyemura
Shig Kado & Chiyeko Kajioka

January 1944
Mikio Tokiwa & Mary Tsukamoto

February 1944
Masato Shizumi & Toyoko Kobayashi
Yukio Kurimoto & Narie Nomi

March 1944
Tokuo Yamamoto & Anna Yamada
Ben Shimizu & Mary Nishi

Photo: Pfc. Y. Uyeoka & future monther-in-law, Mrs. Yano.  
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Aiko Uyeoka.

May 1944
Tadao Fujita & Yeiko Gota
Wayne Ishihara & Ruli Kaneno


Source: Reunion booklet, "Poston II Camp Days". August 28, 29, 30, 1987




Poston II High Admin & Faculty

Photo: Poston II High School teachers 1942-1943

ADMINISTRATION AND FACULTY

1943
Superintendent of Education-Arthur L. Harris
Principal-Dallas C. McLaren
Vice Principal 1st Semester-George T. Aihara
Vice-Principal-2nd Semester-Peter S. Aoki

FACULTY
Ms. Venning
Kay Asami
Mary B. Courage
Kay Nakamura
Ms. Burrell
Ruby Michael
Ruth Harris
Gertrude de Silva
Ms. Nishi
Harriet Decker
Ms. Mine
Lloyd Onoye
Ms. Tsuda
Ms. Yoshida
Ms. Sato
Ms. Cushman
Ms. Coates
Ms. Manning
Hazel Hall
Ms. Wetmore
Joan Smith
Shigeru Kanai
Richard Nakamura
Don Yamaoka
Robert Kanagawa
Ms. Hirabayashi
Kikuye Takata
Minoru Saguchi
Elmer de Silva
William Wakayama
Minato Kawaguchi
Robert Sakamoto
Roscoe Vaniman
Shigeru Fujimoto
Fred Yoshioka
Roy Hosegawa
Yoneo Gota
Georgia D. Robertson
Tony Nakasaki
George Inagi
Viola Kerber


1944
Principal- Dallas C. McLaren
Vice Principal-George K. Ikeda
Registrar-George T. Aihara

FACULTY
Mary B. Courage
Robert C. Wells
Joan Smith
Ruth Harris
Catherine Wrenchy
Mary C. Ferris
Thelma Coats
Elsie Banning
Ruby Michael
Leota Nevil
Georgia D. Robertson
Hazel Hall
Shizue Tsumura
Masami Yamashita
Robert Kanagawa
Viola Kerber
Harriet Decker
Kay Asami
G. Yasui
Otis Kadani
Sadao Kimoto
George Nishimura
Tsugio Ikeda
Sachi Endo
Tony Nakasaki
Toshiko Etow
George Inagi
Giles F. Liegerot
Shuki Hayashi


1945
Principal-Dallas C. McLaren
Vice Principal-Georgia D. Robertson

FACULTY
Mary B. Courage
Minnie Conoy Smith
M.L. Sullivan
Mary Ferris
Robert Kanagawa
Jean Wolfe
Hazel Hall
Lewis Lutz
Mary Yokoi
Harriet Decker
Otis Kadani
Frederick Ketchum
Ruby F. Michael
Viola Kerber
Shervy Sharvy
James Abe
Masao Takeshita
George Nishimura
Dorothy Makishima
Mitsuko Matsushita


Source: Reunion booklet: Poston II High School Class of 1943, '44, '45
San Jose Hyatt House, August 6-7, 1977



8/15/10

Daughter With Japanese Roots

ROBERTA BARTON: Daughter connects with Japanese roots
Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010
By Roberta Barton

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. With every passing year, I wish that I could turn back time.

Those lost years would be replaced with a wholehearted reconnection to my cultural roots as a third-generation Japanese American sansei.

My youthful rush to leap forward would be rebalanced with a desire to remember and celebrate my Asian heritage.

My thoughts turn to my mother, Michiko. Fuzzy memories of her internment story, etched in the dust storms of Poston, Arizona, cling to me all the time now. A photo of Mom in cap and gown on the day of her high school graduation at the internment camp now lies tucked safely away in my wallet.

I remember Mom describing how her diploma fluttered nearly out of reach when she stepped up to receive it, just like the promising life that had been so unexpectedly snatched from her grasp.

The photo is my constant companion, a daily reminder of where I came from and an urgent call to preserve family history for my own child. Dust, scorpions, bad mutton and a faded photo of bachan. These memories are my son's inheritance.

Middle age prompted a frantic effort to reconnect to everything Japanese in my life before all connections were gone. I wrote to the National Archives to get a copy of Mom's internment camp file. Among the standard government forms, was a handwritten biography that she must have completed for school.

I was struck by the positive, upbeat tone of her narrative. There was no anger, no grief, no despair. My mother, like so many other internees, expressed a profound desire to prove her patriotism and love for her country.

Last spring, I attended a reunion of Poston internees. Traveling along the same bone-dry Arizona desert road that Mom probably traveled in 1942, I closed my eyes and tried to picture her experience. How would I feel as a young teenager leaving my home to live in a tarpaper shack in the middle of nowhere?

My emotions started to get the best of me, but I pushed them back down. Is this how Mom faced her impossible situation and the 120-degree temperature that greeted internees?

Then just outside the town of Parker, the desert gave way to fertile green fields. Our Native-American tour guide thanked the internees over and over again for the agricultural prosperity stretching as far as the eye could see on the tribal reservation land before us.

When we stopped at Poston II where Mom had been interned, I took a moment to call my sister in front of the original camp gymnasium still in use today. "Say 'Hi' to Mom," I demanded. We yelled it together over my cell phone. Then it was my son's turn to repeat the ritual with "Hi, bachan."

These days I try to make up for lost time by attending a Japanese church and volunteering for projects celebrating the culture and legacy of the Japanese-American community. One of those projects is the Fresno Assembly Center Memorial, which will share the stories of local Japanese-Americans detained at the fairgrounds on their way to the internment camps.

Now I can share Mom's story through a personalized donor brick that will line the walkway of the memorial. Thousands of people will know of her experience and learn the stories of so many others.

It's an important history lesson that until recently didn't seem to make it into most lesson plans. With everything that's going on in our diverse world today, it's a lesson in tolerance that we should all heed.

Mom, I hope you're proud of your daughter.

Roberta Barton is a third-generation Japanese-American. She is president of the Central California Asian Pacific Women and serves on the Fresno Assembly Center Memorial Upgrade Committee.

Source: http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/08/13/2040907/roberta-barton-daughter-connects.html#ixzz0wj3GxhNB



8/14/10

Chizuko Judy (Sugita) de Queiroz

Artist spent part of youth in relocation camp

By THERESA WALKER
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

From ages 9 to 12, Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz lived in an internment camp for Japanese Americans at Poston, Arizona (block 38-7-C). Her father, Yutaka "Joe" Sugita, had owned a nursery in Orange County before the family's forced relocation. Chizuko's mother had died when she was born. Three older brothers and two older sisters also were sent to the camp. A married sister lived in Idaho.

                                 Photo: Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz

The atomic bombs dropped in Japan by the United States, on Aug. 6 and 9 in 1945, marked the end of the war for her family, something they eagerly awaited so they could return home. They later learned her father's entire family in his hometown of Hiroshima, except for a cousin and a great aunt, were killed in the blast.

But Chizuko says the happiest day in her father's life came in the mid-1950s when he was sworn in as a U.S. citizen. They all were happy on V-J Day.

We were in the camp waiting to get a sponsor and a place to live. Then V-J Day happened. We thought, oh good, great, we're going to get out of camp and everything would be fine and my dad would get to start his business again.

Well, they gave each person $7 when we left camp, so there was very little money. Everything had been confiscated and taken away at the beginning of the war. And we still had no sponsor.

My sister, who was working in Pasadena, wrote to the Red Cross several times and asked if my brother (serving in) the U.S. Army could come and help us get out of the camp. It took two letters before his commanding officer let him go. They gave him a week's leave of absence before he was to be shipped out with MacArthur's troops to Japan.

First he went to L.A., got us a hostel to live in. Then he came to camp and took us out.

We were just really joyous. The tumbleweeds were coming through the camp and the Indians were walking through the camp – it was their reservation, of course, that the camp was built on. All the barracks were almost empty.

When we did get to L.A., the brownstone that we were staying in was where Skid Row is now.

My dad and the other men in the brownstone would wait on the porch – sort of like the Mexicans on the corner, waiting for a job – waiting for someone to sponsor them. I think about three months passed and we were just getting really discouraged. No one would offer my dad a job. He was 61.

This one man came and said he had three properties and if Dad would take care of the gardening for the three properties we could have a chicken coop to live in. We were just overjoyed. At last somebody wanted us. At last we were going to get to go and start our lives.

We came to Huntington Beach and my sister would come home from her Pasadena house girl job on the weekends and help us get things organized. We had this little hot plate to cook on. My dad and my two brothers made this Japanese bath house outside. And then they had an outhouse.

We had some friends that had relocated earlier and they took us to our property (in Orange County, near what is now Knott's Berry Farm) from before. Well, everything was gone, except my brothers and my dad had taken the tires off two cars and put the cars up on blocks. There was this Model A Ford that my oldest brother had had before the war. My youngest brother was really a mechanical wonder. He could take things apart and put them back together. With the money my sister made as a house girl and the money my brother made in the Army they were able to order parts from Sears.

My dad started doing gardening with this little Model A Ford ...Dad was able to open his nursery in eight years, in Long Beach on Seventh Street, called the Evergreen Nursery. And it was just great.

We had our life back.


"It was the proudest day of his life," says Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz, as she showed a painting she created from a snapshot after her father was sworn in as a American citizen in the 1950s. She is at left of her father Yutaka Joe Sugita, at right is her sister Mariko Frankie Sugita Fukuda. She says of her father's citizenship: "My dad was very proper, he never smiled in pictures. He said only idiots smiled in pictures. I never really saw him laugh a lot because he would contain any kind of emotion. No crying, no smiling, no laughing kind of thing. Very stoic Japanese American. But when he got his citizenship papers he was just smiling all day long. I'd never seen my dad so happy."

Painter Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz attends and sometimes instructs at an annual painting event at California's Manzanar War Relocation Center started by her mentor Henry Fukuhara. Years ago she had given him this three-inch brush and after his passing the family returned it to her. She used it to paint this tribute to him. She says of her time in camp: "It was very, very depressing for a couple of months. But you know you get over things. We started school in the barracks. I was always a person to do my very best, so I did well in school. I was a good reader and I was a good artist. My teacher was Miss Perry, my first teacher. And she sort of recognized that I had some artistic talent. It sort of gave me some confidence. My dad would always say out of every good comes a little bad and out of every bad comes a little good."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Artist paints the colors of an internment camp.

By Rebecca Villaneda,
Peninsula News

Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz’s exhibit "Camp Days 1942-1945" was on display at the Palos Verdes Art Center in Rancho Palos Verdes which ended March 8, 2009.

The former Peninsula resident’s paintings, which are for sale, illustrate her 3 years in the World War II concentration camp in Poston, Ariz.

The woman behind the brush strokes of Camp Days 1942-1945 tells her life story like every detail was meant to be.

Borrowing from a favorite saying of her father’s — "Out of every bad comes some good, & out of every good comes some bad" — she has turned any negative in her life to positive & wants to share it with the world.

"Those 3 1/2 years in camp changed my entire life," Chizuko said. "I think the good that came out of the feelings of loneliness & despair, & wanting my mom alive & [life] in camp … I think what really worked for me is I started getting more resilient & I started to get more outgoing, because I had to force myself."

Chizuko’s life in camp followed shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when she was 9. Her family lived in Orange, Calif., at the time & her father, a Japanese-born immigrant, owned a nursery.

Her mother died from childbirth complications after having Chizuko. Having lived with her aunt, then her oldest sister for a few years each, moving again, this time to the camp, wasn’t a big deal for the "fearful, withdrawn & non-social kid."

Noticing everyone in the camp looked similar, her sister, Lil, explained to her the reasons why she & her family were relocated — a moment that she illustrates in a painting. "I was just so depressed, because I realized then that I was a Jap. That I was the enemy & it was a real terrible feeling," she said. "I always thought I could grow up one day or wake up one day & be blue-eyed & blond. Nothing was impossible in my mind."

"And I always thought my mother would come back to life, because my sister said if I prayed hard enough, my prayers would come true. So I knew before camp that anything was possible, but in camp I realized that was not right....That sort of colored my life," she added.

Camp life
Once "everything sort of loosened up," life behind the barbed wire was safe & people began to take on roles to make do. "The Japanese-Americans started farming the land & they dug all the ditches to bring the water from the Colorado River to the camp," Chizuko said. "They did start farming outside the camp, where people would get passes to work the farm for produce for inside the camp."

Some were paid $12 a month, while other "inmates" made $19, she said, depending on their job. As a fireman, her brother made $16.

"We built a huge society within the camp," she said. "My dad was active....He thought we needed more vegetables & less canned things. Finally, after a year or two, they started sending sacks of rice in, instead of just flour."

Americans volunteered as doctors & teachers, & lived in white houses in the camp, versus the barracks Chizuko & her family called home. Aside from school, & her chores, like washing clothes, Chizuko found solace at the camp’s only library.

"I had a very confined, limited life. I would go to the library, which was half a barrack & about a mile away," she said. "I spent many, many hours in the library. I checked out the same books over & over. It just afforded me a place to go when I couldn’t find anybody."

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945, Chizuko’s father gathered the family to mourn his life. She called it the second saddest event while in camp; the first was losing her Uncle Johnny to the war.

"My dad was raised in the Meiji era in Japan...And the attitude people learned was that no matter what your station in life, you do the very best you can & you never hurt anyone else & you never hurt yourself & you make your living honestly," she said. "And always respect your elders & the leaders. He knew that Roosevelt didn’t like [the] Japanese & was instrumental to sending us to the concentration camps, but no matter who your leader is, he’s doing the best he can."

Chizuko admired her father. He came to the United States in 1902. Although he came from a well-to-do family in Japan, he set out to find "his fortune" in San Francisco.

Along with other family members, he ran the Tamura Hotel, & helped Japanese immigrants find jobs & homes. It was very successful until the 1906 earthquake destroyed it. "His fortune just went up & down, up & down, up & down," she said. "And just when he was starting over again, after the depression, he started his nursery in about 1939-40, & it was doing fine, then the war broke out....He never did make it [back] to Japan."

Chizuko’s father became a United States citizen in 1952, when Asians could become naturalized citizens. "He really considered himself an American," she said.

From Arizona to California
Integrating back into life after the camp was difficult for Chizuko. To move out of the camp, the family had to have a sponsor & a place to live. Her oldest brother moved them to a hostel in Los Angeles, which she compared to living back in a barrack. But it was home, until her father was offered work tending the properties of a landowner, who also gave the family a chicken coop to live in.

Eventually her father owned a nursery once again, the family got back on its feet & Chizuko was able to go to college at Long Beach State University & Dominguez Hills University, where she earned both a BFA & an MFA, respectively.

Remembering her days in Poston was not a common topic of conversation as people who lived through it wanted to forget it. "It was a shameful thing, because we were made to feel like 2nd-class citizens or like we did something wrong. And we really didn’t do anything wrong," she said.

The first time she began to talk about camp freely followed a Poston camp reunion. Chizuko was talking to colleagues & couldn’t stop crying. "I think a lot of people have these feelings that they don’t know what to do with," she said. Chizuko chose to paint to get through her memories, although she admits it was painful to get them on canvas. "I just wanted [people] to know that everybody can become very resilient in bad times & not succumb to the things that are happening to them," Chizuko said.

Her daughter, Meigan Everts, who in high school first began to hear about her mother’s past, said the art has been cathartic. "She’s a very caring person, & she really feels a lot of things & this is a way for her to express some of those feelings. And I think it’s really neat that she’s been able to do that," Everts said. "It’s was not a great experience & it was a horrible thing that happened in the United States history, but it’s something that happened. You can’t change the past & you have to work through it."

Said Chizuko, "I started to change completely by saying, ‘I’m going to be a really great American & I’m leaving this junk behind me,’ & I was able to do that."

Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz, a former Palos Verdes High School art teacher.


Source: http://www.pvnews.com/articles/2009/02/12/local_news/news3.txt
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Artist shares camp memories in Japanese American Museum of SJ exhibit
November 25, 2010
By Erin Yasuda Soto

     Artist Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz was 9 years old when she and her family were uprooted from their home in Orange, California and incarcerated in a wartime concentration camp in Poston, Arizona for three years.
     Sugita de Queiroz illustrates her childhood memories through watercolors in the traveling exhibit “Camp Days 1942-1945: Childhood Memories of Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz,” which is currently on display at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose until April 30, 2010. The watercolors represent a portion of a collection of 61 paintings.
     “My experience in camp was the worst and most unhappy time I’ve had in my entire life. I would not want anyone to experience my feelings of loneliness,” she said. She said that as the youngest of nine children in her family, she often felt left overshadowed by her older siblings.
     “Most of the time, I was alone. My sisters and brothers were outgoing and made friends quickly. I was always treated as the baby of the family, so I never talked much. It was terribly hard on me. I had little social skills. So I spent my time in the library, checking out books and reading several a day,” she said.
     Prior to becoming an artist, Sugita de Queiroz served as an art teacher. After retiring early from Palos Verdes High School in Southern California, she started painting full time and presenting exhibits. Sugita de Queiroz said that the “Camp Days” paintings arose from her desire to share her experiences with her family.
     “I wanted to let my children and grandkids know about my life during that period of my childhood. So I painted from memory my camp days for my one-man show in Laguna Beach,” said Sugita de Queiroz, who resides in Irvine, California.
     Sugita de Queiroz said that she felt a tremendous sense of loneliness growing up in camp, especially following the death of her mother. Her father was a bonsai artist who emigrated from Hiroshima, Japan.  “My mother died shortly after I was born. I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle when my mother died, then my sister. I loved my father so much and waited for his visits and the time I could leave with him. He was always my inspiration in everything I did. I admired his hard work and his love of bonsai that he did all his life,” said Sugita de Queiroz.
     She said that one of her artistic influences growing up was her older sister Lillian, an artist and painter. Sugita de Queiroz depicts Lillian painting a watercolor in the book “Camp Days 1942-1945.” Sugita de Queiroz said she would help to fetch watercolor supplies for Lillian whenever she chose to paint a sunset.
     “I loved art and painting because of Lillian and, of course, my artistic father influenced me,” she said. In addition, Sugita de Queiroz said her camp teacher, Miss Perry, recognized her talent and asked her to create paintings for the teachers’ dining room in camp.
     Sugita de Queiroz said the process of creating the “Camp Days” exhibit was cathartic for her. “It was very difficult. I was going to do 250 paintings, but by the end of the year I was spent and did not want to relive any more horrendous memories,” she said.
     Sugita de Queiroz said her family did not discuss their camp experiences much after they left. “No one in my family talked about camp. And my dad always said, ‘Never dwell on the negative, the past can’t be changed. Concentrate on the now and the future.’ He had such wisdom. It was like the Japanese saying ‘Shikata ga nai’ — it can’t be helped.”
     Sugita de Queiroz said that the process of planning her paintings involved drawing on her memories of camp. “I wrote down all my memories, about 250, and just started doing it. Some paintings were so difficult to paint, others easier,” she said.
     Sugita de Queiroz said that although she has utilized many media, she especially enjoys painting watercolors. “As an art teacher, I have used all media, ranging from oils, acrylics, pastels, ink and clay. The best aspect of watercolor is its fluidity, immediate-ness, and directness — whether as an atmosphere you wish to convey or as an emotion. It’s a lot of work, but I feel a joy in painting,” she said.
     Sugita de Queiroz said that she was strongly influenced as an artist by her friend Henry Fukuhara, a painter. “I have been a watercolor painter for the last 25 years because of my wonderful friend and guru, Henry, who passed away at 96 years old. He was blind for the last five years, but lucid and painting to the end. He was my biggest influence. He truly was the greatest watercolor painter. He was very innovative, distinct and free,” she said.
     Sugita de Queiroz said she draws inspiration for her paintings from the world around her. “Everything inspires me: My love of family and nature, as well as what I see, feel, taste and experience. These past few weeks, I have been painting clouds, as it has been quite cloudy and rainy. Everything so lovely, dreary, mysterious, light and dark,” she said.
     With a focus on nature, Sugita de Queiroz’s past shows include “Seasons right here” and “Global Warming.” She has also presented other shows focusing on landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, tree portraits and flowers. Sugita de Queiroz said that she has also been inspired by her travels. “The paintings come out different when you see a new country — whether it’s tea plantations or Mt. Fuji in Japan — and not just photos of your trip. That makes all the difference,” she said.
     Sugita de Queiroz said that in addition to her artistic work, she enjoys cooking, shopping, cleaning and taking care of her 11 grandchildren. “My life has been so wonderfully blessed so I am happy just being and living. And art is part of my life,” she said. Ultimately, Sugita de Queiroz said that she hopes that those who view her “Camp Days” art exhibit learn about a painful period in American history. “It is really a message of peace — no more wars, and liberty and justice for all,” she said.

Source: http://www.nichibei.org/2010/11/artist-shares-camp-memories-in-japanese-american-museum-of-sj-exhibit/



8/11/10

2011 POSTON III REUNION

Plan now to attend!
April 25, 26 & 27, 2011 (Easter week)
Golden Nugget-Las Vegas


More information to come this fall.