Historian Barbara Johns presents the history of Japanese artist Takuichi Fujii
information from Southwest Seattle Historical Society
Seattle art historian and curator Barbara Johns will present her book, The Hope of Another Spring, Takuichi Fujii, about the Japanese artist who lived in Seattle and was later incarcerated during World War II, first in the Puyallup state fairgrounds and then in a permanent camp in Minidoka, Idaho. During that time, Fujii documented his daily experiences in words and art. Johns has brought his works back into public view with the help of Fujii’s family members. Sandy Kita, the artist's grandson, provides translations and an introduction to the diary.
This free book-talk event by "Words, Writers & West Seattle," is co-sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and the Seattle Public Library and will take place at 6 PM at the SW Branch Library, 9010 35th Ave.SW, on Thursday, May 9, 2019.
Fujii was 50-years-old when the war broke out. Like other Japanese Seattleites, he and his family lost almost everything—their livelihood, home, sense of privacy, and hope for a better future. Fujii drew and painted throughout the three and a half years of his incarceration and although he created an impressive body of work, he rarely displayed them publicly. Due to this, his work has been virtually unknown until the publishing of Johns' book. Dr. Johns will present Fujii's life story and his artistic achievements within the political and social framework of that time period.
Johns was working on her doctorate dissertation at the University of Washington, focusing on immigrant-generation Japanese artists in Seattle when she first came across Fujii's paintings from the 1930s. She was formerly the chief curator of the Tacoma Art Museum and the executive director of the Pilchuck Glass School and has held positions at the Seattle Art Museum and the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.
The Hope of Another Spring is heavily researched and honors the work of the author's predecessors in the academic study of Asian American art history as well as archival details Johns herself has recovered. Fujii's diary has been called "the most remarkable document created by a Japanese American prisoner during the wartime incarceration" by Historian Roger Daniels. Among John's other books are: Paul Horiuchi: East and West; and Signs of Home: The Paintings and Wartime Diary of Kamekichi Tokita, both published by UW Press.
"Words, Writers & West Seattle's" book-talks are scheduled for the Second Thursday of each month at 6 PM at the Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library, 9010 35th Ave. SW, West Seattle, WA 98126. On June 13, 2019, David Buerge will present his book, “Chief Seattle and the Town That Took His Name”, a biography of the Duwamish leader and his legacy.
For videos on these and other authors' presentations, check out "Events" at www.loghousemuseum.org. Additional information on future presentations can be obtained by contacting Dora-Faye Hendricks, Chair, 'Words, Writers & West Seattle" by phone at 206-290-8315 or by e-mail at Dora-Faye@comcast.net.