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Attacked Pearl Harber (Attacked Pearl Harbor Hawaii)

Sugimoto, Henry [ bio ]

Attacked Pearl Harber (Attacked Pearl Harbor Hawaii)
Enlarge Image (87.8KB)

H: 22.5 in, W: 19 in

California, ca. 1947


Gift of Madeleine Sugimoto and Naomi Tagawa, Japanese American National Museum


Stretched and framed.

Family reacting to news of Pearl Harbor attack. Older man, with back to the viewer, sits at table bent over a newspaper reading about the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor. He wears a brown jacket and glasses and has his left hand on the back of his head. A woman in green with white collar faces him across the red/white checked tablecloth. In the background a younger man sits at a desk next to a lamp before a window, with his back to the viewer, and listens to the radio with his left hand on the back of his head. He wears a white sweater with two purple stripes at the biceps.

Signed in medium, bottom left corner: H. Sugimoto, Attacked Pearl Harber [sic] Hawaii Written on back: Attacked Pearl Harbor/22" x 18"

"I...turned on the radio and heard them say, 'A Jap bomber squadron has bombed Pearl Harbor; there are many casualties, and many American battleships have been destroyed."...What was going to become of us Japanese? What were we to do?" When the United States entered World War II, the lives of many Japanese Americans were torn apart. Sugimoto's work after 1941 shows a dramatic transition from landscapes and still-life paintings to powerful narratives focusing on this experience.

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Collections Management & Access Unit at the Japanese American National Museum (



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