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Kango Takamura Collection

(91.9 and 2005.76) The online collection of Kango Takamura includes 17 watercolor paintings created during the artist’s incarceration at the Manzanar concentration camp. The artwork depicts daily life in the camps, including scenes of education, living conditions, agriculture, and more.

Issei artist Kango Takamura (1895-1994) immigrated to the United States from Kumamoto-ken, Japan when he was seventeen years old. After living in both Hawaii and New York, he arrived in Los Angeles, where he began working as a photo retoucher for RKO Studios. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Takamura was arrested and detained by the FBI. First incarcerated at the internment camp at Santa Fe, New Mexico for several months, he was eventually moved to the War Relocation Authority camp at Manzanar, where he was reunited with his family. Until his release in 1945, Takamura captured his experiences and the surrounding landscapes of Manzanar through watercolor—including the 17 works on view in JANM’s online collection.


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