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University Art Museum is part of the Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai), one of Japan's most venerated art universities.
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"The Art of Gaman" is an exhibition of art and crafts created by Japanese Americans incarcerated in Japanese internment camps in the US during 1942-46.
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They used whatever scrap materials they could find to create these very imaginative and intricate works of art. "Gaman" basically means "to endure hardship."I wonder why the exhibition's Japanese title does not use the word "gaman." It instead uses the word 尊厳 (songen) which means dignity.
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The exhibition drew large crowds in Tokyo.
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Toy train made of scrap metal. In the front is a caster wheel, perhaps from a chair.
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Chess
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Created with scrap wood.
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Pair of cranes made of scrap wood. There were other wooden sculptures of a lion, cow, snake, and boar, all from scrap wood.
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One glass case showed these brooches made of shells.
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Brooch made of small shells. Shells were found when they dug into the ground. Apparently, the desert was once covered by ocean.
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The artist of some of the works was unknown.
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Heart Mountain, Wyoming.
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Drawing of someone getting shot by an MP.
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Drawing of a dust storm entering the barracks.
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Santa Fe camp on wood.
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Santa Fe camp on wood.
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Embroidered signatures.
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Barrack model made of toothpicks.
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Buddhist altar made with scrap materials. The top roof was made of tree bark.
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Wooden sword and sheath.
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Geta clogs.
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Ink wells made of stone.
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Covered bowl and chopsticks. Also see a list of Japanese-American and nikkei museums in Japan here..
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I was surprised to see so many Japanese things made at a time when anti-Japanese sentiment was rampant. Butsudan, chopsticks, geta, swords, and these Japanese dolls.
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It is obvious that they still had a very strong attachment to Japan and their cultural heritage despite Japan being the "enemy."
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In an adjacent room, they showed a short documentary previously aired by NHK TV. Unfortunately, they did not sell an exhibition catalog unlike in the States where they had one in English for sale (also available at Amazon).With all this interest in Japan, I hope they will be able to show it in more cities here (and in Hawai'i). I'm told that this exhibition in Tokyo is pretty much the same as the one at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2010. See their site for more (and clearer) photos of the art works: http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/gaman/index.cfm Geidai: http://www.geidai.ac.jp/museum/exhibit/2012/gaman/gaman_en.htm
 
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