Chiura Obata was one of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans forcefully relocated from their homes, work, and communities to the stark barracks of desert internment camps during World War II. As an artist faithfully recording the world around him, Obata’s work from this period gives us a view into the camps that is at once honest and strikingly lyrical.
Topaz Moon brings together more than 100 paintings and sketches from Obata’s internment period, from the stables at Tanforan, California, to the barracks in Topaz, Utah. Edited by his granddaughter Kimi Kodani Hill, these images are accompanied by a text that draws heavily upon the letters of Obata and his wife, Haruko, family documents, and interviews with family and friends.
A project of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program