Download Art, Literature, and the Japanese American Internment: On by Thomas Girst PDF

By Thomas Girst

How can artwork, how can prose and poetry originate regardless of the restraints of manipulation, propaganda, and censorship? This research explores such matters by means of targeting the cultural trajectory of eastern American internment, either in the course of and after global battle II. formerly unknown records in addition to interviews with family and friends show new points of John Okada’s (1923–1971) lifestyles and writing, supplying a finished biographical define of the writer. The e-book refutes the belief that Okada’s novel No-No Boy was all yet kept away from whilst first released in 1957. a detailed interpreting in addition to a comparative research regarding Italo Calvino’s (1923–1985) Six Memos for the following Millennium (1985) place Okada’s simply ebook as international literature.

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61 Huyssen, 40. 62 Heiser, Jörg. “What is Appropriate? The Role of Art in Responding to the Holocaust,” in: Frieze, 130 (April 2010) 92-­97, 92. ”64 In other words, artists should not refrain from but rather engage in modes of expression that are otherwise employed to water down or install false, emotionalized memories of the Holocaust. ”65 Certainly under these particular circumstances, disobedience often meant death. The above observation however, when applied to a broader context of repressive systems and the experience of imprisonment, can also hold some truth for art and literature that came into being in Japanese American internment camps.

Cat. Jewish Museum, NY]. Of course, rather crude and banal examples like Tom Sach’s Prada Death Camp (1998), Piotr Uklanski’s The Nazis (1998), Rudolf Herz’ Zugzwang (1995), Dinos and Jake Chapman’s Hell (2000) or Zbigniew Libera’s LEGO Concentration Camp Set (1996), to name but a few, rather seem to irresponsibly exploit Holocaust imagery in self-­indulgent output calculated for its shock value. See also Rohr, Susanne, “‘Playing Nazis,’ ‘mirroring evil’: Die Amerikanisierung des Holocausts und neue Formen seiner Repräsentation,” Amerikastudien/American Studies 47, 4 (2002), 539-­553.

Many years later, within the camps, however, the situation was quite a different one, and it seems as if the Issei generation in particular – who within the confines of the prisons lacked the accustomed authority over the Nisei and Sansei generations – turned to the arts not only as an alternative for meaningful employment, but also for a sense of achievement and for the contemplation of beauty and aesthetics. While the production of geta (wooden stilt clogs), origami, musical instruments such as the shamisen or opulent good-­luck charms like the senninbari (“thousand-­person stitches”) were all part of traditional Japanese craft techniques, the nihonga style was also widely taught.

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