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Becoming American? The Art and Identity Crisis of Yasuo Kuniyoshi$
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ShiPu Wang

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834180

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834180.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Becoming American? The Art and Identity Crisis of Yasuo Kuniyoshi

ShiPu Wang

University of Hawai'i Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book offers the first book-length study of Yasuo Kuniyoshi's wartime work, both pictorial and textual, in relation to their prewar, wartime, and postwar sociopolitical contexts. The book differs in its delimited approach to re-examining Kuniyoshi's artistic production through a prism of race and nationalism. This investigative approach is based on a conceptual framework that considers émigré artists as agents of active contribution to, and criticism and redefinition of, a heterogeneous American identity. The book both historicizes and advances the discussion and understanding of identity construction and the crucial roles art plays in U.S. cultural and sociopolitical history.

Keywords:   Yasuo Kuniyoshi, artists, Japanese-Americans, American identity, art

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