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Becoming American? The Art and Identity Crisis of Yasuo Kuniyoshi - Hawaii Scholarship Online
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Becoming American? The Art and Identity Crisis of Yasuo Kuniyoshi

ShiPu Wang


On December 8, 1941, artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi (1889–1953) awoke to find himself branded an “enemy alien” by the U.S. government in the aftermath of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The historical crisis forced Kuniyoshi to rethink his pictorial strategies and to confront questions of loyalty, assimilation, national and racial identity that he had carefully avoided in his prewar art. As an immigrant who had proclaimed himself to be as “American as the next fellow,” the realization of his now fractured and precarious status catalyzed the development of an emphatic and conscious identity construct t ... More

Keywords: Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Pearl Harbor, national identity, racial identity, prewar art, American democracy, mass incarceration, discrimination, American art, American cultural identity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780824834180
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824834180.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

ShiPu Wang, author
University of California