Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - First Kiss
First Kiss
Internment
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - The Weeping of the Sakura
The Weeping of the Sakura
Internment
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - Gold Star
Gold Star
Internment

More than other internees, the Gold Star Families were subject to a particularly horrific and brutal form of irony. At the same time their loyalty was being questioned, their men were sacrificing their lives as an obligation of their American citizenship. The families had to accept the flag of sacrifice on a barren remote field of an Internment camp far from their home, incarcerated because they were suspected of not being loyal enough to the country their son, husband, brother, or father fought and died for.

(2017)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - Amy and the No No Boy
Amy and the No No Boy
Internment

A short story about Jim and Amy Doi their infant daughter Jan, and Tule Lake.

"We were sent to Tule Lake from Minidoka. Upon receiving his letter from President Roosevelt asking him if he would serve his country, Dad wrote back that his "country" and citizenship had been taken away. He therefore, refused to join the armed service. At Tule Lake. Dad was named Chief Construction Foreman to build more barracks, schools and mess halls."

"It was good that he stayed since I was just a little baby under a year old at the time and Mom thought I was going to die in Camp. As it was, she had a good scare when I got violently ill on the spoiled milk we were given and I remember the horrible taste and being sick. Life went on. Upon release Mom and Dad returned to Bothell to discover that the people they entrusted their home and belongings to, sold everything for their own greed. They had to restart with absolutely nothing. The Catholic Church found Dad a position at a lumber mill in Spokane which is where we moved after interment camp. Dad and Mom both worked very hard and saved in order to return to Seattle. Dad worked at the mill and Mom took in sewing alterations and took care of unwed mothers for the church in exchange for the manse they let us stay in." - Jan Doi Gerry

(2016)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - A Study In Contrasts
A Study In Contrasts
Internment

Quote from an unidentified Army officer concerning the round up and evacuation of the folks on Bainbridge Island WA. March, 1942.

"Why these people (the Island Japanese) have completely won us over. Do you know what they did the first day we arrived? They sent four or five of their young people down to help us get acquainted with the Island. They actually helped our men post the evacuation notices. Having to move these people is one of the toughest things this outfit has ever been told to do."

"Personally, I hate the Japanese. And that goes for all of them." - Henry McLemore, syndicated columnist of the Hearst newspapers

The Japanese American evacuation hysteria was "based primarily upon public political pressure rather than upon factual data." - J Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI.

"Their racial characteristics are such that we cannot understand or trust even the citizen Japanese." -Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson

"Who can say I haven't got Japanese blood in me? Who know what kind of blood runs in their veins?"- Ralph Lazo.

This is a race war, as far as the Pacific side of the conflict is concerned ... The White man's civilization has come into conflict with Japanese barbarism ... One of them must be destroyed ... Damn them! Let's get rid of them now! -Mississippi Congressman John Rankin

(2015)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - Gaman
Gaman
Internment

A Japanese term of Zen Buddhist origin which means "enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity".

(2017)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - Red Flower, The Liberation Of Italy A Japanese American soldier of the 442nd RCT.
"Red Flower, The Liberation Of Italy" A Japanese American soldier of the 442nd RCT.
Internment

“We were given a job to do and we did it.” Humble – Kind - Loyal.

"Blood that has soaked into the sands of a beach is all of one color. America stands unique in the world, the only country not founded on race, but on a way--an ideal." The Japanese American soldier of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team set about to prove their loyalty to this country and, in so doing, saved the lives of hundreds of men, liberated countless villages throughout France and Italy leaving their inhabitants with renewed love and respect for the American Soldier, and brought honor to this country, themselves, and their families. Their lessons in loyalty, humbleness, courage and resolve still resonate in our society today.

(2015)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - We Are The Enemy
We Are The Enemy
Internment

One week after the bombing of Pearl Harbor President Roosevelt delivered a moving address on the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights. He said such inspiring words as "We will not, under any threat or in the face of danger, surrender the guarantees of liberty our forefathers framed for us in our Bill of Rights." It was a little more than two months later that the president signed executive order 9066 setting into motion what has been recognized as the worst violation of constitutional rights in the nation's history.

(2015)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - Grace Mori
Grace Mori
Internment

Grace Takahashi was 18 years old when she was sent to Manzanar. She was given a position in the camp's mail and files office. Her job was to check the mail and decide which person or department would receive it. She would then hand the mail over to swift-footed messengers who would deliver the mail to the designated parties. Grace said that all of the messengers became doctors and lawyers and such after the war. One of the messengers was Grace's friend Ralph Lazo. Ralph Lazo was the non-Japanese American young man who checked himself into Manzanar to be with his friends. When Ralph was drafted into the army he went back to camp after his military physical instead of returning to his home. He wanted to say goodbye to his friends. He left a box of chocolates on Grace's desk. A rare treat for those incarcerated in Manzanar. In this painting Grace is an inspiring, bright, sharp 90 plus year old woman.

(2015)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - I AM AN AMERICAN
I AM AN AMERICAN
Internment

From a sign hung in front of an Oakland CA. store Dec. 8th 1941 the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

"This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land....This Land Was Made For You And Me"
-Woody Guthrie

(2015)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - Jim Itami, 102 years Old
Jim Itami, 102 years Old
Internment

In 1942 newly weds James and Hattie Itami were interned at Minidoka Relocation Camp where they were informed that the bride and groom would have to share a barracks with James’s parents. It wasn't long before word came that expectant mothers and their husbands could have a barracks all to themselves. Hattie stuffed a pillow under her blouse and together the two of them went to the camp administration office where the resourceful couple was given a barracks of their own

(2015)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - In Spite Of Everything Else
In Spite Of Everything Else
Internment

In support of the war effort an internee works in Manzanar's Camouflage Net Factory, 1942

(2015)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - Uncaged Songbird
Uncaged Songbird
Internment

In 1942 June Kikoshima and her family were forced to leave their Seattle home to be interned at Camp Harmony at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. They were allowed to bring only two suitcases and June chose to bring her violin instead of a second suitcase. Although denied of her liberties June's music was a freedom to her. A passion that would stay with her the remainder of her life. While at Camp Harmony June met Edward Daizo "Dyke" Itami. She was a shy musician and he was a popular all-sports athlete from Seattle. Once the internees were transferred to the camp in Minidoka, Idaho, June and Dyke were separated as she was allowed to work as a nanny in Chicago while Dyke was given a work-release to work for local farmers. Dyke proposed to June via mail and she came back to Idaho where they were married on December 18, 1943. Despite the anti-Japanese sentiment, there were people whose kindness helped them get established in their new home of Nampa Idaho. June continued her violin studies and started teaching violin lessons to children . In 1967, she was introduced to the Suzuki violin instruction method and began teaching students 3-6 years old. In 1972, at age 55, she founded and directed the Idaho Suzuki Institute which hosted annual music camps in Nampa. At age 80, she applied to go to an Itzhak Perlman workshop at Julliard in NYC and was shocked and delighted when she was selected as a participant. Through the years June's music and her teaching garnered her many awards and rcognition. She was influential to a great many people.

During her internment, and throughout the remainder of her life music was more than a passion, it was her never failing friend.

(2015)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - The All American Boy  Part 2
The All American Boy Part 2
Internment

As part of of the Japanese American Internment project that my wife Jan, and I have undertaken we are covering her family's forced evacuation and incarceration and its effect. This piece shows one of my favorite people, Dyke Itami a celebrated local athlete and scholar from Seattle. During the forced evacuation much was taken from he and his family with absolutely no due process yet he emerged positive and successful. As a loyal US citizen of Japanese ancestry he faced enormous racial struggles upon his release from the camp. With good humor, hard work and his positive attitude he overcame those challenges. He prospered and remained a patriotic American until the end of his days thus serving as an inspiration to a great many people

(2015)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - The Deafening Whisper
The Deafening Whisper
Internment

One of the many aspects I have witnessed from the children of those Japanese Americans who were interned, has been a lack of knowledge concerning their heritage and of the ordeal that their parents and/or family members endured. In a great many instances it simply was never spoken of. I have heard and read various accounts ranging from hopeful reactions seeking the positive to those that were understandably bitter and unforgiving. I painted this piece with that silence in mind. My brother in law, Rick Itami gave me this view on his father's perspective which says so much about the positive and resilient character of a remarkable man and a life well lived, " Dad once said that war turns everyone bad. I think this was his way of rationalizing what happened to him and Mom during relocation. And in a way, this may have allowed him to forgive the United States for the relocation episode. -They saw no value in screaming out at the world in anger.

The painting below is not of Dyke Itami but rather a symbolism. This is not meant to spark anything pro or con about forgiveness vs. unforgiveness nor does it laud silence over being vocal.

(2015)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - An Innocent Gesture
An Innocent Gesture
Internment

As an infant, Jan Doi and her parents were transferred to the Tule Lake Segregation Center in northeastern California. Jan's father Jim Doi was now labeled a "No No Boy" as a consequence of his negative answers given on questions 27 and 28 of the loyalty questionnaire and was thus deemed a "disloyal". Jan was cute and endearing as she toddled around the camp. Her fellow internees found her hard to resist and would react by giving her candies and treats. This happened so frequently that her concerned mother, Amy Doi hung a sign on her that read, "Please Do Not Feed Me."

In1944 the Dois were released from Tule Lake and the family relocated in Spokane WA. Jan was now a precocious four year old whose entire world had been defined by the barbed wire borders of the Tule Lake Relocation Camp. Having seen only those of Japanese ancestry and the Caucasian camp guards, Jan was completely unaware of the many people in a now much larger world. While on a public bus in Spokane Jan met an African American man for the first time. To the horror of her mother she told the man, "Washy Face" translation, "You should wash your face!" The very kind man smiled and told her," Honey, this doesn't wash off." In a further act of kindness he gave the little girl a quarter.

(2016)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - Harsh Realities 442nd RCT
Harsh Realities 442nd RCT
Internment
(2016)
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - Soldiers of The 442nd
Soldiers of The 442nd
Internment
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - Nisei Soldier
Nisei Soldier
Internment
Chris Hopkins - Oil Painter - Internment - The Long Goodbye
The Long Goodbye
Internment

This scene is so often repeated in times of conflict. In this case a soldier of the 442nd Regimental Combat Teams says farewell to a loved one shortly before being deployed overseas.

(2014)