Thomas Yamamoto

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Thomas Yamamoto (August 20, 1917 December 19, 2004 [1] ) was an American artist.

Born in Japantown, San Francisco to two Issei , a tailor and a midwife from adjoining villages in Oita and Fukuoka Prefectures in Kyushu, Japan. Both of Yamamoto's parents were of Bushi heritage. Yamamoto was an Eagle Scout in troop 12 and attended Lowell High School, graduating in 1935. After starting in aeronautical engineering, Yamamoto switched to art at UC Berkeley graduating with a Masters of Art in 1941. This was before the advent of the Masters of Fine Art. His instructors included John Haley and Erle Loran, who worked with Hans Hofmann. To some degree they influenced his future work. He was Phi Beta Kappa.

Japantown, San Francisco Neighborhood in San Francisco, California, United States

Japantown is a neighborhood in the Western Addition district of San Francisco, California.

Issei Japanese people who were first to immigrate

Issei(一世, "first generation") is a Japanese-language term used by ethnic Japanese in countries in North America and South America to specify the Japanese people who were the first generation to immigrate there. Issei are born in Japan; their children born in the new country are Nisei ; and their grandchildren are Sansei.

Ōita Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Ōita Prefecture is a prefecture on Kyushu region of Japan. The prefectural capital is the city of Ōita.

In the 1930s, Yamamoto was active in the art scene of the San Francisco Bay area until being incarcerated in May 1942. He was interned first at the Assembly Center in San Francisco, and was later moved to the Topaz War Relocation Center in Utah. [2] While there, he contributed work to the camp magazine, Trek, along with Miné Okubo. He was released early due to the sponsorship of Takashi Ohta, an artist who housed him in his West Village home in New York City. While in New York City, Yamamoto and other Japanese American artists formed the anti-fascist group Japanese Americans for Democracy.

Topaz War Relocation Center United States historic place

The Topaz War Relocation Center, also known as the Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) and briefly as the Abraham Relocation Center, was an American concentration camp camp which housed Americans of Japanese descent and immigrants who had come to the United States from Japan, called Nikkei. President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, ordering people of Japanese ancestry to be incarcerated in what were euphemistically called, "relocation centers" like Topaz during World War II. Most of the people incarcerated at Topaz came from the Tanforan Assembly Center and previously lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. The camp was opened in September 1942 and closed in October 1945.

Miné Okubo American artist and writer

Miné Okubo was an American artist and writer. She is best known for her book Citizen 13660, a collection of 189 drawings and accompanying text chronicling her experiences in Japanese American internment camps during World War II.

West Village neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City

The West Village is a neighborhood in the western section of the larger Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City.

In 1946, Yamamoto returned to Berkeley, where he met Jane Emily Pitkin, daughter of nationally recognized educator Royce S. Pitkin who brought Goddard College to prominence as an innovative school in alternative education. Because of California's anti-miscegenation laws, Yamamoto and Pitkin were married in New York City. They then traveled extensively, living at times in different countries, and Yamamoto continually practiced his art. From 1960 to 1971 they lived in Marshfield, Vermont where they raised three children. While in Marshfield, Thomas taught art at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont.

Royce S. Pitkin American educator

Royce Stanley “Tim” Pitkin was an American educator. He was President of Goddard College from 1938–1969.

Goddard College American liberal arts college

Goddard College is a private low-residency college with three locations in the United States: Plainfield, Vermont; Port Townsend, Washington; and Seattle, Washington. The college offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. With predecessor institutions dating to 1863, Goddard College was founded in 1938 as an experimental and non-traditional educational institution based on the ideas of John Dewey: that experience and education are intricately linked.

Anti-miscegenation laws or miscegenation laws are laws that enforce racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships by criminalizing interracial marriage and sometimes also sex between members of different races. Anti-miscegenation laws were first introduced in North America from the late seventeenth century onwards by several of the Thirteen Colonies, and subsequently by many US states and US territories and remained in force in many US states until 1967.

After Vermont, they lived in Alicante, Spain, Tutuila, American Samoa, and then 24 years in Honolulu, Hawaii before returning to central Vermont shortly before Yamamoto's death in 2004.

Tutuila largest island in American Samoa

Tutuila is the largest and the main island of American Samoa in the archipelago of Samoan Islands. It is the third largest island in the Samoan Islands chain of the Central Pacific located roughly 4,000 kilometers (2,500 mi) north-east of Brisbane, Australia and over 1,200 kilometers (750 mi) northeast of Fiji. It contains a large, natural harbor, Pago Pago Harbor, where Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa is situated. Pago Pago International Airport is also located on Tutuila island. Its land expanse is about 68% of the total land area of American Samoa and with 56,000 people accounts for 95% of its population. The island has six terrestrial and three marine ecosystems.

Vermont U.S. state in the United States

Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders the U.S. states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Vermont is the second-smallest by population and the sixth-smallest by area of the 50 U.S. states. The state capital is Montpelier, the least populous state capital in the United States. The most populous city, Burlington, is the least populous city to be the most populous city in a state. As of 2019, Vermont was the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States. In crime statistics, it was ranked since 2016 as the safest state in the country.

In 1976, in honor of the American Bicentennial, the town of Marshfield commissioned Yamamoto to do a series of paintings of historical Marshfield. These paintings are still (in 2010) on view in the Jaquith Public Library in the Old Schoolhouse Commons in Marshfield, Vermont.

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References

  1. "Thomas Yamamoto - Artist, Fine Art Prices, Auction Records for Thomas Yamamoto". www.askart.com. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  2. "Japanese American Internee Data File: Thomas Yamamoto". National Archives and Records Administration . Retrieved 2019-08-17.Cite web requires |website= (help)