[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]. Fusako Imoto, photog.
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]
[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]

[Personal photo album chronicling life at the Poston Internment Camp.]

Poston Internment Camp, Yuma County, Arizona, [1942–1945]. Oblong 4to photo album (11” x 14”), cord binding, with approx. 208 photographs mounted, as well as 33 collaged elements on a page of drawings; 20 loose prints. Also present is Fusako’s invitation to the Graduation Social, held in “Rooms 15 and 16,” likely of the camp.

The personal album of Fusako Imoto featuring over 260 photographs chronicling life at the Poston (Camp II) Relocation Center, Arizona, and including photos of other Japanese-American internees at other relocation camps.

When approximately 120,000 Japanese-Americans were forcibly relocated at the onset of WWII, it was common for families and communities to be split up among different internment centers. This album chronicles the experiences of a young woman in the Poston II camp in Arizona, the largest of the ten concentration camps operated by the War Relocation Authority. Many of these images were sent by friends and families interned in different camps, including the other portion of Poston, and their exchange and compilation speak to the power of the photograph as a means of comfort and connection in times of devastating upheaval.

This album chronicles the experiences of Fusako Imoto—known to her friends as “Fuzzy” and later “Darlene”—in the years of her internment, with some photographs evidently taken earlier, and some possibly in the months following release. A majority of the photographs were sent or given to Imoto by other internees at Poston, the Jerome Relocation Center in eastern Arizona, and presumably other Internment camps. Many of these are annotated “To Fuzzy, or “Dearest Fusako”, etc., in the upper left comer, similar in presentation to other Japanese-American albums compiled during internment that we have seen. The first few pages of the album show Fusako’s immediate and extended family including siblings Charlie, Kenji, Yoshiko, Yoshan “Kay,” Aki, and various aunts and uncles. Presumably these images were made by Fusako herself Following are photographs of the “School Office Staff’ at Poston High (where Fusako was placed on the Election Committee in 1945); a page with small-format photographs offarming scenes, presumed to be pre-internmment; among numerous other photographs, many inscribed to Fusako and signed, of Nisei friends and classmates, posed coolly for the camera. A single page towards the rear of the album including six photographs is entitled “Muragishi family,” The Muragishis were also interned at Poston II.

One compelling element of the album is the numerous photographs of Japanese-American soldiers, including Fusako’s brothers, Akira “Aki” Imoto, who was drafted in 1940, and Sam Shigeru Imoto (drafted upon his return to Lindsay, C.A. in 1946). There is a poignant irony to the shots of these men posed proudly in their uniforms, juxtaposed with images of their relatives still deprived of freedom, which highlights the complicated meaning of patriotism for Japanese-Americans during this time. Incidentally, Sam Imoto would later go on to become a celebrated Judo instructor, a skill he learned while in Poston and perfected in the service. Each time he was transferred, he recalled in an interview, he was attacked by xenophobic American soldiers who doubted his loyalty. Taken as a whole, this is a moving record of a young woman coming of age during a dark chapter in U.S. history, and a testament to the degree to which families and communities were able to endure despite geographic and social isolation.

CONDITION: Good overall, some images with edge-wear and loose corners. Nine photos missing.

Item #5966

Price: $8,500.00

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