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‘I Am an American’ Opens at Muzeo Aug. 25

Jimmy Iwashita standing with a group of children outside the Recreation Hall in Block 36 at the Colorado River (Poston) camp, ca. 1944. (Image loaned by Ikuko and John Iwashita)

ANAHEIM — “I Am an American: Japanese Incarceration in a Time of Fear” will be on view from Aug. 25 to Nov. 3 at Muzeo, 241 S. Anaheim Blvd. in Anaheim.

Ruth Ikeda posing for a photograph with Poston camp barracks in background, ca. 1943. (Image loaned by Jackie Matsuda Counts)

A partnership with the Anaheim Public Library and Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center, “I Am an American” presents the story of an amazing testament of courage and determination of its Japanese American pioneers and their descendants before and after World War II.

Anaheim High School was the center of North Orange County education for this community where they established businesses and a church prior to the war. Anaheim was attractive for these families to return and rebuild with the city becoming a center for local Japanese American commerce and religion in Orange County.

This 5,000-square-foot exhibit will feature personal testimonials, artifacts and memorabilia as well as give a first-hand look at the Poston, Ariz. incarceration camp experience, which affected and devastated those in Anaheim and Orange County from 1942 to 1945.

This project was funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

Motojiro and Kofuji Shigekawa in front of Poston camp barracks, ca. 1943. (Image loaned by Chieko Shigekawa Inouye)

Also at Muzeo, the art of Soho Nakano will have its final showing on Sunday, Aug. 11, in the Carnegie Building. Don’t miss this amazing black-and-white artist, using just a single seiboku ink creating an illusion of color in her paintings through a vivid array of shades.

The washi paper, hand-crafted by traditional artisans in Fukui Prefecture, is utilized to its full potential with beautiful ink bleeds and nuanced tones. Nakano paints her works in one sitting, with no prior sketching.

Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Monday and Tuesday. Tickets: $10 general, $8 for students, seniors and military, $7 for children (4-12).

The Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center engages the community in exploring and celebrating our diverse heritage, culture and arts through creative programming. As a nonprofit dedicated to bringing diverse, creative and innovative exhibitions and programs to Orange County, Muzeo thrives on community involvement and support.

For more information, call (714) 765-6450, email or visit

Gerald Shigekawa at 9 weeks old, lying on blanket with Poston camp barracks in background, October 20, 1942. (Image loaned by Marlene Shigekawa)

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