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Object Record

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Catalog Number 2005.103
Description Flowers in a blue basket shell pin, c. 1942-1945. This pin is made of tiny white shells shaped like small flowers with a variety of colors (white, yellow and purple). The tiny white shells are glued to some wood that is round in shape, and painted in blue throughout with columns of white lines underneath the tiny white shells. At the top of the blue painted round wooden pin, there is some string painted in blue and that is looped around the left and right of the pin. There is a silver metal safety pin that is mounted at the back of the wooden pin.
Object Name Brooch
Collection 3D - Clothing
Title Flowers in a blue basket shell pin, c. 1942-1945
Date c. 1942-1945
Creator Kawakita, Tomo
Role Jeweler
Inscription Text none
Provenance Made by Yoneo's mother, Tomo in Topaz Internment Camp.
Notes "Tomo Kawakita was born in the Central Division of Japan in 1887 to Japanese-born parents. At the time of internment, Tomo was married, had completed four years of elementary school in Japan, and had spent a total of 15-20 years in Japan before immigrating to the United States in 1905. Her primary occupation was categorized under "Skilled Dressmakers and Seamstresses" and was one of two jobs she held. She resided in San Mateo County, California prior to being forcibly relocated at about the age of 55, after having lived in the United States for about 37 years. Tomo and her family were interned at Topaz Relocation Center in Delta, Utah after being assembled at Tanforan Assembly Center in San Bruno, California." []

"In practicing the art of "gaman" (a Japanese word that means to endure the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity) , the arts and crafts they created became essential both for simple creature comforts and emotional survival. Internees turned all sorts of found objects into an array of paintings and watercolors, ornamental displays, pendants and pins, purses, tools, musical instruments, toys and games, teapots and furniture. Their artistic expressions included fashioning furniture from scrap lumber, weaving baskets from unraveled twine and making floral arrangements from shells dug up from ancient seabeds." []
Dimensions H-3.5 W-1.5 D-0.125 inches
Search Terms Japanese
Japanese Americans
Japanese Internment
Jewelry - Brooch
Kawakita, Tomo
World War II
World War II - Japanese
World War Two
Subjects Japanese internment
Jewelry making
World War II
People Kawakita, Tomo