Glorious Struggle - Chiura Obata

Since I came to the United States in 1903, I saw, faced, and heard many struggles among our Japanese Issei. The sudden burst of Pearl Harbor, was as if the mother earth on which we stood was swept by the terrific force of a big wave of resentment by the American people. Our dignity and our hopes were crushed. In such times I heard the gentle but strong whisper of the Sequoia gigantea: "Hear me, you poor man. I've stood here more than three thousand years in rain, snow, storm, and even mountain fire still keeping my thankful attitude strongly with nature-do not cry, do not spend your time and energy worrying. You have children following. Keep up your unity; come with me." So, in the past, all such troubles moved like a cool fog. In deep respect I present my painting to our Nisei and the future generation.


as found in Kimi Kodani Hill, editor, Chiura Obata's Topaz Moon: Art of the Internment, (Berkeley, California: Heyday Books, 2000), p 111, courtesy of the Obata Family.