Jishiro Miyauchi


Name Jishiro Miyauchi
Born August 21 1888
Died July 8 1984
Birth Location Japan
Generational Identifier

Issei

Jishiro Miyauchi (1888-1984) was an Issei painter and occasional performer who produced a number of landscape paintings while incarcerated at the American concentration camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming, during World War II. Miyauchi was born on August 21, 1888, in Japan and immigrated to Vancouver, BC, in 1907, where he found work with the railroad in a variety of jobs, from mine worker to dishwasher. As his passion was to become an artist and musician, he eventually moved to Chicago and enrolled at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, and eventually left Illinois to perform in vaudeville, singing Italian arias and novelty songs. He and his wife, Kama, were residing in the Los Angeles area when World War II broke out, and were consequently sent to the Santa Anita Assembly Center, and then to the permanent camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.

In Heart Mountain, he joined other artists who shared studio space and often worked together such as Hideo Date, Jack Yamasaki, and Gompers Saijo. He focused on his painting, mixing his own paint colors with coal dust, rice paste, and natural pigments he found in and around the camp. After the war, he continued painting as a hobby.

He died on July 8, 1984 in Los Angeles, California.

Authored by Patricia Wakida

For More Information

Higa, Karin. The View from Within: Japanese American Art from the Internment Camps, 1942-1945. Los Angeles: Japanese American National Museum, UCLA Wight Art Gallery, and UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1992.