Kakunen Tsuruoka


Name Kakunen Tsuruoka
Born March 10 1892
Died March 10 1977
Birth Location Japan
Generational Identifier

Issei

Printmaker, painter and antique dealer Tokutaro (Kakunen) Tsuruoka (1892-1977) immigrated to San Francisco as a teenager in the late 1910s. He was well-known for his Japanese-style paintings and intricate woodblock prints, and supported himself as a dealer of Asian antiques. In the mid-1930s, when interest in Japanese woodblock prints was extremely popular, Kakunen designed four woodblock prints (three of them depicted California landscapes and one of a parrot) and had them printed and published in Japan.

During World War II, Tsuruoka was incarcerated by the United States government at the Poston, Arizona camp, where he painted haunting images of the surrounding desert landscape and flora. He was also made craft objects of inlaid wood and set up craft exhibitions to display the work in camp.[1]

After the war, he and his family moved to New York City where he resumed his career in the antiques business, opening Daruma Art Framing Store and Gallery.

He died in 1979 in New York.

Authored by Patricia Wakida

For More Information

Gesensway, Deborah, and Mindy Rosenman, eds. Beyond Words: Images from America's Concentration Camps. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1987.

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.

Footnotes

  1. 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), 99.