Seizo Murata


Name Seizo Murata
Born October 24 1904
Died April 24 1960
Birth Location Japan
Generational Identifier

Issei

Seizo Murata (1904-1960) was an Issei dentist who also painted scenes of his World War II incarceration experience. He was born in Southern Honshu on October 24, 1904, and immigrated to San Francisco, California, in 1919. He graduated from the University of California at San Francisco in the 1930s with a degree in dentistry, and soon after established a thriving practice in Japantown.

When the United States entered World War II, Murata and his wife, Chisato Murata (who was born in Hawai'i), were sent first to the Tanforan Assembly Center and later to Topaz, Utah. On his 1942 War Relocation Authority record form, Murata checked the category for "artists, sculptors and teachers of art" as a potential occupation. A painting of Murata's ("Untitled (Issei Man)", 1944 Oil on board) was exhibited in the 1992 exhibition, "The View from Within: Japanese American Art from the Internment Camps, 1942-1945" and to date, is his only known extant work.

Following the war, he returned to San Francisco, where he re-established his dentistry business. He died on April 24, 1960, in San Francisco, California.

Authored by Patricia Wakida

For More Information

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.