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    "url_title": "Yajiro Okamoto",
    "title_sort": "okamotoyajiro",
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    "modified": "2022-07-27T14:35:12",
    "title": "Yajiro Okamoto",
    "body": "<div class=\"mw-parser-output\">\n <div id=\"databox-PeopleDisplay\">\n  <table class=\"infobox\" width=\"200px;\">\n   <tbody>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Name\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Yajiro Okamoto\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Born\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      May 13 1891\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Died\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      August 27 1963\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Birth Location\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Hiroshima, Japan\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Generational Identifier\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      <p>\n       <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Issei/\" title=\"Issei\">\n        Issei\n       </a>\n      </p>\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n   </tbody>\n  </table>\n </div>\n <div id=\"databox-People\" style=\"display:none;\">\n  <p>\n   FirstName:Yajiro;\nLastName:Okamoto;\nDisplayName:Yajiro Okamoto;\nBirthDate:1891-05-13;\nDeathDate:1963-08-27;\nBirthLocation:Hiroshima, Japan;\nGender:Male;\nEthnicity:JA;\nGenerationIdentifier:Issei;\nNationality:;\nExternalResourceLink:;\nPrimaryGeography:San Francisco;\nReligion:;\n  </p>\n </div>\n <p>\n  Yajiro Okamoto was a self-taught\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Issei/\" title=\"Issei\">\n   Issei\n  </a>\n  artist, whose primary medium was oil painting.\n </p>\n <p>\n  He was born on May 13, 1891, in Hiroshima, Japan, and immigrated to Hawai'i in 1917. Soon after arriving, he joined the U.S. Army and served in World War I and remained active in Japanese American veteran groups such as San Francisco's Northern Veterans, the Tanforan and Topaz Legionnaires, and the Townsend Harris Post 438 of the American Legion before and after WWII, to address issues such as advocating for citizenship for veterans of Japanese ancestry.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">\n    [1]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n  Although it isn't known if Okamoto became a U.S. citizen, it is possible that he attained citizenship rights through the Nye-Lea law, which granted naturalization rights to \"Oriental\" aliens who had served in the U.S. armed forces in World War I. On March 22, 1924, he married Kuni Sumishige (who was four years older) in Honolulu, Hawai'i. Soon after, they moved to San Francisco and by 1930 he and his wife were living in Chinatown. He made a living as a barber, and had a barbershop in the Sunset district for many years.\n </p>\n <p>\n  During this period, Okamoto developed an interest in art, and began painting with some instruction from fellow Issei artist,\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/George_Matsusaburo_Hibi/\" title=\"George Matsusaburo Hibi\">\n   Matsusaburi George Hibi\n  </a>\n  .\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref2_2-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref2-2\">\n    [2]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n  Okamoto painted landscapes, still lifes, and figure studies, and exhibited several times with the San Francisco Art Association. In 1935, the Los Angeles Japanese newspaper,\n  <i>\n   Kashu Mainichi\n  </i>\n  reviewed Okamoto's work that appeared in the San Francisco Art Association exhibit that inaugurated the San Francisco Museum of Art, War Memorial Building, stating, \"A still life by Yajiro Okamoto, local barber-artist, won high commendation from the jury of selection for his sincerity and uncolored artists efforts.\"\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref3_3-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref3-3\">\n    [3]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n  He also exhibited at the Second Annual California Figure Painters show held at the Foundation of Western Art in Los Angeles in 1935.\n </p>\n <p>\n  His landscapes, floral still lifes and figurative art earned him space in the San Francisco Art Association show at the San Francisco Museum of Art for three years in a row, from 1935 to 1937. In a 1935\n  <i>\n   Oakland Tribune\n  </i>\n  review of the San Francisco Art Association's 55th exhibition that included 414 works of art, Okamoto's \"Bridge\" was listed among the best, along with works by Maynard Dixon and Gottardo Piazzoni. The reviewer singled out this painting with these comments: \"'Bridge,' in full detail, with houses in back; a railroad bridge with tracks and knots in the ties, or nearly so, yet it is a good work of art.\"\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref4_4-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref4-4\">\n    [4]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n </p>\n <p>\n  Also in 1935, Okamoto's painting \"Up the Hill\" was described in an art review in the\n  <i>\n   Oakland Tribune\n  </i>\n  as \"a view of a winding concrete road up a hill, with houses and a concrete retaining wall; a bit of Americans, touched with the Japanese\" and was included in an exhibition that included French impressionist paintings, California artists, and students of California School of Fine Arts at the San Francisco Museum of Art.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref5_5-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref5-5\">\n    [5]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n </p>\n <p>\n  During World War II, Okamoto and his wife were incarcerated first at the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Tanforan_(detention_facility)/\" title=\"Tanforan (detention facility)\">\n   Tanforan Assembly Center\n  </a>\n  (where he was active with the Tanforan Art School and the Center's Legionnaire Group) and then moved to the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Topaz/\" title=\"Topaz\">\n   Topaz\n  </a>\n  camp in Utah, where he painted with the Topaz Art School and was part of the Topaz Barbers' Association.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref6_6-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref6-6\">\n    [6]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n  In 1945, he and his wife returned to San Francisco, where Okamoto resumed his business as a barber. He remained in San Francisco until his death on August 27, 1963, and was survived by his wife, Kuni, who died in San Francisco in 1988.\n </p>\n <p>\n  One of his paintings was included in a traveling exhibition curated by the Topaz Museum entitled \"Topaz: Artists in Internment, Their Visual Work and Words,\" that included work by\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Chiura_Obata/\" title=\"Chiura Obata\">\n   Chiura Obata\n  </a>\n  , Setsu Nagata Kanehara,\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Charles_Erabu_Mikami/\" title=\"Charles Erabu Mikami\">\n   Charles Erabu Mikami\n  </a>\n  ,\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Min%C3%A9_Okubo/\" title=\"Miné Okubo\">\n   Miné Okubo\n  </a>\n  , Thomas Ryosaku Matsuoka, Kenji Utsumi and Kaneo Kido, with poetry by sansei writer\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Lawson_Fusao_Inada/\" title=\"Lawson Fusao Inada\">\n   Lawson Fusao Inada\n  </a>\n  .\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref7_7-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref7-7\">\n    [7]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n  The exhibit was mounted at numerous venues, including the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City, the San Francisco Public Library, and the San Leandro History Museum and Art Gallery.\n </p>\n <div id=\"authorByline\">\n  <b>\n   Authored by\n   <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Patricia_Wakida/\" title=\"Patricia Wakida\">\n    Patricia Wakida\n   </a>\n  </b>\n </div>\n <div id=\"citationAuthor\" style=\"display:none;\">\n  Wakida, Patricia\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"For_More_Information\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"For_More_Information\">\n    For More Information\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    Brown, Michael D.\n    <i>\n     Views from Asian California, 1920-1965\n    </i>\n    . Michael D. Brown, 1992.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Chang, Gordon H., Mark Dean Johnson, and Paul J. Karlstrom, editors.\n    <i>\n     Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970.\n    </i>\n    Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2008.\n   </p>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"Footnotes\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Footnotes\">\n    Footnotes\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <div class=\"reflist\" style=\"list-style-type: decimal;\">\n    <div class=\"mw-references-wrap\">\n     <ol class=\"references\">\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        \"Northern Veterans Organize Own Group,\"\n        <i>\n         Rafu Shimpo\n        </i>\n        , Jan. 7, 1936; \"Flag Ceremony Held,\"\n        <i>\n         Topaz Times\n        </i>\n        , Oct. 28, 1942; \"May Reactivate San Francisco Legion Post,\"\n        <i>\n         Pacific Citizen\n        </i>\n        , Mar. 1, 1947.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref2-2\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref2_2-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Yajiro Okamoto biography, Spencer Helfen Fine Arts website, accessed May 16, 2022 at\n        <a class=\"external free offsite\" href=\"https://helfenfinearts.com/yajiro-okamoto/\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n         https://helfenfinearts.com/yajiro-okamoto/\n        </a>\n        .\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref3-3\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref3_3-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        \"17 Paintings by Nippon Artist in Exhibition,\"\n        <i>\n         Kashu Mainichi\n        </i>\n        , Jan. 27, 1935.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref4-4\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref4_4-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        \"French, Californian and Other Art Shown; S.F. School Exhibits,\"\n        <i>\n         Oakland Tribune\n        </i>\n        , July 21, 1935.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref5-5\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref5_5-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        \"Radical Works Few in Number At S.F. Association Annual,\"\n        <i>\n         Oakland Tribune\n        </i>\n        , Jan. 27, 1935, S-7.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref6-6\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref6_6-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        \"Barber Shop,\"\n        <i>\n         Topaz Times\n        </i>\n        , Oct. 10, 1942.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref7-7\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref7_7-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        \"Art from Topaz internment camp at Rio Gallery,\"\n        <i>\n         The Salt Lake Tribune\n        </i>\n        , Jan. 3, 2012, accessed May 17, 2022 at\n        <a class=\"external free offsite\" href=\"https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&amp;rls=en&amp;q=yajiro+okamoto+utah&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;oe=UTF-8\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n         https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&amp;rls=en&amp;q=yajiro+okamoto+utah&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;oe=UTF-8\n        </a>\n        .\n       </span>\n      </li>\n     </ol>\n    </div>\n   </div>\n   <!-- \nNewPP limit report\nCached time: 20220727143512\nCache expiry: 86400\nDynamic content: false\nComplications: []\nCPU time usage: 0.015 seconds\nReal time usage: 0.019 seconds\nPreprocessor visited node count: 231/1000000\nPost‐expand include size: 2063/2097152 bytes\nTemplate argument size: 257/2097152 bytes\nHighest expansion depth: 6/40\nExpensive parser function count: 0/100\nUnstrip recursion depth: 0/20\nUnstrip post‐expand size: 3035/5000000 bytes\nExtLoops count: 0\n-->\n   <!--\nTransclusion expansion time report (%,ms,calls,template)\n100.00%   13.149      1 -total\n 24.73%    3.252      1 Template:Reflist\n 18.73%    2.463      1 Template:Databox-People\n 10.77%    1.416      1 Template:AuthorByline\n 10.69%    1.405      1 Template:Published\n-->\n   <!-- Saved in parser cache with key encycmw:pcache:idhash:2402-0!canonical and timestamp 20220727143512 and revision id 34685\n -->\n  </div>\n </div>\n</div>\n<div class=\"toplink\">\n <a href=\"#top\">\n  <i class=\"icon-chevron-up\">\n  </i>\n  Top\n </a>\n</div>",
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