Taneyuki Dan Harada was born in Little Tokyo in 1923, but at age of seven, he move to Japan with his mother following the death of his father. In 1938, when Harada was fourteen, the family returned to the U.S. when his mother remarried and settled in Oakland, California.
In 1942, he and his family were incarcerated at the Tanforan Assembly Center, where he began painting at the Tanforran art school founded by Issei artists Chiura Obata and George Matsusaburo Hibi, along with other Nisei artists such as Mine Okubo and Frank Taira.
In January 2017, Cultural News editor Shige Higashi accidentally finds Harada’s “Barracks, Tulu Lake, 1945” oil painting at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Harada’s work is displayed at the American Art gallery (#306) on the third level of the Americas Building in the campus of the LACMA.
The caption to the work is read as following:
Taneyuki (Dan) Harada
United States, b. 1923
Barracks, Tule Lake, 1945
Oil on canvas
Purchased with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Crawford Jr.
While he was interned during World War II, Taneyuki (Dan) Harada learned to paint by attending art classes and copying illustrations from books.
Tule Lake, in northernmost California, was the site of the country’s most populous Japanese American concentration camp. Although confinement imagery often conveys a somber mood, the busy brushwork and lively green hues of this painting lend a hopeful note to the isolation of the solitary figure, whose hunched-over poster seems to express a sense of resignation.
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