Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lone Heart Mountain

For those of you teaching sections on Japanese internment during World War II, in conjunction with Farewell to Manzanar or Snow Falling on Cedars, Calisphere offers lesson plans that include a wealth of original sources and artwork:

Artist Estelle Ishigo, the European American wife of a Japanese American, was among the American citizens forced out of California during World War II. Ishigo and her husband, Arthur, were first sent to Pomona Assembly Center and later to Heart Mountain Relocation Center, in a remote area of Wyoming. There, Estelle Ishigo continued her work as a painter. Students reflect on Ishigo's personal letters, artwork, and official documents to relate the themes of tolerance and prejudice to the era, understand that media plays a part in propaganda, and learn how artists convey thoughts and emotions through art.

Ishigo's artwork is beautiful, and her insightful diaries are proof of the spirit's strength over adversity.

The internet provides easy access to in-depth research into original sources from library and museum collections from all over the world. Calisphere bills itself as "the University of California's free public gateway to a world of primary sources. More than 150,000 digitized items — including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts."

It's a wonderful source; check it out.

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