Image / A young mother

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A young mother
Hibi, Hisako
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Contributing Institution
Japanese American National Museum
Hibi (Hisako) Collection
Rights Information
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Unframed stretched canvas. Image of a woman walking towards barracks with sunflowers. There is a small area where a mountain can be seen between barracks. The colors are brown, white and green.
The everday living conditions of Topaz concentration camp were difficult considering the poor facilities made available to internees. The hospital and medical staff also were known to have administrative problems, as well as a lack of supplies. There were many young mothers in camp and for those who gave birth at Tanforan assembly center or Topaz there was the added stress of the situation. Internees did not know what their future held so that the happiness of a birth was often mixed with great anxiety. For young mothers the responsibilty of taking care of an infant was especially burdensome, given the cramped quarters and lack of amenities. Hisako Hibi portrays a woman and her baby, making their way alone through the camp grounds. The water tower stands in the distance as she walks between a cluster of barracks. The sunflowers planted to brighten the drab atmosphere of the desert can be seen along the side of one barrack. Hibi was especially sympathetic to the young women with babies. She herself had two children, ages ten and five at the start of the war. While not saddled with trying to take care of an infant under the conditions of camp, Hibi was attuned to the issues of the women and mothers at Topaz.
Painting oil on canvas
Concentration Camps, Topaz | barracks | mountain | sunflowers

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