Japanese American National Museum > Sugimoto (Henry) Collection > Going to America

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Going to America
Sugimoto, Henry
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Contributing Institution
Japanese American National Museum
Sugimoto (Henry) Collection
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Signed in medium, bottom left corner: H. Sugimoto; poem written in Japanese on upper right of painting, translated: A man with ambition leaves his village; / Unless he accomplishes his mission, / He will not return. / The place where he buries his ashes / Does not have to be his homeland. / For man, there are green mountains everywhere. / (Gessho Shaku). Written on back: "Going to America"/32 x 25 1/2
Stretched and framed. A young man leaves Japan for the United States. Focal point is a young man dressed in knee-length dark yukata with white design, blue obi and yellow geta standing with right arm raised and hands clenched. He gazes off to the right of viewer. Labeled "Beikoku yuki" (Going to America) in the upper left corner, a white bundle tied with rope sits at his feet. In the lower left, a man in a grey yukata and geta raises his hand in farewell while a woman in brown covers her face with a white cloth. In the upper left background Wakayama Castle resides at the top of a green hill with a river, Ki no Kawa, at its base. Midground right, a large bridge stands as a large wave passes under it, a figure is visible in water. Above it, four lines of a Japanese poem on reddish background.
Some sixty years after leaving Japan, Sugimoto completed a series of paintings meant to document and interpret the history of Japanese immigrants in the United States. This work, though it was created long after Sugimoto arrived in the United States, was no doubt inspired by his own experience, and portrays a young man leaving Japan for America.
Painting oil on canvas New York, N.Y.
Emigration and immigration
United States
New York, N.Y.