Upside Down Jar

September 13, 2014 by Admin

By Lorraine Sonoda

Is this jar from Tule Lake, my birth place?

Chenille flowers with smallest seashells.

Mom, newlywed when forcibly removed, imprisoned in camp.

Mom gone now, I see her collecting shells from the dry lake bed.

Working the chenille to design the petals; attaching leaves;

making shell butterflies and flower buds

that she carefully arranges and anchors in the lid.

Bleaching, keeping the unbroken shells–

in this broken place where her spirit prevails.


In the aftermath of World War II, more than 110,000 persons of Japanese ancestry – roughly two-thirds of whom were American citizens – were released from forced imprisonment in U.S. concentration camps. But released to return where, after being taken from their homes along the West Coast? When they were finally allowed to leave the internment camps, they faced a new challenge: How do you resume a life so interrupted.
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