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Hiroshi Honda




Many thanks to Greg Chase (January 2006) for sending me the pictures and text for this page.
All photos are Greg's unless otherwise noted.




1956 Hiroshi Honda Painting



 
Detail A

Hiroshi Honda
Japanese American Hawaiian Artist
Watercolor, 1956

Rarely does his work ever appear. Hiroshi Honda was an American Citizen that was put in one of the United States WWII Concentration Camps. This is a fact that the United States Government really doesn't want any of us to remember. They don't teach this to us in grammar school. In 1942, 110,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast of the United States were relocated to ten internment camps. It took another forty years for the US government to recognize the violations of this population and culture's constitutional rights. Hiroshi Honda was one

of a very few artists who captured daily life in these camps in his paintings. Most of his paintings from the Internment Camps hang in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. Recently, the Honolulu Academy of the Arts prepared an Exhibit on Honda's paintings. The Exhibit was called Reflections of Internment: The Art of Hawaii's Hiroshi Honda. The exhibit showed how these aesthetically and historically important paintings recorded the despair, isolation, and boredom of daily camp life. And how his work also serves to remind us that we must constantly and consistently safeguard the rights of our citizens in order to assure freedom and equal justice for all.

 
Detail B


Detail C

Ever since I purchased this painting I have been afraid to list it for sale. I having been buying and selling art for over 10 years. The values of most artists paintings are based on past auction results and the art markets interest in that subject. But, paintings from this artist have not come up and the historical importance of this painting is huge. So, I have been scared to sell it because I am afraid that I am going to undervalue the piece and sell it cheap to only find out later it was worth a fortune. This is a fabulous painting depicting life in a Japanese Immigrants Village somewhere in California in the 1950's. There are three people fishing at a small pond below a small village.


There are seven small homes or shacks. Asian America Immigrants where not allowed to buy Land in California because of Legislation called the California Alien Land Law that was passed in 1913. Asian Immigrants where only allow to lease land in 3 year terms. So the Japanese Immigrants lived in small villages such as what it this painting is showing us. It was not until 1948 in the Legal Case Oyama v. California, the Supreme Court struck down the Alien Land Laws as violations of the Fourteenth Amendment. This painting is dated 1956. The paintings in the Smithsonian by Hiroshi Honda reflect the life of the Japanese Americans from 1942-1945. This painting


Detail D


Detail E


Detail F

reflects another day in the life of that culture shortly after their Internment. This painting should be in the Smithsonian in that collection to add to that timeline of earlier paintings. This painting expresses the life of the Japanese Immigrants more than a decade after their release from the Interment Camps. White Caucasian Americans had a very good quality of life after World War II. Jobs were plentiful. They supplied enough income for almost all to afford to buy a home and live the American dream. This painting shows the meek life the Japanese Immigrants were living 11 years after WWII. The painting gives off a somber feeling. The day looks overcast and the trees have lost their leaves. The feeling it gives me reaches out to those people who lived in those shacks. The artist certainly knew how to express more that just the scenery. You actually feel something when you know the history of these people and then look at this painting. The painting talks to you. That is why I think this is such a historically important painting.

 

Gregory Chase, January 2006


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Thanks to Susan Lipman for sharing this Hiroshi Honda tapestry.
Hello Ray,

Thank you for posting the Cave Horses on your website. I don't know if I ever told you how I came about this piece of art? A few years ago I was in our local Good Will Store and as I unrolled this canvas there were the horses. I just fell in love with this piece and the price was right. The store clerk told me she almost threw this out in the garbage. I thanked her for not doing that. I picked it up thinking my daughter, in college at the time, might like it to hang in her apartment that had a huge bare wall; but, needless to say, I kept it and she hasn't seen it until just recently.

Thanks again,
Susan Lipman


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Hiroshi Honda Paintings: Courtesy of a Private Collection

hiroshi honda
"Man and a Woman"
by Hiroshi Honda

hiroshi honda
"Dragonflies"
by Hiroshi Honda

hiroshi honda
"Central Park"
by Hiroshi Honda

hiroshi honda
"Dragonflies and the Frog"
by Hiroshi Honda

hiroshi honda
by Hiroshi Honda

hiroshi honda

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Hiroshi Honda Painting: Courtesy of Robert Gilpin
Ray,

I appreciate any help you can offer towards getting this piece into a proper 'home' where it can be appreciated by many for years to come.
We acquired this painting around ten years ago from my wife's family (if you look closely, you can see they were smokers - I can only imagine how beautiful it will look after a professional cleaning).

I was familiar with Hiroshi Honda's most famous works; images of the WW2 internment camps, but when I saw this nature scene, I was amazed.
Attached please find pictures of our painting, hopefully someone will love it as much as we now do.

Robert
2015.
hiroshi honda
Bokkotsu on Silk by Hiroshi Honda
hiroshi honda

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This page was last updated on 18 June 2015