Dana Kawaoka: Inspired By the Film

Artist's Statement

As a Yonsei (Fourth-generation Japanese American), I am because of those who came before me generationally -- as well as informers of my social and political consciousness -- of which "Self Portrait (Legacy)" is a visual reflection.

"Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied" is a reminder to all of us that there are still members of the Japanese American community who are struggling for a resolution. 2,264 Latin Americans of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed from their homes in Latin America by the U.S. government during World War II and imprisoned in Department of Justice detention camps. Here they were exchanged for U.S. hostages held by Japan. Many members of the Japanese Latin American community have still not received redress or an apology from the government for the atrocities they suffered. Pictured in my montage is Art Shibayama. His lawsuit on behalf of former Japanese Peruvian internees seeks redress equity for their civil and human rights violations; including, full disclosure of the facts, an apology matching the US crimes against humanity, compensation and funds for public educational programming against the government. The case will be heard in the US Court of Federal Claims July, 2001. Let us remain vigilant, as justice delayed is justice denied.

Similarly, as Mr. Korematsu's story illustrates, our Constitution is only as just as those who uphold it. "America's Most Wanted" explores the idea of what happens when the human vulnerabilities of fear, prejudice, ignorance and racism affect the perception one has about 'other' people."

Montage by Dana Kawaoka
(Historical images courtesy of the National Japanese American Historical

Montage by Dana Kawaoka
(Image of Art Shibayama courtesy of Grace Shimizu.)

Montage by Dana Kawaoka
(Image of Fred Korematsu courtesy of POV. Image of Wen Ho Lee courtesy of

Artist Biography

Dana Kawaoka is a Yonsei, born and raised, in the San Francisco Bay area. She is an activist artist who received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Visual Art and American Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1998. She is one of the co-founders of the NOSEI Network and currently resides in San Mateo, California.