Defiant Vision: Prints & Poetry by Munio Makuuchi

August 23–December 8, 2019

Featuring more than 50 prints and examples of his poetry, this museum exhibition is the first to focus on the work of Munio Makuuchi (born Howard Takahashi, 1934-2000) and serves as a reclamation of the artist’s visual and literary contributions.

The son of a Japanese-born father and American-born mother, Makuuchi and his family were confined in an incarceration camp for Japanese Americans from 1942 to 1945.  The Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho was one of ten facilities designed to contain over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the west coast during World War II. This pivotal experience was a catalyst for Makuuchi’s art as well as his rootless existence.

During his tumultuous life, Makuuchi was consistently shaped by challenges, yet the more obstacles he faced, the more defiantly he pursued his vision. Makuuchi’s mature period of work began in the early 1970s and reached a crescendo after his return in 1983 from teaching at the University of Ife, Nigeria. His early life trauma and family history set the stage and provided fuel for the productive work that was to follow.

The fully-illustrated catalogue accompanying the exhibition will be the first published scholarship on this largely unrecognized American artist, placing him within his social, historical, artistic, and literary context.

This project is supported by grants from the US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program; Wyeth Foundation for American Art; Tryon Associates; The Maxine Weil Kunstadter, class of 1924, Fund; the Edith Stenhouse Bingham, class of 1955, Art Museum Fund and the SCMA Publications and Research Fund.

The views and conclusions contained in this website are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government. 

This material received Federal financial assistance for the preservation and interpretation of U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally funded assisted projects. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information,

please write to:

Office of Equal Opportunity National Park Service
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Washington, DC 20005


Munio Makuuchi. (American, 1934–2000). Hardedge drawings ala Dad via +, ca. 1986–89. Drypoint, scraping, and burnishing on warm white Arches paper. Smith College Museum of Art. Purchased with the Elizabeth Halsey Dock, class of 1933, Fund.