b'B eg i n n i n g s The artist who became known as Munio Makuuchi was born in Seattle, Washington, on September 9, 1934, and given the name Howard Munio Takahashi. His parents, Yutaka (John) Takahashi and Sumie (Mary) Makuuchi Takahashi, operated two family grocery stores, the OT and Eagle Groceries on Yesler Way in the neighbor-hood known as Nihonmachi (Japantown) in Seattle (fig. 2). Mary was Nisei, American-born second-generation, and John was Issei, first-generation, having arrived in Seattle in 1916. Howards sister, Harriet Soeko, was born in 1937 (fig. 3). Like many Japanese American families working in the produce business in Seattle, the Takahashi family was relatively prosperous, although there were many limitations placed on their livelihood. While there is no documentation that shows whether they owned the businesses they operated, Mary was listed as the proprietor. 3Because John and both sets of parents were born in Japan, they were ineligible for US citizenship and legally barred from owning property. 4The familys circumstances changed abruptly on December 7, 1941, with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war between Japan and the United FIGURE \x0cEagle Grocery Importers, 1309 Yesler Way, Seattle, Washington, ca. 1940 States. All persons of Japanese heritage, including American-born citizens, were ordered to report for relocation outside designated exclusion zones on the West Coast, which included portions of Washington, Oregon, and California. provides a context for details of the iconoclastic life he lived, and the pattern ofAs a result, 108 Civilian Exclusion Orders were posted for specific areas, in-defiant behavior that limited the recognition of his artistic accomplishments.structing the head of each household to report to a central office to register their There can be a danger in applying biographical interpretations to art. However, it is impossible to understand Makuuchis work without knowing the circumstances of his life. These circumstances affected his choice of content as well as the choices that shaped him as a person. Further, he was deeply impacted by two significant traumatic experiences: the incarceration of his family during World War II and an accident suffered during his time in the army in the late 1950s. Makuuchi himself recognized the significance of his biography, which he ac-knowledged by penning a chapter entitled Autobio/graphics in his unpublished manuscript From Lake Minidoka to Lake Mendota and Back to the Northwest Sea (1993), which included poetry and images of his prints. 2These challenges shaped him: the more obstacles he faced, the more doggedly he pursued his vision, often going to great lengths to do so despite stops, starts, and roadblocks. Makuuchis mature period of work dates to the early 1970s, when he began studying painting at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and reached a crescendo after his return from seven years teaching in Nigeria. What came before provided fuel for the productive work that was to follow. FIGURE \x0b Howard and Harriet Takahashi, ca. 193812 13'