b'Even as the 1945 atomic decimation of Japanese cities figures as a common theme for Makuuchi and Mirikitani, and each artist lost extended family members in Hiroshima, they nonetheless approach their tribulations from different standpoints. Makuuchis retrospective view of the internment directly interfaces with the [use of the] Bomb. 12By closely associating the rising plume of an atomic explosion with a symmetrical grid in Fractrealization of Oppenheimer(fig. 49, p. 123), the artist deploys a simple yet distinctive expressive device to visually link these two events that indelibly conjoin America and Japan. The grids tessellated, diamond-shaped pattern derives from the stylized depiction of Minidoka seen previously in Shelter as far as the eyes could See (fig. 47, p. 119). In that print, a comparable latticework configuration denotes the steel chain-link fencing that surrounded the artist in the internment camp. Indeed, the close symbolic connection of this motif with the internment is further echoed in the artists poems that bear titles like Diamonds in the Sun and Diamonds Are Forever. 13Although also embittered at being interned, Mirikitanis core wartime focus extended to Japan. His sense of tragic adversity was both personal and collective, equally mourning the deaths of family members in Hiroshima, and the near-FIGURERoger Shimomura. Diary: December 12, 1941, 1980. Acrylic on canvas, instantaneous demolition of the city where the artist was raised, until his return 50x 60 inches. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. Gift of the artist. to the United States as an eighteen-year-old in 1938. In an untitled mixed-The corresponding diary entry reads: Dec. 12, 1941: I spent all day at home. Starting media drawing (ca. 19902000) with inscribed, handwritten text in Japanese from today we were allowed to withdraw $100 from the bank. This was for our sustenance of life, we who are enemy to them. I deeply felt Americas largeheartedness in dealing with us. and English (fig. 52), Mirikitani depicts a domed skeletal structure aflame in the engulfing radioactive atomic inferno of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The surviving ruins of this now-iconic building, located at a site near the epicenter of the atomic blast, were subsequently preserved and refurbished to form part of For Shimomura, the extensive diaries kept by his Japanese-born grandmotherthe Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, dedicated to the memory of the first city to (Toku Machida Shimomura) before and during her internment at Minidoka providesuffer a catastrophic nuclear attack and to the hope for lasting peace. Denoting the touchstone for several long-running series of paintings and prints. 10Incorpo- the human victims of the bombing, tiny pictographic figures, some fearfully racing rating stylistic influences from Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints and Pop Art,with arms flung skyward and others mutely supine, cluster at the buildings these colorful images depict emblematic scenes of cross-cultural encountersbase to evoke the unforeseeable extent of the human suffering. The upper left between Japanese and Americans. When these pieces are exhibited, Shimomuraquadrant of the composition contains the collaged white-robed figure of Kannon customarily cites corresponding diary entries imprinted on a wall labels along- (Guanyin in Chinese), an emblematical female Buddhist deity associated with side each image. 11For instance, in Diary: December 12, 1941 (fig. 51) the poignantcompassion, bestowing her healing power upon the suffering population. The entry, written days after Japans surprise attack on the US Pacific naval baseaccompanying English text denotes the artists immediate connection to the vio-at Pearl Harbor, provides the catalyst for the artists portrayal of a geisha set inlent event, stating that among the 250,000 Hiroshima inhabitants who perished, a traditional Japanese house. Alluding to his grandmothers lifelong practiceMr. Mirikitanis mothers family was also wiped out in this attack. The Japanese of keeping a diary, the woman is seated at a writing table. Imminent misfortunetext repeats this grim message and further draws upon the names of two artists is signaled by the looming shadowy presence of Superman as the ever-vigilantassociated with early twentieth-century Nihonga (traditional Japanese-style champion of America, ominously poised behind a shoji screen, seemingly aboutpaintings) to perhaps signify that Mirikitani identified his approach with this to burst into her home.artistic lineage. 14132 133'