b'of belonging. His below-average performance on such unfairly weighted tests undoubtedly underscored his sense of difference, which simultaneously goaded him toward achievement on an un-level playing field and worked against his chances for success. 26Makuuchi remembered that his time at Concordia was very structured, and that at the time he believed that an education was a ticket to be accepted in this country. His Autobio/graphics also relates several painful racially motivated incidents at the hands of his schoolmates. 27Howard entered Valparaiso University in Indiana in 1953, enrolling mostly in natural and social science courses (possibly preparing to follow his uncle into the medical profession). He had his first formal art classes there, beginning with Freehand Drawing in the spring of 1954. This first foray was followed by a summer course in Research Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and two oil painting classes during the next academic year. His final year at Valparaiso, after he declared a major in psychiatric social work, did not include any art-making courses. t ra n s fo r m at i o nIt is difficult to reconcile the clean-cut Lutheran altar boy named Howard Takahashi who expressed a desire to enter the ministry, with the bohemian and nomadic artist and poet Munio Makuuchi. However, an event that may have sparked that transition occurred in 1956, when Howard was drafted by the United States Army. Although he was due to enter his final year at Valparaiso that fall, it is likely that he performed poorly on the standardized test adminis-tered to all enrollees in the Selective Service program, which was used to determine whether military service might be deferred to continue their educa-tion. 28In 1957, during his Army service as a chaplains aide at Fort Lewis near FIGURE \x04 Howard Takahashi at his confirmation, April 10, 1949 Tacoma, Washington, Howard was in a jeep accident. While details of the accident are anecdotal rather than documented (a fire in 1972 destroyed many army records), it appears that he suffered a head injury, which is confirmed by his escalating conflict between him and his father, so escape from the family homeeventual receipt of 30 percent disability from the Veterans Benefits Administration. was undoubtedly appealing. He was the only student of color at Concordia andIn an interview in 2012, Harriet Takahashi, the artists sister, recalled this was slightly older than his peers, having turned fifteen that September.incident as sparking a distinct change in her brothers character. 29Some of the personality traits often used to describe Makuuchi during his adult yearsDespite these differences, yearbook pictures show a smiling Howard, referredimpulsive, combative, mercurial, irresponsible, and manicare consistent with to as Taki, taking part particularly in athletics, at which he excelled. However,those of people suffering from traumatic brain injury. It is dangerous to attempt he struggled academically. In addition to poor grades, his Concordia transcriptto explain creativity as the result of physical or mental illness, and even shows that he ranked in the 35th percentile on the California Test of Personality.more so to diagnose someone in absentia. However, the path that Howard chose This standardized test, developed in the 1940s, was designed to measure in- after his army service was a fairly dramatic break from his previous trajectory, tangible qualities such as self-reliance, a sense of personal worth, or a feelingso the effects of this accident cannot be discounted. 22 23'