In the Shadow of My Country: A Japanese American Artist Remembers
[link to this page]

One Japanese American family's memories of living behind barbed wire during World War II are captured in this bilingual multimedia website. The acclaimed artist Roger Shimomura, who was held at Minidoka, Idaho, as a three year old, found inspiration in his grandmother's journals for the series An American Diary. A virtual exhibition, In the Shadow of My Country displays these sharply ironic paintings tempered by the grandmother's patient, hopeful words. Complementing the central images are the poignant series Memories of Childhood (depicting Shimomura's earliest memories of Minidoka), photos of daily life in the detention camps, an interview with the artist, and quotations of Japanese Americans incarcerated as children. This array of images and voices recalls the harsh conditions, improvised diversions, and years lost in America's prison camps for innocent civilians.

Enter In the Shadow of My Country...

For Teachers

Teacher resources and lessons accompany In the Shadow of My Country. Visit the For Teachers page to learn more about the companion curriculum and to download the free printable Teacher Resource Guide. Go...

Special thanks to artist Roger Shimomura for partnering with Densho and sharing his important work. For more information about Roger, visit

United States-Japan Foundation

The website In the Shadow of My Country: A Japanese American Artist Remembers and associated educational materials and workshops were made possible by a generous grant from the United States - Japan Foundation. The Foundation is committed to promoting stronger ties between Americans and Japanese by supporting projects that foster mutual knowledge and education, deepen understanding, create effective channels of communication, and address common concerns in an increasingly interdependent world.

Washington State Arts Commission National Endowment for the Arts

This project is funded, in part, by grants from the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brian Hamasaki provided additional support.

Copyright ©1997-2015 Densho. All Rights Reserved.