Japanese Carved Cane
A California man hopes the Japanese characters on this hand-carved cane will unlock the mysteries of his family’s past.
The cane belonged to his grandparents who were sent to an Arizona relocation camp after Pearl Harbor. He can’t read the words carved into the cane, and his grandparents have passed away.
He asks History Detectives to uncover the story behind this cane.
An interpreter translates the Japanese words. A curator of art from Japanese internment camps places this cane into the tradition of “gaman” – the art of living with the unbearable.
The investigation unravels a surprising clue about the cane’s original owner.
Hirasaki National Resource Center at The Japanese American National Museum LA
369 East First Street
Los Angeles, CA
Gila River Camp
- Related Investigation Internment Artwork What is the story behind these watercolor paintings of a prison camp?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Manhattan Project Patent Was this drawing part of America's secret plans to fuel the atomic bomb?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Airstream Caravan Was this mobile home part of a modern-day wagon train halfway across the world?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Stalag 17 Portrait What happened to the artist of this portrait made in a German POW camp?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Natchez House How did a free man of color come to own this house twelve years before emancipation?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi John Brown Letters How is this woman in Sacramento related to John Brown, the 19th-century abolitionist?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.