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Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II (Documentary Arts and Culture, Published in ... for Documentary Studies at Duke University) Hardcover – August 13, 2012
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These portraits provide a stark reminder that the families of Heart Mountain were prisoners of war.--NPR Online
The photographs give a haunting account of what life was like for Japanese descents.--Daily Mail Online
A rare insider's view of daily life in [Japanese-American internment] camps.--Durham Herald Sun
This is a testament to the incredible power of photography. Even one frame can change the tide of public opinion because photography has the power to add layers to our understanding of how events transpired and how people were affected.--Washington Post
This volume is at once a wonderful and rare addition . . . to the existing images of the Nikkei experience while incarcerated during World War II.--Nichi Bei Weekly
Sheds new light on life in Wyoming's Heart Mountain internment camp. . . . Disarming. . . . [Manbo's] images show movement and smiles caught in a moment. The people do not perform because of his camera but in spite of it.--Casper Star-Tribune
These images offer readers glimpses of the internment that are in vivid color and, unlike government- sanctioned photos, candid and earnest. . . .Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.--Choice
The strength of this title is the photography: Manbo documents a people who rose above persecution and injustice to carry on traditions and form a community in a barren landscape. Anyone interested in documentary photography and American social and cultural history will appreciate this book. Highly recommended.--Library Journal starred review
Poignant images of pickup baseball, judo matches, parades, and other daily life in a Wyoming internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.--Military History Quarterly
Injustice, in Kodachrome.--The New York Times
Muller recognized this power of color photography to revive the past and has created a book that presents the internee experience through a modern lens. Just as Manbo's slides were miraculously preserved (in a box in his son's garage), Muller's compilation will help preserve our collective memory of the internment experience.--Hyphen: Asian America Unabridged
Showcas[es] 65 color images from [Bill Manbo's] rare collection. . . . Each of the essays helps the reader look at the photographs from a different perspective.--Carolina Law
The narratives and scholarly essays combine with the photos to forge a powerful statement. As humans we see the world in color, so the Kodachrome images convey the circumstances, as we would experience them if we were there. This level of reality is something that existing black and white camp photos cannot duplicate.--American Studies Journal
The collection of pictures [Manbo] took there. . . represent a singular view of internment, all executed in color.--Los Angeles Times
[A] provocative and noteworthy collection. . . . [with] unquestionable cultural and historical significance.--Publishers Weekly
Eric Muller's Colors of Confinement skillfully presents a multifaceted montage, integrating the insights of an historian, an expert on photography, and a former prisoner of Heart Mountain. The contributors demonstrate that Kodachrome images of Japanese American incarceration can offer a deeper understanding of the WRA camps, even as they raise troubling questions about memory, representation, and meaning.--Lane Ryo Hirabayashi, University of California, Los Angeles
The color photographs of Bill Manbo are at once beautiful, poignant, and stinging with irony. Young girls in vibrantly colorful kimonos dancing in front of black tarpaper barracks, a teenager in full Boy Scout uniform lifting the stars and stripes up high in a U.S. concentration camp--these are pictures of resilience and fortitude from a dark chapter of American history.--George Takei
Top Customer Reviews
This is a collection of vivid full-color Kodachrome images taken by a young Japanese-American man who was interned at the Heart Mountain, Wyoming, camp during World War II. He captured everyday life in the camp, and its environs, and these color images bring it to life amazingly. I've read many books and seen many images - photographic and drawn/painted - by internees, as well as accounts by anthropologists in some of the camps, but these are real eye-openers.
As those who lived and experienced the events of the Second World War are leaving us, it is especially important to preserve and present to new audiences the documents of those experiences. This book is an outstanding contribution to that effort.
Perhaps the most poignant scene is Daniel Inouye's first-hand account of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This, of course, leads to a discussion of the Japanese-American internment camps.
Detractors would say that this book sugar coats the experiences of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans who were placed in these relocation centers for much of the war. Granted, the photos do little to show the hardship and isolation of life in the camps. Even living conditions--cramped quarters, communal latrines--are not the intent of this book.
What it does show is the spirit and determination of the incarcerated to provide a sense of normalcy to their daily lives. With more than 70 photos--all but a handful in color and most of them full-page--Bill Manbo's images are a testament to the ability to retain humanity under inhumane conditions. Manbo and his family were sent to the camp at Heart Mountain in Wyoming in 1942 where these photos were taken.
Sure, there are pictures of guard towers (p. 45), the starkness of the barracks and the landscape (p. 26), and a moving image of the photographer's son clutching a barbed-wire fence at the edge of the camp.
However, most of the scenes are much more cheerful: dancers in traditional attire, parades, ice skating, residents wrestling in the sumo ring, family outings...and lots of family photos.Read more ›
I was thrilled to first hear about this book on social media, then, when a librarian friend informed me it had arrived at the library, I immediately checked it out. After picking it up yesterday and seeing the beautiful, poignant photographs and beginning to read the essays, I have ordered the book to keep a copy for myself and my children.
Colors of Confinement is one of the most revealing portraits of life in camp that I have seen to date, the closest representation of "gaman."
Also facinating, is the fact (little known) that Kodachrome was invented in 1936, and made possible the preservation of the images in the book.
This publication is a must-read for any Nesei, or familty member of a Nesei.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This shows internment camps in color, which is such a rare sight. It can show you a world that seems more real to us, instead of the distance black and white images can create.Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
Beautiful pictures, made very clear the endurance of a people.Published 21 months ago by Ernestine Melton
Although I am a fan of black and white photography, this book of color photos is very striking.
The backstory and the family upon which the majority of the photos are based (a... Read more
A beautiful book showing the strength and dignity of the Japanese Americans
Striking images that stay in your minds eye
I am 81 years old and was one of the "internees" in a Concentration Camp in Granada Colorado for almost 4 years. Read morePublished on July 23, 2013 by Robert K. Nagamoto
My father (Minnedoka, ID) read the Colors of Confinement in 2 days. The description of "camp" was how he remembered it. Read morePublished on April 16, 2013 by fussy
Not only is this book full of information on the Japanese internments during WWII, but the photos are beautiful and very moving.Published on February 26, 2013 by Marjean M. Hull