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Japanese American Relocation Archives

Views and Voices from Within
The Art and Writing of Estelle Ishigo, Heart Mountain Relocation Center, 1942-1945

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Creator: Martha Berner

Grade Level Recommendation: 4 and 5

Unit Overview: Artist Estelle Ishigo, the European American wife of a Japanese American, was among the American citizens forced out of California during World War II. Ishigo and her husband, Arthur, were first sent to Pomona Assembly Center and later to Heart Mountain Relocation Center, in a remote area of Wyoming. There, Estelle Ishigo continued her work as a painter. This unit focuses on Ishigo's artwork, which provides a rare inside look at life in these camps. Students use primary sources to learn how internees lived and made a home under incredibly constrained circumstances.

This lesson plan was originally created at the UCLA Institute on Primary Resources.

Primary source materials used in this lesson plan include:

Estelle Ishigo. Pencil drawing. Boarding the truck to leave Heart Mountain. May 10, 1942. Estelle Ishigo. Pencil sketch. Heart Mountain, Wyoming 
Estelle Ishigo. Pencil drawing. The Last of Heart Mountain. November 9, 1945.
1. Estelle Ishigo. Boarding the Truck to Leave Heart Mountain, May 10, 1942
2. Estelle Ishigo. Heart Mountain, Wyoming, c. 1942-45
3. Estelle Ishigo. The Last of Heart Mountain, November 9, 1945
Exclusion Order for San Jose Japanese Internment.1942 Estelle Ishigo. Oil painting. Lone Heart Mountain. September 1942. Estelle Ishigo watercolor 'A Baseball Game,' ca. 1942-45
4. Exclusion Order for San Jose Japanese Internment, 1942
5. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain September 1942
6. Estelle Ishigo. A Baseball Game, c. 1942-45
Estelle Ishigo. Oil painting. Gathering Coal at Heart Mountain Relocation Camp. 1945. Estelle Ishigo. Watercolor. Camp Life. ca. 1942-45 Gangs formed
7. Estelle Ishigo. Gathering Coal at Heart Mountain Relocation Camp. 1945
8. Estelle Ishigo. Camp Life, c. 1942-45
9. Estelle Ishigo. Gangs formed, c. 1942-45
Estelle Ishigo. Watercolor. Boys with Kite. September 1944. Estelle Ishigo Mounted watercolor 'Cal Seafood Fish Cannery Trailer Camp for Evacuees.' Estelle Ishigo. Watercolor painting. At home at Heart Mountain. December 1942
10. Estelle Ishigo.Boys with Kite, September 1944.
11. Estelle Ishigo.Cal Seafood Fish Cannery November 1948
12. Estelle Ishigo. At Home at Heart Mountain , December 1942
Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 5 Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 5 Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 5
13. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 5
14. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 12
15. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 13
Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 5 Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 5 no photograph
16. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 22
17. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 39