Examine this drawing by Miné Okubo.

  • What event is being depicted in this image and what evidence do you see that communicates this?
  • What is the mood of this drawing?

This is a depiction of the funeral service for 63-year-old James Wakasa, an inmate at Topaz War Relocation Center. On April 11, 1943, Mr. Wakasa, an Issei, was fatally shot by a guard while walking his dog on the inside of the fence at the Topaz War Relocation Center. According to the guard, Mr. Wakasa was walking too close to the edge of the camp’s barbed-wire fence and, despite verbal warnings, he didn’t move away or turn around. People who knew Mr. Wakasa said he was hard of hearing and most likely didn’t respond to the guard because he didn’t hear him, not because he was disobedient. The guard, Private First Class Gerald Philpott, was found not guilty in a court-martial trial.