George T. Tamura
Tamura was born in Sacramento, California. In 1942, soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941), Tamura and his family were interned in the Japanese American internment camp, Tule Lake War Relocation Center in Northern California. Tamura was fifteen. While imprisoned in the camp, Tamura painted watercolor landscapes featuring the internment camp as his subject matter. Tamura painted these images on the back of shredded internment notices.
At the end of World War II, in 1945, the Tamura family was released. Tamura attended the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and showed in numerous one-man shows in that area. He has been employed as an art director for southern and northern California companies.
Tamura continued to practice his art throughout his life. Later in life, he also worked as a public relations and advertisement executive.
In 1995, Tamura wrote an autobiography entitled Reflections, which recounted his experiences in the internment camp. In 2004, Mr. Tamura was featured on the PBS television program History Detectives. A young Taiwanese and Japanese American man, Kenji Liu, was working in the archives of the National Japanese American Historical Society, unknowingly found a box that contained Mr. Tamura's paintings. With the History Detectives' help, he discovered that the paintings were indeed those of George T. Tamura.
In 1990, the United States government compensated Tamura for his time at the internment camp. Accompanying the compensation was a letter of apology.