Kakunen Tsuruoka, 1892-1977
kingfisher in flight
ink and color on paper, the entire background painted pale grey; signed at lower left in kanji, Kakunen, with square artist's seal Kakunen, and oval Tsuruoka family seal on verso, n.d., ca. 1920-30s
7 1/8 by 21 1/8 in., 18.2 by 53.5 cm
The care with which Kakunen depicted a notably variety of birds suggests that he had an unusual appreciation for ornithology as well as a near-scientific eye for detail. During his time at Poston, Kakunen supervised all art-related activities including arranging classes such as woodworking which was particularly popular among the male residents. Poston was the first camp to start producing delicately painted wood carvings of birds (usually adapted as pins), an art form which quickly spread to other camps. Issues of National Geographic magazine with images of birds became hot commodities as source materials. It seems likely that Kakunen's love of bird and flower subjects and his skill at producing highly detailed paintings of birds was a source of inspiration and guidance for his fellow-evacuees at Poston.
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.
site last updated
October 21, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
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