This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book offers the first book-length study of Yasuo Kuniyoshi's wartime work, both pictorial and textual, in relation to their prewar, wartime, and postwar sociopolitical contexts. The book differs in its delimited approach to re-examining Kuniyoshi's artistic production through a prism of race and nationalism. This investigative approach is based on a conceptual framework that considers émigré artists as agents of active contribution to, and criticism and redefinition of, a heterogeneous American identity. The book both historicizes and advances the discussion and understanding of identity construction and the crucial roles art plays in U.S. cultural and sociopolitical history.
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