Art: The Road to Xanadu

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to a Caucasian woman who rose in indignation and plunked herself down next to an unwashed, unshaven, but indubitably Occidental bum. Yet there was little bitterness among the Japanese-Americans. "A word that I heard over and over again whenever there would be an incident or a slight was shikataganai, which means 'it can't be helped.' " The Silent Fan. In 1926, when Yamasaki was a sophomore at Garfield High, his mother's brother, Koken Ito, came to stay at the Yamasaki home. Ito had earned an architectural degree at the University of California at Berkeley, and when he began working on some drawings in his room, he found himself with an avid fan. Ito, who now lives and practices his profession in Tokyo, still remembers the silent boy solemnly watching as the drawing progressed. Yamasaki remembers too. "The more my uncle talked about architecture, the more I wanted to become an architect." To save up money for schooling, Yamasaki spent five wretched summers working in Alaskan fish canneries. The pay was $50 a month; the work week was 66 hours; the pay for an hour's overtime was 25¢. "And there was plenty of over time," Yamasaki recalls. "During busy periods, we would work from 4 in the morning until midnight." Meals consisted of salmon and rice for lunch and rice and salmon for dinner; but the $200 earned each summer helped get Yamasaki through five years of studying architecture at the University of Washington. Because of anti-Japanese discrimination (he had seen a local utility company by pass the top man in an engineering class because he was Japanese, pick three lower-ranking men who were all Caucasian), Yamasaki decided to leave Seattle. In September of 1934, he arrived in Manhattan with $40 to his name. Remembering Pearl Harbor. A depression, he quickly learned, is no time to be an architect. In office after office, he found that the boss was just "sitting around reading the newspapers." So Yamasaki spent that first year in Manhattan wrapping china for an import firm. It was not until 1937 that he got into serious architecture, first with the firm of Githens & Keally, which was planning the main building of the Brooklyn Public Library, and next with Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, who had designed the Empire State Building. In 1941, he fell in love with a pretty Nisei girl, Teruko Hirashiki, who had come from Los Angeles to study piano at the Juilliard School of Music; two months later, they were married. The date was Dec. 5, two days before Pearl Harbor. Yamasaki himself was not fired from his job during the resulting anti-Japanese outburst, even though Shreve, Lamb & Harmon were working on a number of military bases. "You are one of our best men," said Richmond Shreve, "and I'm going to back you all the way." But in Seattle that Dec. 8, Yamasaki's father got the sack from the firm that had employed him for more than 30 years. Then

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