Roger Shimomura and his family were some of the 120,000 people—primarily American citizens of Japanese descent—who were interned during World War II. His grandmother, Toku Shimomura, kept a diary for fifty six years, from just before her her marriage, through the interment period, and continuing through her life. Many of the artist’s works are based on his grandmother’s diaries. The subject of this painting is taken from her diary entry of 1912:
We arrived at the Shimomura’s at 10:30 a.m. His mother was surprised by our early arrival. As they invited me to the back of the house I already felt like a member of my husband to be’s family. My heart lept as I stood in front of his photograph.