Prof. Chiura Obata's pupils number in the thousands for he
has been teaching since 1903 and has never ceased even during the time of
his internment in a War Relocation Center during [World War II]. Four days
after his internment he started an art class. Pupils from six to 70 years
[of age] attended and at one time they numbered 650. During those war years
too, he continued his large output of paintings.
Obata first came to this country after extensive art training in Japan, he
became known as a designer and decorator and decorated the Oriental rooms
for Gumps that became world famous, the Emporium, City of Paris and the
Jewel Room for the G. T. Mars Co. and one in Hotel Ambassador. The artist
made five large murals for the Toyo Kisen Kaisha Steamship Co. and for the
Iwata Dry Goods Co.
Obata was illustrator and cover page designer for the magazine
"Japan," published for the Toyo Kisen Kaisha Steamship Co., during
which time he turned out about 3000 illustrations and numerous cover
His paintings have also
appeared on covers of the California Monthly, alumni magazine.
the years Obata has continued to paint furiously. His work has been in many
exhibits, and he has held numerous one-man shows and won many prizes and
honors. Before coming to the United States he was one of Japan's leading
The family home has been
here at 2430 Oregon St. for many years. Mrs. Obata has won fame in her own
right as an expert in the art of Japanese flower arrangement and as a
teacher of that art. They have one daughter, Mrs. Lillian Kodani of
[Berkeley]; two sons, Kinio George and Gyo Frederick Obata, both of St.
Louis, MO. The latter has a daughter, Prof. Obata's only grandchild.
_____. "Noted Japanese Has Long Career
in Art, Education Fields."
Berkeley Daily Gazette. (21 May 1953), p. 10.
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