Flower pin

This corsage was made by June Shimizu, who was incarcerated with her sister, Tsuneyo Shimizu, at the Tule Lake and Topaz concentration camps. Both June and Tsuneyo took up the hobby of arts and crafts to occupy the large amounts of spare time that they had during their imprisonment. They, along with many other Japanese Americans who were incarcerated, took up a form of arts and crafts to express their discontent and feelings during imprisonment. The sisters started making beautiful corsages from whatever they could find. The dried up lake beds that many camps were built around provided a copious amount of shells. June and Tsuneyo would go scavenge the lake beds for materials. This corsage is made from those seashells, along with other common materials that they were able to find such as cardboard, ribbons, wire, string, and paper. These homemade corsages were able to capture the beauty and serenity that the artists were feeling, all the while using old, basic materials. The seashells are reminiscent of pearls, and shows how the Japanese American prisoners were able to persevere and find beauty in the little things.
date made
place made
United States: California, Tule Lake
Physical Description
glued/ pasted (back; front connector/connecting technique)
fabric (part: ribbon material)
tortoise shell (part: flowers material)
wire; paper; synthetic fibers (back material)
velvet; paper (part: leaves material)
overall: 5.5 cm x 3.8 cm x 1.4 cm; 2 5/32 in x 1 1/2 in x 9/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Dale Cawley
World War II
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Japanese American
Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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