Blue Jay Bird Pin

Blue Jay Bird Pin

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
This finished blue jay is one of the more beautiful birds Sadao Oka carved. It's a great example of the photo realism that he was able to accomplish. This carving is also a great example of how he used a reference to carve. He used one of the Audubon identification cards as a base, and there is even another blue jay carving (accession number 2016.0117.009) that is in the same exact position. Even the details of the feathers are in the same pattern. The precision and accuracy of Mr. Oka's carvings are remarkable. The birds legs are made out of extra wire from the mesh that covered barrack windows, but to make the wire look like bird legs, Mr. Oka would wrap a thin thread (accession number 2016.0117.099) that matched the color of the leg. There were so many small details that Mr. Oka was able to master in his spare time during his incarceration.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
wire (overall material)
metal (overall material)
blue (overall color)
brown (overall color)
white (overall color)
black (overall color)
overall: 2 in x 1 1/2 in x 1/2 in; 5.08 cm x 3.81 cm x 1.27 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Jane Oka
See more items in
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Japanese American
Executive Order 9066
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object