The appreciation the Japanese have for nature and the notion of the present as but a fleeting moment are expressed in ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging that Nakashima teaches in Chicago and will be demonstrating this weekend at the Botanic Garden. "We appreciate nature for its beauty, then we cut branches and flowers and make them beautiful and then in two or three days they are gone," says Nakashima.
Endo came late to her knowledge of Japanese culture. She was born in the United States, where her family's history mirrored that of many other Japanese immigrants. "My father came to California at the turn of the century because land was scarce in Japan," she says. "The Japanese came here to find a better life and everybody farmed."
"They told us it was for our own protection in case the Japanese invaded the United States," says Ted Uchimoto, president of the Japanese American Association of Chicago, which now promotes Japanese culture but was created to help people resettle in Chicago after the war. When the Japanese were finally allowed to leave the camps, many were not given the freedom to return to California.