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Creating a sense of place and time

Wailuku artist Kirk Kurokawa works Friday afternoon on one of the sections of a mural he is painting at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center in Wailuku. Working from photos from the center’s archives, Kurokawa is creating a dozen black and white portraits that depict everyday scenes from World War II. The finished images will not be of specific people, but hybrids that represent all of the young Japanese American men who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 100th Infantry Battalion. “We want it to relate to everybody in the whole community,” Kurokawa said. “It demonstrates a sense of place and time.” Kurokawa said he hopes to have the project finished by the end of July but is not going to rush things. “The main thing is it is done right,” he said. While he works, motorists often pull into the nisei center’s lot to check on his progress and sometimes to stop and ask questions. He said the tent he was using for shade broke on the first day. Word spread and the next day a donated tent was dropped off at the center.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos