The Power of Photographs

Post written by Chris Brusatte, Exhibit Manager at Go For Broke National Education Center

Photos are powerful. Without using any words, they can show a depth of emotions. They can capture events better than any text ever could. They are a snapshot in time, forever able to take viewers back to a moment, an event, a struggle, a triumph.

At Go For Broke National Education Center, our archives are full of powerful photographs. They capture the Japanese American soldiers of World War II – and their families – in many different lights. Some photos show the men in the chaos of battle. Others show them lined up in rigid discipline during basic training. But most photos simply capture the soldiers in their most natural element – as young men spending time with one another, joking, laughing, shooting the breeze. These images humanize our heroes. They remind us that between each horrific battle, these young men were people just like the rest of us.

From time to time, we will use this blog to share photos of these heroes as everyday young men. We will show you images of them playing games, smiling, and chatting with twinkles in their eyes. We will show them living.

Here is one of my favorites. Tell us what you think of this photograph – what does it mean to you?

Chris Blog 4 Photo - Camp Savage, 1942_Courtesy of Vincenzo Peluso and Toyoko Yamane-Peluso
Camp Savage, 1942. Courtesy of Vincenzo Peluso and Toyoko Yamane-Peluso.

5 thoughts on “The Power of Photographs

  1. Can you tell me who the gentleman is on the far right. He looks a great deal like my grandpa, but I can’t be sure. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us for me to ask him.


    • Karen, My father passed away and unfortunately we don’t the names of the soldiers in this picture. If your grandfather was at Camp Savage during this period, it most likely was him. Especially if he was in the MIS, 1942 may have been the first full year of the MIS.


      • Thank you so much for your reply and for your comments. Truly amazing, and these men were definitely such heroic and courageous young individuals. I am just always in awe of what they faced, and with the quiet dignity with which they faced it. Thank you so much to your father, and to all of the men like him. They are definitely true American heroes, role models for everyone!


  2. It was amazing that these young men with such smiles on their faces made the best of such a life altering situtation. I’m sure some of these men had family members in the internment camps, yet their dedication and commitment to this country and each other was always lived with honor. My father was born and grew up in Hawaii. I’m sure snow was very strange to him and probably to many of these young men from California and Hawaii. Yet they made the best of the situation.


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