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Noboru Foujioka, “American Sprit,” c. 1926 (1926 Exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists)

“American Sprit,” which was exhibited at the 1926 exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists, depicts a group of people seated around a round table, absorbed in a game of poker. The man in the upper left corner with glasses looks pleased with himself, while the two figures in the lower right corner are holding their heads in their hands. The people on either side of the table are peering into the game, and the person on the far right appears to be drinking. Against the backdrop of the Prohibition era, this work depicts a room in a black market saloon.
In the “Nichibei Jiho” (The Japan-America Times), the artist
wrote, “It has been a long time since I came to America, but I have never known what to compare the American spirit to. I have been dreaming about money and meat all the time, and their life is gambling. I tried to express this fleeting emotion in this work. (Noboru Fujioka, ” Independent Art Exhibition, 11 Japanese Painters”, The Nichibei Jiho, March 20, 1926).