Jun Fujita is best known for his work as the first Japanese-American photojournalist. His photo credits include the Eastland Disaster, the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the Leopold and Loeb murder trial, Carl Sandburg, Albert Einstein, Frank Lloyd Wright, Al Capone, and engineering projects taken for the Public Works Administration. Fujita was also a silent film actor, a writer, and a poet. Using tanka style of poetry, Fujita wrote poetry throughout his life and had one book published in 1923, Tanka: Poems in Exile.
To celebrate Fujita’s life and his work, the Poetry Foundation (Chicago) opened an exhibit displaying Fujita’s photographs of flowers and landscapes, ephemera, and his lesser-known photojournalist works.
Fujita’s great-nephew, Graham Harrison Lee, is close to publishing a biography he wrote on his great-uncle: Fujita—A Portrait of Jun Fujita: Photographer and Poet. On Thursday, March 9, at 12 noon, the Poetry Foundation will host a presentation with Lee and writer Takako Day about Fujita’s life and poetry. Admission to the presentation is free.
The “Jun Fujita: Oblivion” exhibit is running now through April 21st at the Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior St., Chicago, IL 60654.
Graham Lee is a good friend of EDHS (he served on the panel of authors during our 100th Anniversary Commemoration weekend), so we hope you find time to attend his discussion and/or the exhibit at the Poetry Foundation.
To learn more about Jun Fujita’s life, poetry, and photography, please see the following:
For online exhibits of his work, please see the following: