Date Original

circa 1944


This is a drawing by Utak Shirashi, depicting a tree, overwritten with the poem, "How the Leaves Came Down," by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, an American children's author who wrote under the pseudonym, Susan Coolidge.

Biographical/Historical Note

After December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the War Relocation Authority (WRA), which selected ten sites in which to imprison more than 110,000 Japanese Americans, over half of whom were American citizens. The Arkansas Delta was home to two of these camps, where these families, having been forcibly removed from their homes, were kept: One at Rohwer in Desha County, and the other at Jerome in sections of Chicot and Drew counties. These camps were open from October 1942, to November 1945, with over 16,000 Japanese Americans having been incarcerated during that period. Utak Shirashi, creator of this drawing, was a student of Mrs. Hazel Retherford, a sixth grade teacher at both Jerome and Rohwer Japanese relocation camps in Arkansas.


How the Leaves Came Down
I'll tell you how the leaves came down
the great tree to his children
"Your geting [sic] sleepy, little red
It is quite time to go to bed."
The great bare tree looked down and
"Good Night, dear little leaves he said.
And from below each sleepy child
Replied, "Good night" they murmed
"It is so nice to go to bed!
Susan Coolidge
Utak Shirashi

Physical Description

Crayon drawing, 7"x 8"


Art; Drawing; School children; Students; World War, 1939-1945; Japanese Culture; Poetry

Geographical Area

Jerome, Drew County (Ark.)




MS.000643, Box 1, Folder 10, Page 1

Resource Type

Physical Object


Hazel Retherford papers, MS.000643


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Drawing by Utak Shirashi, a student at one of the Japanese American relocation camps in Arkansas, Hazel Retherford papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Additional Content

Hazel Retherford papers, 1942-1945, MS.000643



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Drawing by Utak Shirashi, a student at one of the Japanese American relocation camps in Arkansas