Mary Koga

After graduating from the University of California in 1942, Mary Koga (1920-2001; born Hisako Ishii) was taken to the Tule Lake interment camp. Her experiences there compelled her to go into the field of social work which she studied at the University of Chicago.For twenty years she worked in that field with a number of different agencies but all along she kept up with photography, a hobby she had taken up when she was young.

Koga went back to school—this time to the Art Institute of Chicago—and earned an MFA. In addition to working as a professional photographer, she was a professor of photography at Columbia College Chicago. Among her subjects were elderly Japanese immigrants who she became acquainted with through the Japanese American Service Committee and at Heiwa Terrace on the North Side of Chicago.

Why this stop? The Red Line Wilson stop is four blocks from Heiwa Terrace.

View Mary Koga’s photography.

Photo Credit -- Japan America Society of Chicago