My Fate Is in Your Hand (1950)
American, born Japan, 1889–1953
Oil on canvas
My Fate Is in Your Hand was painted five years after the end of World War II. Its jewel-like colors and geometric composition suggest joy and order. However, the caterpillar held in the palm of a hand and the grasshopper clinging to the painting’s vertical edge are reminders that forces beyond our control can affect our lives. Yasuo Kuniyoshi immigrated to the United States in 1906. Throughout his life he faced anti-Asian bigotry. Although he evaded the Japanese internment camps during World War II, Kuniyoshi was designated an “enemy alien” by the American government. Despite discrimination, he worked for the U.S. cause during the war.