Image of painting Incoming Tide
Incoming Tide
is a painting by the well-known Japanese-American artist Chiura Obata. The Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library is fortunate to have it on display in the atrium on the first floor. We received it from the Otter Bay Restaurant once remodeling began there. Here some brief information on the painting, as well as a few links to more information about the artist. 

The Painting

Painted in 1948 for a Japanese restaurant in the Monterey area, Incoming Tide is an image of Point Lobos (likely Whaler's Cove). According to Point Lobos Foundation blogger Dave Evans, it is believed that this is one of two paintings done for the restaurant just after WWII. The whereabouts of the second painting is unknown. Perhaps better known for his paintings of the Sierra Nevada, particularly around Yosemite, Point Lobos was also a favorite place of inspiration for the artist (according to Point Lobos docent Sally Smith).

Source: Evans, D. (2012, March 27). Incoming Tide, by Chiura Obata. [Blog post]. Retrieved from Point Lobos Foundation Blog at

book cover Point Lobos

To find out more about Point Lobos, take a look at this book.
Hudson, M. , & Wood, S. (2004). Point Lobos. Charleston, SC: Arcadia.
Chapter Eight is called "Artistic Inspiration" and mentions Chiura Obata, who often stayed at the guesthouse in the Japanese Village. The chapter also notes that both Yosemite and Point Lobos inspired "a lifelong reverence for nature as a powerful spiritual force that influenced both his art and his life."

The Artist

This book presents sketches, sumi paintings, and watercolors from Chiura Obata's internment period.
Obata, C. , & Hill, K. (2000). Chiura Obata's Topaz Moon : Art of the Internment Camps. Berkeley, Calif: Heyday Books.
book cover Topaz Moon

book cover Obata's Yosemite

Obata, C. , Driesbach, J. , & Landauer, S. (1993). Obata's Yosemite : The Art and Letters of Chiura Obata from His Trip to the High Sierra in 1927. Yosemite National Park, Calif.: Yosemite Association.

More info on the artist and his work is available on these selected websites:

The Great Nature of Chiura Obata
Learn from the teachings and artwork of Chiura Obata, from The Sierra Nevada Wilderness Education project.

Chiura Obata: Densho Encyclopedia
Densho Encyclopedia's purpose is to provide "concise, accurate, and balanced information on many aspects of the Japanese American story during World War II."

Untold Stories Research: Chiura Obata (PDF)
Background research for the Ken Burns film The National Parks: America's Best Idea. Here more about that series