2020 55¢ Ruth Asawa
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: August 13, 2020
First Day City: San Francisco, CA
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 18,000,000
Growing up, Ruth Asawa (1926-2013) faced challenges as a Japanese-American in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack. But she embraced the adversity of her youth to become an accomplished artist.
As a child, Asawa worked long hours on her family's farm while also attending school. Her mother impressed on her the core values of endurance, patience, and restraint. Asawa took these lessons to heart and soon had to put them into practice.
Following the attack on Pearl harbor, Asawa, like many Japanese-Americans, was sent to an internment camp. In spite of the harsh conditions, Asawa remained positive and creative. She also took art classes from internees who were animators at Walt Disney Studios.
Asawa received a special release to attend Milwaukee State Teacher's College to become an art teacher. However, she was prevented from student teaching out of concerns over anti-Japanese sentiment. Asawa persevered and went on to have a successful art career that spanned decades.
In speaking about her early challenges, Asawa said, "I hold no hostilities... Sometimes good comes through adversity. I would not be who I am today had it not been for the Internment, and I like who I am." Truly, her mother's teachings of endurance, patience, and restraint helped carry her through these trying years.