Examining the largest painting in the exhibition YELLOW TERROR, it is evident that Roger Shimomura uses the caricatures of Japanese soldiers, which are represented as individuals or types who crash, tumble and collide. Roger Shimomura himself is at the center of this chaos which pushes his eyes into a slant as if creating the nightmare mental picture of the Japanese caricatures done by his sight getting altered. The use of the First World War postcards shows how Roger Shimomura has copied caricatures in a precise manner to show how the postcards ridicule the Japanese army’s enemy as a fox, a snake, a beetle, a pig and a monkey. However, it is evident from the caricatures that Roger Shimomura has only borrowed the human caricatures and they exactly indicate how Roger Shimomura’s art relates to the sources of which they were found. Roger Shimomura has created a composition with the cartoon sources as the satire of a grand manner of the 1950s American art at a time when he was coming of age.
However, it must be emphasized that the accumulation of the sources and the sources themselves in Roger Shimomura painting are representing more than a formal reference. The artwork also represents a social context. The YELLOW TERROR is a representation of how the society was racist against the Japanese and the Chinese to a point whereby they classified them into one class and making no good distinction between the Japanese and the Chinese but making the distinction only on racist’s grounds.
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