Two young Italian boys sit and face each other at a shoe shining station. They don't appear to be at work and are probably waiting for customers to appear. Sunlight pours into the room, save for the rightmost corner, and streams over the young boys. One of the boys is sitting on a wooden that is used while the customer's shoes are being cleaned. Their background appears to be a concrete house with closed windows.
After the second world war, people of all ages had to adjust to a new life in Italy. Poverty takes its toll on everyone, and children are no exception. Everyone must struggle to keep food on the table, and it's very likely that some children had to do this without the love and guidance of their parents, who vanished during the war. Many children were forced to engage in manual labor and learn different crafts, and their work contributed to the development of artisan trade, especially in tailoring, leatherwork, and culinary arts.
Taken by George Sakata. George was a member of the infamous 100th Division 442nd Nisei Regimental Combat Team in WWII. This was the only Japanese American unit in WWII and was nicknamed the "Go For Broke" unit. The 442nd had a casualty rate of 93% and was awarded 21 Medal of Honors. George Sakata is featured throughout our website. For more information on the 442nd RCB unit.