Ishi  France Borka



  France Borka – About the Artist


By contemporary standards it has been sufficient for an artist to entertain, amuse and decorate. This is not sufficient for me. I believe that there is an importance in art beyond the medium.

Art, in whatever medium, painting, poetry or music, must provoke our thoughts and make us reflect upon and improve our daily lives.

In the past everyone knew their Bible stories, myths, legends and fairy tales. With subjects from these sources, the artist could fill in the necessary details which enabled the viewer to see the “sermon”. Today we have lost the traditions which provided a foundation for works of art. Unfortunately we have not replaced those traditions with something better. Art for the sake of art has proven to be quite empty and fruitless.

All images and descriptions are © France Borka – All rights reserved.

A memorial to the soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was dedicated on June 2, 2013, as a tribute to the bravery, patriotism and dedication of local Japanese American residents who served in one of the U.S. Army’s most-decorated units during World War II.

The memorial is located near the Placer County Superior Court building in Roseville, California.  Placer County also has named a roadway at the Santucci Center “Go for Broke Road” to commemorate the unit’s motto.

“While the story of the 442nd began with its share of injustice and discrimination in the end it became a story of patience and fortitude, of unparalleled sacrifice, and of forgiveness. And ultimately it is a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit,” said Placer County Supervisor Jim Holmes.

Placer County Supervisors and Veterans  France Borka at Memorial Plaque

 Placer County Supervisors and Veterans at the Dedication   |   France Borka at the Dedication

For the first phase of the memorial, Placer County created a 36-foot wide concrete compass and framed an open space to the south with two large granite boulders that represent the struggles soldiers endured coming out of the Vosges Mountains in France. One boulder has an inlaid bronze plaque with a dedication message from the Board of Supervisors, and the other boulder has a bronze plaque that describes the history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

In the second phase, Placer County JACL installed a six-foot-tall bronze sculpture, designed by internationally acclaimed artist France Borka, depicting a Japanese American soldier of the 100th Battalion/442nd RCT helping rescue a wounded soldier of the 36th Texas Division, who were trapped by Nazi troops for days and became known as the “Lost Battalion.” Placer County also plans to include inscribed names of every Placer County resident who served in the unit.

A group of individuals and businesses has generated over $250,000 to sponsor our fundraising effort. Organizations committed to this project include the Placer Buddhist Church, the JACL Northern California/Western Nevada/Pacific (NCWNP) District, Nisei Post 8985 VFW in Sacramento, the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA), and the Go for Broke National Education Center in Torrance.

France borka at Work

France Borks working on the sculpture, which was cast in bronze

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France Borka - photo by K Mitchell, Affinity Media Services

France Borka resides in the Sierra Nevada Foothills in northern California. He is an advanced martial arts instructor in Shotokan Karate and has competed successfully around the world.

Mr. Borka has created logos and awards for endurance riding events and organizations, such as AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference). He currently designs homes, paints and sculpts in his ranch studio and has won numerous awards as an artist and illustrator.

Photo by K Mitchell, Affinity Media Services

The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down  France Borka

The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down

Painted during Mr. Borka's period working in Santa Monica, where he produced the exquisite Reflections series.