Miné Okubo: Following Her Own Road
Edited by Greg Robinson and Elena Tajima Creef.
This is the first book-length critical examination of the life and work of Miné Okubo (1912-2001), a pioneering Nisei artist, writer, and social activist who repeatedly defied conventional role expectations for women and for Japanese Americans.
Lavishly illustrated with color and halftone images, many of which have never before been reproduced, readers are introduced to Okubo’s oeuvre through a selection of her paintings, drawings, illustrations, and writings from different periods of her life.
Born in Riverside, California, Okubo was incarcerated first at the Tanforan Assembly Center in California and later at the Topaz War Relocation Center in Utah. There she taught art and directed the production of a literary and art magazine. While in camp, Okubo documented her confinement experience by making hundreds of paintings and pen-and-ink sketches which provided the material for her landmark book Citizen 13660 (first published in 1946), the first and arguably best-known autobiographical narrative of the wartime Japanese American relocation and confinement experience.
Word of her talent spread to Fortune magazine, which hired her as an illustrator. Under the magazine’s auspices, she was able to leave the camp and relocate to New York City, where she pursued her art over the next half century.
Paper: 224 pp.