By Greg Robinson, Elena Tajima Creef
“To me existence and paintings are one and an analogous, for the foremost lies in one's wisdom of individuals and lifestyles. In artwork one is attempting to precise it within the least difficult ingenious manner, as within the paintings of prior civilizations, for attractiveness and fact are the single issues which reside undying and ageless.” - Miné Okubo
This is the 1st book-length serious exam of the lifestyles and paintings of Miné Okubo (1912-2001), a pioneering Nisei artist, author, and social activist who time and again defied traditional position expectancies for girls and for jap american citizens over her seventy-year profession. Okubo's landmark Citizen 13660 (first released in 1946) is the 1st and arguably best-known autobiographical narrative of the wartime eastern American relocation and confinement experience.
Born in Riverside, California, Okubo used to be incarcerated through the U.S. executive in the course of international warfare II, first on the Tanforan meeting heart in California and later on the Topaz warfare Relocation middle in Utah. There she taught paintings and directed the creation of a literary and paintings journal. whereas in camp, Okubo documented her confinement adventure by way of making countless numbers of work and pen-and-ink sketches. those supplied the fabric for Citizen 13660. notice of her expertise unfold to Fortune journal, which employed her as an illustrator. less than the magazine's auspices, she was once capable of go away the camp and relocate to ny urban, the place she pursued her artwork over the subsequent part century.
This gorgeous and welcoming e-book, lavishly illustrated with either colour and halftone pictures, a lot of that have by no means prior to been reproduced, introduces readers to Okubo's oeuvre via a range of her work, drawings, illustrations, and writings from diversified classes of her lifestyles. additionally, it comprises tributes and essays on Okubo's occupation and legacy through experts within the fields of paintings background, schooling, women's experiences, literature, American political heritage, and ethnic reviews, essays that light up the significance of her contributions to American arts and letters.
Miné Okubo expands the sparse severe literature on Asian American ladies, in addition to that at the Asian American event within the japanese usa. It additionally serves as a great spouse to Citizen 13660, supplying serious instruments and heritage to put Okubo's paintings in its historic and literary contexts.
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Extra resources for Miné Okubo: Following Her Own Road
My art is the mastery of drawing, color and craft staying with subject and reality, but simplifying like the primitives. It took all those years, but I got it. What you think? I’d have to get on an airplane. You would come? 3 I’ll see people I haven’t seen in a long time. Show them my paintings. It will be one big party with lots of food, people. NOTES This essay was read at Miné Okubo’s memorial services at Riverside Community College in Riverside, California, on March , , and at the Japanese American United Church in New York City on April , .
I believe an apology and some form of reparation are due in order to prevent this S TAT E M E N T T O T H E C O M M I S S I O N O N R E L O C AT I O N , B Y M I N É O K U B O 47 from happening to others. Textbooks and history studies on this subject should be taught to children when young in grade and high schools. Many generations do not know that this ever happened in the United States. Whenever I speak about evacuation, they think it happened in Japan. I wish to present a copy of Citizen to the Commission for the record.
Since evacuees were not allowed to return to California and the West, and I knew nobody in the East, I decided to remain in camp until the gates closed, but in March Fortune magazine asked me to come to New York to help illustrate their special April Japan issue and I decided to stay in New York. ” It’s one of the first illustrated articles that came out in one of the largest periodicals of the time, because anything Japanese was not quite known in the East yet. These drawings were originally made for my friends on the outside, and the Fortune magazine people told me that I should continue and make it into a book.