Artist. Writer. Activist.
Miné Okubo (1912-2001) was all those things and more. We also venture to call her a documentarian and anthropologist for the way she captured life while incarcerated in the Tanforan Assembly Center in San Bruno, CA and Topaz, UT camp during World War II. Along with over 120,000 other Japanese and Japanese Americans, Okubo was confined behind barbed wire simply because of the way she looked. She took the opportunity to observe and record her experiences as shared in her seminal book Citizen 13660: “…I had the opportunity to study the human race from the cradle to the grave, and to see what happens to people when reduced to one status and condition.”
Due to a generous grant awarded to the National Museum by the National Endowment for the Humanities, we spent two years conserving, mounting, scanning and cataloging all of Okubo’s original drawings from Citizen 13660 in order to share her insight and talents with a larger audience.
You can browse this amazing collection on our Museum Collections webpage!: http://www.janm.org/collections/mine-okubo-collection/
Oh! And don’t forget her brother Benji Okubo (a pretty amazing artist in his own right): http://www.janm.org/collections/benji-okubo-collection/