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�To me life and art are one and the same, for the key lies in one's knowledge of people and life. In art one is trying to express it in the simplest imaginative way, as in the art of past civilizations, for beauty and truth are the only two things which live timeless and ageless.� - Min� Okubo This is the first book-length critical examination of the life and work of Min� Okubo (1912-2001), a pioneering Nisei artist, writer, and social activist who repeatedly defied conventional role expectations for women and for Japanese Americans over her seventy-year career. Okubo's landmark Citizen 13660 (first published in 1946) is the first and arguably best-known autobiographical narrative of the wartime Japanese American relocation and confinement experience. Born in Riverside, California, Okubo was incarcerated by the U.S. government during World War II, 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. These provided the material for Citizen 13660. 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. This lovely and inviting book, lavishly illustrated with both color and halftone images, many of which have never before been reproduced, introduces readers to Okubo's oeuvre through a selection of her paintings, drawings, illustrations, and writings from different periods of her life. In addition, it contains tributes and essays on Okubo's career and legacy by specialists in the fields of art history, education, women's studies, literature, American political history, and ethnic studies, essays that illuminate the importance of her contributions to American arts and letters. Min� Okubo expands the sparse critical literature on Asian American women, as well as that on the Asian American experience in the eastern United States. It also serves as an excellent companion to Citizen 13660, providing critical tools and background to place Okubo's work in its historical and literary contexts.
Mine Okubo was one of over one hundred thousand people of Japanese descent--nearly two-thirds of whom were American citizens--who were forced into "protective custody" shortly after Pearl Harbor. Citizen 13660, Okubo's graphic memoir of life in relocation centers in California and Utah, illuminates this experience with poignant illustrations and witty, candid text. Now available with a new introduction by Christine Hong and in a wide-format artist edition, this graphic novel can reach a new generation of readers and scholars. "[Mine Okubo] took her months of life in the concentration camp and made it the material for this amusing, heart-breaking book. . . . The moral is never expressed, but the wry pictures and the scanty words make the reader laugh--and if he is an American too--blush." "A remarkably objective and vivid and even humorous account. . . . In dramatic and detailed drawings and brief text, she documents the whole episode . . . all that she saw, objectively, yet with a warmth of understanding." -New York Times Book Review
The New York Times bestselling graphic memoir from actor/author/activist George Takei returns in a deluxe edition with 16 pages of bonus material! Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love. George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his magnetic performances, sharp wit, and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in STAR TREK, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten "relocation centers," hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. THEY CALLED US ENEMY is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the terrors and small joys of childhood in the shadow of legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's tested faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? George Takei joins cowriters Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.
The story of the World War II internment of 120,000 Japanese American citizens and Japanese-born permanent residents is well known by now. Less well known is the history of the small group of Seattle activists who gave birth to the national movement for redress. It was they who first conceived of petitioning the U.S. Congress to demand a public apology and monetary compensation for the individuals and the community whose constitutional rights had been violated. Robert Sadamu Shimabukuro, using hundreds of interviews with people who lived in the internment camps, and with people who initiated the campaign for redress, has constructed a very personal testimony, a monument to these courageous organizers� determination and deep reverence for justice. Born in Seattle follows these pioneers and their movement over more than two decades, starting in the late 1960s with second-generation Japanese American engineers at the Boeing Company, as they worked with their fellow activists to educate Japanese American communities, legislative bodies, and the broader American public about the need for the U.S. Government to acknowledge and pay for this wartime injustice and to promise that it will never be repeated.
Most people outside of the art world view art as something that is foreign to their experiences and everyday lives. A People’s Art History of the United States places art history squarely in the rough–and–tumble of politics, social struggles, and the fight for justice from the colonial era through the present day. Author and radical artist Nicolas Lampert combines historical sweep with detailed examinations of individual artists and works in a politically charged narrative that spans the conquest of the Americas, the American Revolution, slavery and abolition, western expansion, the suffragette movement and feminism, civil rights movements, environmental movements, LGBT movements, antiglobalization movements, contemporary antiwar movements, and beyond. A People’s Art History of the United States introduces us to key works of American radical art alongside dramatic retellings of the histories that inspired them. Stylishly illustrated with over two hundred images, this book is nothing less than an alternative education for anyone interested in the powerful role that art plays in our society.
A teenager is pulled back in time to witness her grandmother's experiences in World War II-era Japanese internment camps in Displacement, a historical graphic novel from Kiku Hughes. Kiku is on vacation in San Francisco when suddenly she finds herself displaced to the 1940s Japanese-American internment camp that her late grandmother, Ernestina, was forcibly relocated to during World War II. These displacements keep occurring until Kiku finds herself "stuck" back in time. Living alongside her young grandmother and other Japanese-American citizens in internment camps, Kiku gets the education she never received in history class. She witnesses the lives of Japanese-Americans who were denied their civil liberties and suffered greatly, but managed to cultivate community and commit acts of resistance in order to survive. Kiku Hughes weaves a riveting, bittersweet tale that highlights the intergenerational impact and power of memory.
This book illuminates various aspects of a central but unexplored area of American history: the midcentury Japanese American experience. A vast and ever-growing literature exists, first on the entry and settlement of Japanese immigrants in the United States at the turn of the 20th century, then on the experience of the immigrants and their American-born children during World War II. Yet the essential question, "What happened afterwards?" remains all but unanswered in historical literature. Excluded from the wartime economic boom and scarred psychologically by their wartime ordeal, the former camp inmates struggled to remake their lives in the years that followed. This volume consists of a series of case studies that shed light on various developments relating to Japanese Americans in the aftermath of their wartime confinement, including resettlement nationwide, the mental and physical readjustment of the former inmates, and their political engagement, most notably in concert with other racialized and ethnic minority groups.