Paperback / softback
August 13, 2008
9780295987743
English
200
48 illus., 8 in color
10.00 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
1.3 Pounds (US)
$30.00 USD, £14.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Mine Okubo

Following Her Own Road

“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.” - Miné Okubo

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 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.

Miné 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.

About the Authors

Greg Robinson is associate professor of history at the Université du Quebéc a Montréal. Elena Tajima Creef is associate professor of women's studies at Wellesley College. Other contributors are Laura Card, Fay Chiang, Vivian Fumiko Chin, Heather Fryer, Masumi Hayashi, Sohei Hohri, Lynne Horiuchi, Clemens Kalischer, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, James Masao Mitsui, Stella Oh, Kimberley L. Phillips, and Irene Poon.

Reviews

"Whereas the social and historical value of this [Citizen 13660] body of work is well established, the critical re-readings gathered in Mine Okubo: Following Her Own Road aim to interrogate and to expand the ways in which Citizen 13660 has come to be understood more than sixty years after its postwar publication…. Whether a reader agrees wholly or in part with the particulars of the seven central essays, what remains incontestable is the value of such projects in eliciting new and sometimes provocative thoughts on the small but steadily growing body of discourse on Asian American art and visual culture."—Journal of American Ethnic History

"It's hard not to like Mine Okubo as we come to know her though this first book-length study of her life and work: feisty, eccentric, and deeply committed to her art. A slim, beautifully produced volume, Mine Okubo: Following Her Own Road is both a tribute to the artist, who died in 2001, and an important step in remedying the dearth of scholarship on her work . . . . this collection offers less the 'definitive version' of her life and work, and more an incitement to re-view it in new ways that throw its power and charm into relief."—Rain Taxi

"Robinson and Creef have produced a fine and wonderful tribute to the life and work of Mine Okubo. . . . There is something for everyone in this remarkably compact but dense volume. . . . The editors have produced a very 'smart' and beautiful retrospective of her life, giving us a sense of Okubo's rightful place in Japanese American history, as well as the larger canvas of American history."—Nichi Bei Times

Endorsements

"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."—Miné Okubo

9780295987743 : mine-okubo-robinson-creef
Paperback / softback
200 Pages
$30.00 USD

Other Titles by Greg Robinson

The Unsung Great

Greg Robinson
Dec 2020 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback

John Okada

edited by Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, Floyd Cheung
Jul 2018 - University of Washington Press
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$99.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / American / Asian American Studies

Contemporary Asian American Activism

edited by Diane C. Fujino, Robyn Magalit Rodriguez
Jan 2022 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Awake in the River and Shedding Silence

Janice Mirikitani, foreword by Traise Yamamoto, Juliana Chang
Dec 2021 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Dancing Transnational Feminisms

edited by Ananya Chatterjea, Hui Niu Wilcox, Alessandra Lebea Williams, foreword by D. Soyini Madison, series edited by Piya Chatterjee
Dec 2021 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in Ethnic minorities & multicultural studies

Signs of Home

Barbara Johns, foreword by Stephen H. Sumida
Aug 2021 - University of Washington Press
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$49.95 USD - Hardback

Art of the Northwest Coast, second edition

Aldona Jonaitis
Jun 2021 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback

The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence

Robert T. Boyd
Apr 2021 - University of Washington Press
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$60.00 USD - Hardback