Why Mine Okubo Was An American Citizen Of Japanese Descent

1117 WordsMar 22, 20165 Pages
Mine Okubo was an American citizen of Japanese descent, artist, and writer who was one of over a hundred thousand Japanese people that were forced into internment camps for “protective purposes” during World War II. In her graphic novel Citizen 13660, which was named after the number designated to her family unit, Okubo documents her journey from her initial relocation to Tanforan Assembly Center after the Pearl Harbor attack, up until she is finally granted release from the Central Utah Relocation Project in Topaz. She tells her story through sketches and storytelling due to recording devices being confiscated as contraband. Okubo’s original motive behind this novel was to inform her friends living outside the camps of her living situation, however, it has now transformed into a historical reference to the often glossed over history of Japanese internment camps in the United States. Okubo’s use of visuals gives the novel more clarity in delivering her story by giving the reader an additional source of information to digest. She also explicitly states in the preface that she believes some form of reparations and an apology are due to those who were evacuated and interned and that things could be learned from this tragic episode for it may happen again. The sketches within the novel tell a story of their own. Early on the novel, we see Okubo present in the sketch reading a newspaper after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The “writing on the wall” so to speak shows the quotes

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