10 February marks the birthday of Mine Okubo in Riverside, California in 1912. Okubo is best known for her graphic illustrated memoir in which she told the story of her families internment during World War II through the use of 189 illustrations. After her release from the Topaz Relocation Center, she settled in New York, initially working as an illustrator for ‘Fortune’ magazine, and would go onto win numerous awards and recognitions.
Prior to internment, Okubo created several murals under commission by the Federal Art Project. She was also commissioned by the United States Army to create mosaic and fresco murals. It is noteworthy that she collaborated with the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in San Francisco for the Works Progress Administration.
Her book on her internment experiences, ‘Citizen 13660’, won the 1984 American Book Award and in 1991 the Women’s Caucus for Art awarded her a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Okubo died in 2001. On February 22, 2006, Riverside Community College honored the memory of its noted alumna when it announced that a street on the campus had been renamed Miné Okubo Avenue.