Read Citizen 13660 by Mine Okubo Christine Hong Online


Mine Okubo was one of more than a hundred thousand people of Japanese descent - nearly two-thirds of whom were American citizens - who were forced into "protective custody" shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Citizen 13660, Okubo's illustrated memoir of life in relocation centers in California and Utah, illuminates this experience with poignant drawings and witty, cMine Okubo was one of more than a hundred thousand people of Japanese descent - nearly two-thirds of whom were American citizens - who were forced into "protective custody" shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Citizen 13660, Okubo's illustrated memoir of life in relocation centers in California and Utah, illuminates this experience with poignant drawings and witty, candid text.This classic in Asian American literature and American history, with a new introduction by Christine Hong, is available for the first time in both a traditional paperback format and an artist's edition, oversize and in hardcover to better illustrate the innovative artwork as originally envisioned by Okubo."[Mine Okubo] took her months of life in the concentration camp and made it the material for this amusing, heartbreaking 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." - Pearl Buck"A remarkably objective and vivid and even humorous account. . . . In dramatic and detailed drawings and brief text, [Okubo] documents the whole episode . . . all that she saw, objectively, yet with a warmth of understanding." " - New York Times Book Review"...

Title : Citizen 13660
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780295993546
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 209 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Citizen 13660 Reviews

  • Travis Duke
    2019-05-19 20:25

    A beautiful blend of history, graphic novel, and story telling. Citizen 13660 is the story of Mine Okubo and her life at two japanese internment camps after pearl harbor. Her fantastic drawings bring to life the daily activities and hardships they endured. The resourcefulness of the people is fascinating, watching them create everything from furniture to gardens from next to nothing is inspiring. The human spirit really shines in this book and although the idea of the camps is cruel and unjust, the book doesn't focus as much on that aspect but shows what they accomplished and overcome.

  • Abby
    2019-05-16 23:11

    This graphic memoir of life for a young Nisei woman in the internment camps during WWII was published shortly after the war, and considered an important document of this shameful period in American history. Cameras & photography were not allowed in the camps so Okubo's book remains one of the few visual representations of evacuee life from the period created by an actual evacuee. Each page is a single panel drawing with a written caption underneath. Okubo's lines are spare, graceful and very expressive. Interestingly, she includes herself in every page, intentionally highlighting her role as narrator & observer of each scene. Along with Maus & Barefoot Gen, this is one of the definitive comics about the war & its aftermath. Highly recommended for all Americans, especially those who don't know about the internment camps. Good pick for older kids and teens as an introduction to the subject. In the 1983 introduction, Okubo writes, "I hope that things can be learned from this tragic episode, for I believe it could happen again." Sadly, this work seems just as timely now as it did when first published in 1946.

  • Alex Baugh
    2019-04-22 20:22

    When I was a kid, I read comic books, lots of them and all kinds – everything from Archie to Superman. So I know the power of putting together graphics and text. And I have to confess, that when I was in school, we could still find Classics Illustrated* in second hand comic stores and I may have actually used one or two of these for book reports. But today, all kinds’ graphic books are available, of considerably better quality than Classics Illustrated were and very popular among readers of all ages. Now, more and more graphic books are being written and published that cover important aspects of history and, in the same way Art Spiegelman’s Maus books are used in schools to study the Holocaust, Miné Okubo’s Citizen 13660 is an ideal vehicle for presenting a different aspect of World War II to students. Miné Okubo was studying in Europe on an art fellowship when war was declared in 1939. She managed to get herself to the home of some friends in Berne, Switzerland and after a long wait and many difficulties, finally obtained the necessary papers she needed to travel to France. From there, she set sail for the US on the last boat out of Bordeaux. Shortly after Miné arrived back in the United States, her mother passed away and she went to live with her brother, a student in Berkley, California. Things went well for them, even when the US declared war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. But as suspicion and fear grew, President Roosevelt was forced to issue Executive Order 9022 in 1942. Miné was required to report for an interview that would lead to her eventual relocation in an internment camp: “As a result of the interview, my family name was reduced to No. 13660.” (pg 19 left below.) The Okubo siblings were then issued a number of tags to use for their belongings and themselves with this number. They were scheduled to leave on May 1, 1942 for the Tanforan Assembly Center at the race track in San Bruno, California. At the camp they were assigned a former horse stall in a stable to use as their living quarters, with no privacy or conveniences (pg 35 below right.) It was here that Miné decided to use her talent as an artist to record the day to day life and small events in an internment camp. On September 16, 1942, Miné and her brother were relocated again, this time to the Central Utah Relocation Center called Topaz. Conditions here were somewhat better, and eventually restrictions were loosened making life more bearable until they finally left. Citizen 13660 is the first personal account of what life was like for people in a Japanese internment camp. It was originally published in 1946, but went out of print in the 1950s when people wanted to forget the war. By the 1960s and early 1970s many Sensi, or Japanese-Americans who were born in the camps, were incensed about what had happened to their parents and grandparents and that it had all been forgotten, brushed under the rug, so to speak. Wanting to understand more about their historical past in the US, these students were a moving force behind the establishment of Asian Studies programs as part of many university curriculums. One of the results of this was a reprinting of Citizen 13660 in 1973 and again in 1983. The structure of the book is similar to a picture book. Each page has one graphic with text below it. Each graphic is done in black and white, some are done in great detail, and others are simpler, while text can range from one line to very extensive. Miné is in every graphic, reinforcing the idea that she has witnessed what she draws and writes, and never relies on rumor or hearsay. The loss of her family name for a number sets the tone of this memoir, which is decidedly impersonal factual reporting. Aside from the author, the reader never learns the name of any other person not even that of her brother reinforcing the feeling of invisibility the Miné must have felt. Ironically, this objective technique proves to be a very effective style for conveying the feelings of the internees, their anger, confusion, disgrace, humiliation, injustice, loss and even patriotism, resulting in a very emotional document about this period in American history. It is not surprising that this technique works for her – Miné Okubo once described herself as “a realist with a creative mind.”The National Park Service has provided information on Tanforan Assembly Center at the National Park Service Confinement and EthnicityMore information about the Topaz Internment Camp at the Topaz MuseumMiné Okubo passed away on February 10, 2001 and her obituary may be found at Miné Obuko; Her Art Told of Internment This book is recommended for readers aged 12 and up.This book was borrowed from the Hunter College Library.For those who don’t know about Classics Illustrated, they were a series of comic books, which were adaptations of classic literature. I remember using this one in 7th grade (the other one was Black Beauty; I did go back and really read The Red Badge of Courage, but not Black Beauty)

  • Melissa
    2019-05-07 22:12

    It is of utmost importance for survivors of trauma, like the Japanese who endured the racist and violent internment during World War Two, to tell their own stories. The book's greatest success was Okubo's drawings of her life in the camps from 1942 until 1945 (she is primarily an artist), which are evocative, informative, sometimes bitter, sometimes joyous, and—this needs to be said—amazingly great at eluding the grips of censors as she was released from her camps. Published in 1946, Citizen 13660 was the first account of Japanese internment which was told from a survivor's perspective and which showed what was really happening in these concentration camps (as FDR and the government called them): forced assimilation, starvation, unsanitary conditions, exploited labor. The list can go on and on. My one problem with the book was that it becomes apparent that, overall, Okubo believes Japanese internment was merely a minor blot on American exceptionalism, "freedom," and "democracy" and not another manifestation of American genocidal colonialism, which continues until today. But maybe that was a way to avoid censorship. Hmmmm.

  • Ivana
    2019-04-23 02:17

    I didn't find the prose or the art especially striking, though I might if I read it again. Where I found the most value in this was in reading about the monotony of the camp, of the day-to-day acceptance of a set of awful conditions, and just making the best of them because you have no other choice. It's heartbreaking, and this novel has reminded me of a part of history that's (unfortunately) easily forgotten, and prompted me to read more about it.

  • La'Tonya Rease Miles
    2019-05-10 21:13

    Perhaps it's obvious to state but one doesn't read this book for the prose. The writing is, in fact, a bit terse and lacking in color and imagination. I suppose you might say the tone perfectly matches the author's experiences living in internment camps. Okubo certainly doesn't romanticize the poor and thoughtless conditions that these communities were forced into. All of her observations are stated matter of factly, much like the accompanying images. A solid, no-frills book. I feel ready to read No-No Boy now!

  • Deranged Pegasus
    2019-04-25 18:19

    The use of the nine blank pages was rather ingenious as it gives the impression that what it written is impossible to portray with any accuracy. The reader is forced to try and imagine something that can not be shown in a picture, or even a photograph. The reader has to consciously apply themselves to what was read and so the point being made is more prominent and driven home to the reader. First blank page, 11, shows the absence of her father and leaves both the main character and the reader at a loss to understand why. The next blank on page 13 seems to show just how quickly they had left and how abrupt it had been for them. Page 16 has no picture because how could anyone portray 110,000 people in a single image much less give the feeling of so many, most people have never even been in a group larger than about five hundred. The fourth blank is on page 118 and describes perfectly the emptiness of the land they were traveling through and makes the reader wonder after reading the last line of the page "The meals on the train were good after camp fare."Page 128 which shows the rooms they had been given to live in is followed by a plank page with illustrates how much they really had. Page 138 adds to the feeling even more as the text tells of how they had divided the space even further. Page 176 is just the perfect illustration as the first sentence is the end of the one from the page before and reads "thereby made themselves stateless persons." The second to last blank page is on page 200 and is somewhat chilling to read at the text tells of how the teenagers fought to stay and not lose all they had gained by being labeled disloyal. The final blank is on page 206 and I feel it was a wonderful choice as the text reads :"In January of 1944, having finished my documentary sketches of camp life, I decided to leave." The blank was masterful in that is showed that she was done, there was nothing more to draw and so there was nothing drawn.

  • Zoey Wyn
    2019-05-07 18:26

    "Citizen 13660" is one person’s personal account of their internment experience, named Mine Okubo. It is named after the number assigned to her family unit.Contained within the pages are over 200 pen and ink sketches, which she drew during her time at Tanforan Assembly Center and the Topaz Relocation Center.Accompanying her drawings are brief explanatory passages. Her narrative is very objective, and lacks the emotional trauma one would expect. Any hint of bitterness, or any other sentiment, is absent from its pages.I suspect that this was because Okubo wanted this book to be accessible to as large an audience as possible. By 1981, when the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Interment of Civilians was established, this book had already been recognized as an important reference on Japanese Internment.Okubo not only testified before the commission, but also presented a copy of Citizen 13660 to them.Why I picked it up: I read "Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During WWII" earlier this year, and this title was one of the works referenced. Since it was one of the first personal accounts of Japanese Internment, I was very interested in checking it out. Why I finished it: This was a very straight forward narrative, and I found it very easy to read. It didn't take long at all to finish it, especially with all of the half-page illustrations. Who I’d give it too: I’d give this to history buffs, those who like documentary art, and anyone interested in learning more about Japanese Internment.Happy Reading!1984 American Book Award

  • Rach
    2019-04-25 20:10

    I'd pretty much given up on finding a copy of this one to borrow, when suddenly, the Interlibrary Loan came through again! Sure, it took 4 months, but it's better than nothing, right? I just think it's funny that this book was published by the University of Washington press, yet they had to go all the way to Spokane County to find a copy to borrow.Anyways, the art and design on this book reminded me more of a kid's picture book than the more classically comic stylings of the others I've been reading. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that it reminds me of those creative writing homework assignments you would get as an 8 or 9 year old, where you had to draw your own picture in the top, blank half, and write about the picture in the bottom, lined half. This book is a full and interesting snap shot of what life was like in the Japanese Internment Camps during WWII, and I learned much I didn't know about their situation and way of life. But it's just that - little snapshots of moments in time and experiences. It all felt very factual, and not as emotional as I might have wanted. I felt about Mine much the way I felt about Marjane in Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood - sympathetic, but disconnected emotionally.

  • Nanako Mizushima
    2019-05-06 00:12

    Mine Okubo was an art student in Europe when WWII began. After rushing home to Berkeley, Pearl Harbor forced her and a hundred and twenty thousand other Japanese-Americans into "protective custody"- barbed wired camps where men, women and children lived in former horse stalls and hastily built barracks in remote desert locations. Okubo documented her difficult war years with these many line drawings and captions. She matter-of-factly describes the humiliations, the frustrations and even the humor of what it felt like to be uprooted from normal life and forced into crowded camps guarded by armed soldiers and watch towers. Okubo's work is a fascinating glimpse into what life becomes for an American citizen who is arrested because her face happens to look like that of the enemy. Published in 1946, Citizen 13660 was the first published account of the internment of the Japanese-Americans, the majority of whom were American citizens, many who had never been outside of their American home towns.

  • Janet Aileen
    2019-04-24 22:23

    This is a graphic journal documenting the evacuation and internment of the author, Mine Okubo in the early 1940s. It is widely recognized as an important reference book on the internment of the Japanese in the United States during World War II. The journal, which describes the day to day lives of the confined people, includes over 200 of her sketches (cameras were not allowed in the camp). This record of the struggles and indignities of bewildered and humiliated people, is told without bitterness and with dashes of humor. A quick and powerful read. Quite simply, a masterpiece.

  • Rekha
    2019-05-10 22:16

    Graphic memoir about the internment of the author during WWII, first published in the 40s. An important representation of life for the internees because historical visual documentation from first person narrators remains rare. Okubo's story is told through one-page drawings with an accompanying caption, creating a "snapshot" feel that lends even more realism to the subject even though the drawing style is meticulously expressive and not photo-realistic. Each drawing can also be seen as a self-representation individually, as Okubo includes herself in each one.

  • Dave
    2019-05-12 21:19

    I've had a real crisis of faith since the election. How do I tell my students to be honest and decent, work hard and treat people right when none of those things are rewarded? When the highest office is held by a person who is proudly mendacious, cruel, petty, lazy, incurious? Who in turn rewards people who are the same?My teaching has taken a turn. My 7th graders are currently reading Citizen 13660 and connecting it to NSEERS, executive orders banning Muslims, and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    2019-04-25 02:08

    This graphic documentation of the "protective custody" that many Japanese Americans had to submit to was done by a young woman (Mine Okubo) who was there. The differing ways individuals try to come to terms with their new "status" in a country they thought they belonged to is truly sad...a lesson we should never forget.

  • Amanda
    2019-05-10 21:22

    I read this for English. It was pretty cool because it was in graphic novel form. Although you definitely can't disregard the weight of the subject, the writing was pretty bland and overall not my favorite.

  • Sunny
    2019-05-23 20:28

    These drawings by Miné Okubo are about her time in internment camps during WWII. It's not a graphic novel in the modern sense but it was an early graphic memoir and an important and shameful part of American history. It's largely non-linear and full of humor and emotion.

  • Brittany Kinard
    2019-05-09 01:28

    In Citizen 13660, Mine Okubo documents her experience in Japanese internment camps. Told objectively, she illustrates how horrid and dehumanizing the living conditions were for Japanese citizens imprisoned in these camps. While her writing does not reflect how she personally felt about her experiences, the pictures tell a different story. When she writes about experiences like little access to drinkable water or being forced out of her home, she draws herself with a grimace or sorrowful eyes. Okubo's account is an important piece of American history that shows what happens when fear and prejudice grip a society. In the preface to the 1983 edition Okubo writes " I am often asked, why am I not bitter and could this happen again? I am a realist with a creative mind, interested in people, so my thoughts are constructive. I am not bitter. I hope that things can be learned from this tragic episode, for I believe it could happen again."

  • Glen U
    2019-05-17 02:28

    "Citizen 13660" is a short book written by artist Mine Okubo who spent 4 years in the relocation camps during WW2. Every page has a simple drawing of her life in the camps with a short caption explaining the illustration. Very objective with minimal emotion (perhaps because of the censorship that was utilized during this period), it tells a sad story in the tumultuous times during the 1940's in America. Definitely not a comprehensive look, nor an emotive piece, it still filled in some answers I personally had for this period in American history. Any person of Japanese descent should read this if they want to see what our parents and grandparents went through, especially here on the West coast. There are many books written about the relocation camps during the war, most telling a more complete story than "Citizen 13660", but this book does tell an amazing and sorrowful story in its own simple way. A very good read.

  • Natalie Alicea
    2019-05-01 20:26

    This book details the time that author Mine Okubo spent in Japanese interment camps as a young woman. She illustrates her time by including herself as a frame of reference and detailing daily life and special occasions during her time at two different camps. Okubo's discussion of the life she witnessed and lived at these camps is certainly appropriate for a wide audience of readers. A background knowledge and understanding of the occurrences of causes of the Japanese interment camps and a particular level of maturity is necessary, the work is not graphic or violent in language or image. Citizen 13660 is entertaining and informative, and provides a clear depiction of the life of a young woman in an interment camp.

  • Kyle
    2019-05-20 00:29

    Citizen 13660 is an autobiographical account of the harsh conditions of Japanese internment during World War II. It offers an interesting look into the terrible conditions that the Japanese people had to deal with, in the United States. It shows a glimpse into the often-forgotten atrocities and provides a detailed look through the utilization of drawings. For what it is worth, the book does an excellent job describing the hardships of the individuals and represents the emotions of the victims during World War II and shows how they had to improvise to survive. Though Miné Okubo depicts the atrocities, one has to wonder whether she was truly representing the situation, or if she toned down the violence to get the work published.

  • Anthony Friscia
    2019-05-04 00:10

    Another possible Common Book. I can't believe I hadn't ever read this account of being in the Japanese Internment camps. A little simplistic, and I couldn't get into the art, but interesting. Certainly a fast read, and with recent talk about possible Muslim internment, certainly something to talk about.

  • Marleen
    2019-05-22 22:14

    Okubo was an artist who used her drawing skills to visually document her World War II incarceration experience. This shows the harsh living conditions Japanese American people had to endure because they looked like the enemy. The writing style is very spare and reminds me of how many Nisei recalled their "camp" stories.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-24 01:20

    Okubos book is a compelling combination of images and text that tells her story of incarceration. I was moved by her inclusion of herself in each image. She broke down the distinction between the viewer and the viewed. It’s also a powerful juxtaposition with official WRA photography to have this emic production of art.

  • Chantal
    2019-05-04 21:25

    A straightforward, raw, and real account of Miné Okubo's time in the Japanese Internment Camps. This book is unique in that Miné made hundreds of sketches of daily camp life that were included on each page. It turned out to be a quick, educational, and objective read on the internment camps.

  • Tori Malizzi
    2019-05-16 20:22

    This is not your typical graphic narrative where words and pictures are completely intertwined. Okubo uses her diary of images to tell her story and the supplements them with words. She illustrates the horrors and dehumanizing nature of the internment camps, using herself as a constant frame.

  • Janice Hovis
    2019-04-30 01:26

    This book is a series of captioned drawings, not really a graphic novel. It details the experiences and daily life of an American citizen of Japanese descent in an internment camp during WWII. The drawings and quiet tone of the captions are very powerful.

  • Dana
    2019-05-23 00:37

    After reading this book, I intend to read everything else I can find about this awful chapter in our history. Something I don't remember being taught about...ever.

  • Elan Mudrow
    2019-05-13 19:26

    This punched me in the stomach, leaving me short of illustration.

  • Alex L
    2019-05-08 00:14

    My copy had a great introduction by Christine Hong that really put the creation of the book in context for me.

  • l.
    2019-04-24 19:29

    The foreword by Christine Hong on the politics of this book is fascinating.