(16 images of internment at Tanforan Assembly Center, San Bruno, California and Topaz Relocation Center, Utah)
19.125 in HIGH x 25.875 in WIDE
(48.58 cm HIGH x 65.72 cm WIDE)
Gift of the Estate of the artist

signed "Mine" in plate, lower margins
TOM, "Mine Okubo: An American Experience," 1972.OMCA, Gallery of California Art, Open Space 1, "Min_ Okubo: Citizen 13660," May 1 - Aug. 1, 2010.

This is a set of 16 clich_s-verre prints adhered together on a cardboard backing board. The artist drew on photonegative film and printed the images to create white line prints on a black background. The images depict scenes of daily life in a Japanese Internment camp in the United States during World War II.

Text for 16 images1A (Announcement of evacuation, late April 1942)"On April 24, 1942, Civilian Exclusion Order No. 19 was issued and posted everywhere in Berkeley. Our turn had come.We had not believed at first that evacuation would affect the Nisei, American citizens of Japanese ancestry, but thought perhaps the Issei, Japanese-born mothers and fathers who were denied naturalization by American law, would be interned in case of war between Japan and the United States. It was a real blow when everyone, regardless of citizenship, was ordered to evacuate." (p. 17, Citizen 13660)2A (Berkeley evacuation, late April 1942) "We had three days and three night to pack and get ready. My brother was excused from the University with a promise that he would receive his B.A. degree in June.Our friends came to cheer us up and to wish us luck. It was like old home week but we were exhausted from work and worry. On the last morning the main part of the packing was finished but there was still plenty to be done. I asked different friends to take care of some of my cherished possessions. In the last hour I dashed to the bank to get some money, picked up my laundry, and paid my household bills." (p. 21, Citizen 13660)3A (Berkeley evacuation, May 1, 1942)"We said good-bye to our friends and entered the Civil Control Station. Hundreds of evacuees were already there. A guide directed us to Group No. 4 to which we were assigned. Sandwiches and fruit were served by the church people.At 11:30 a.m. Group 4 was called. We picked up our hand luggage and fell into line." (p. 25, Citizen 13660)4A (Tanforan Assembly Center, San Bruno, California, May 1, 1942)"The soldier got out and opened the door and we filed out past him." (p. 29, Citizen 13660)1B No text2B (Tanforan Assembly Center, San Bruno, California, 1942)" 'Line-ups here and line-ups there' describes our daily life. We lined up for mail, for checks, for meals, for showers, for washrooms, for laundry tubs, for toilets, for clinic service, for movies. We lined up for everything." (p. 86, Citizen 13660)3B (Topaz, Utah, ca. 1942-43)"Each block had a laundry complete with washboards and clotheslines. Much time was spent in the laundry. There was plenty of hot water and the alkaline water made washing easy." (p. 159, Citizen 13660)4B (Topaz, Utah, ca. 1942-43) "Entertainments were given on makeshift stages in the mess halls and in the open. Talent shows and plays were presented. Later an auditorium was built." (p. 173, Citizen 13660)1C (Train ride from California to Utah, ca. September 16-17, 1942) "Restless from exhaustion, everyone was wakeful on the second night. Nothing functioned well on this old relic. The steam heat could not be turned off, so the car was overheated and stuffy. About two o'clock in the morning someone shouted, "The Great Salt Lake!" There was a general scramble to open the windows and look out. It was pitch black and I could see nothing, but I could hear the ripple of the water. An hour later the train pulled into the huge railroad station at Ogden. I have a dim recollection of seeing ice and water put on the train, but do not know how long we stopped here. I was half awake when the trained arrived at Salt Lake City. A small group of Japanese American had come to see their friends on the train. The big clock in the station indicated that it was already 4 a.m. We tried to sleep the rest of the morning." (p. 120, Citizen 13660)2C (Drive from Delta, Utah, to Topaz Relocation Center, Utah, ca. September 17-18, 1942)"We rode through seventeen miles of alfalfa fields and greasewood-covered desert. Half of the distance was made over rough, new constructed dirt roads. We were all eyes, hoping to spot something interesting in the flat, dry land which extended for miles in all directions. Suddenly, the Central Utah Relocation Project was stretched out before us in a cloud of dust. It was a desolate scene. Hundreds of low black barracks covered with tarred paper were lined up row after row. A few telephone poles stood like sentinels, and soldiers could be seen patrolling the grounds. (p. 122, Citizen 13660)3C (Tanforan Assembly Center, San Bruno, California, 1942)"It was far from complete. Carpenters were working overtime building barracks in the center field. Additional washrooms, shower rooms, toilets, and laundry buildings were being planned and built throughout the camp." (p. 49, Citizen 13660)4C (Topaz, Utah, January 1944)"Each family was given a pot-bellied stove. Ours was moved in with me." (p. 146, Citizen 13660)1D No text2D No text3D (Topaz, Utah, January 1944)"After plowing through the red tape, through the madness of packing again, I attended forums on 'How to Make Friends' and 'How to Behave in the Outside World.'I was photographed." (p. 207, Citizen 13660)4D (Departure from Topaz, Utah, January 1944)"The day of my departure arrived. I dashed to the block manager's office to turn in the blankets and other articles loaned to me, and went to the Administration Office to secure signatures on the various forms given me the day before. I received a train ticket and $25, plus $3 a day for meals while traveling; these were given to each person relocating an indefinite permit. I received four typewritten cards to be filled out and returned after relocation, and a booklet, 'When You Leave the Relocation Center,' which I was to read on the train. I dashed to the mess hall for a bit to eat, then to the Administration Office, picked up my pass and ration book at the Internal Security Office, and hurried to the gate. There I shook hands with the friends who had gathered to see me off. I lined up to be checked by the WRA and the army.I was now free." (p. 208, Citizen 13660)

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