Miné Okubo

Exclusion Order No.19

When war broke out, Miné Okubo was an art student in Switzerland. She returned to the U.S., and was interned in the Topaz camp for two years, working there as an art teacher. After the war she lived in New York City. Citizen 13660 was the first published first-person account of life in the Japanese American internment camps. Julie Otsuka credits this book as one of her sources for When the Emperor was Divine. Indeed, she begins her narrative with “Evacuation Order No. 19,” told without sentiment from the mother’s point of view as she steps out on a sunny day, reads the unequivocal notice, and returns to her home to pack.