Naomi Kubota Lee is a painter, fiber artist, wabi sabi artist, and a Sansei. During World War II, the United States government incarcerated her family in prison camps at Tanforan and Topaz. Kubota Lee was born in Redwood City, California, in 1954. She grew up in Mill Valley, California; attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she wrote "Japanese American Redress Movement: Finishing a Chapter of American History" as her senior thesis; and was actively involved the National Campaign for Redress and Reparations (NCRR) in the redress movement. In this interview, Kubota Lee discusses growing up in Mill Valley, including school and connections to the Japanese American community; family history, including migration stories and livelihoods; activism in social justice movements; involvement in the redress movement with the NCRR, including intergenerational activism and the impact of testimonies from survivors of incarceration; education and work history, including interviewing people involved in the redress movement for her senior thesis; raising her children; the impact of World War II incarceration on her family; memorialization of incarceration, including pilgrimages to Tule Lake and Topaz; personal art practice, including wabi sabi philosophy; and thoughts on intergenerational trauma and healing.




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