Benji Okubo, born in Riverside, was a renowned painter of Japanese ancestry. A graduate of Otis Art Institute (1929), he was active in Los Angeles from the 20's through the 40's. Incarcerated in 1942 in Heart Mountain for the duration of the war, Okubo continued to paint and to teach art classes to fellow inmates. After the war, Okubo returned to Los Angeles with his wife, Chisato, and supported his family as a successful landscape architect. While Okubo continued to paint, his professional career in art did not resume its pre-war level of activity and recognition.
This photograph is related to the article "Young Artist Given Award: Miss Dorothy Jeakins Gets Honor at Otis Institute. Fall-Term Scholarship Won by Excellence of Work." Los Angeles Times, 24 Jun. 1934: 18