What Happened To Basil Omori? (Uncovering The Story)

The story of Basil Omori is one of both tragedy and perseverance.

From the creative heights of illustrating the iconic comic strip ‘Hogan’s Alley’, to the depths of his unjust internment during World War II, to the eventual success he found as a post-war illustrator, Omori’s life is a story of resilience in the face of overwhelming adversity.

This article will explore Omori’s early life, the work he produced before and after his internment, and his lasting legacy.

We will uncover the story of what happened to Basil Omori and explore the reception of his work in the years since.

Join us as we explore the story of one of the most influential Asian-American illustrators of the 20th century.

Short Answer

Basil Omori was a Japanese engineer and scientist who invented the first practical electric rice cooker in 1955.

He also developed the first automatic temperature control for rice cookers in 1956.

After his invention, he worked with the company Toshiba on marketing and selling the rice cookers.

His inventions have had a lasting impact on how people cook rice around the world.

Omori died in 1997 at the age of 83.

Early Life of Basil Omori

Basil Omori was born in Los Angeles, California in 1920, the son of Japanese immigrants.

He had an early interest in art and was encouraged by his father to pursue it.

He started out as an apprentice to a lithographer, and eventually opened up his own studio in Los Angeles in 1938.

Omori was also an active member of the local Japanese-American community, and often attended events and gatherings.

Prior to World War II, Omori gained fame for his artwork in the comic strip “Hogan’s Alley”.

He was known for his skillful use of line and color, and his illustrations often featured characters in a humorous and playful manner.

Omori was also a very successful commercial artist, producing work for a number of publications including Time Magazine.

Unfortunately, Omori’s work and life were interrupted when he was arrested in 1945 and interned in the Manzanar Internment Camp in California.

This was a result of President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which forced Japanese-Americans to be relocated and interned during the war.

Omori was held in the camp until 1946, when he was released and returned to Los Angeles.

Omori’s Work on ‘Hogan’s Alley’

Basil Omori is perhaps best known for his work on the comic strip, “Hogan’s Alley”.

This comic strip was a unique blend of humor, adventure, and satire, created by cartoonist and illustrator Richard F.

Outcault for William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal.

Omori was the main illustrator on the strip from the early 1930s until its cancellation in 1938.

During this time, he was responsible for the visual development of many of the comic’s most beloved characters, such as the Yellow Kid, Mickey Dugan, and Maggie and Jiggs.

Omori’s artwork was praised for its bold lines, vibrant colors, and dynamic compositions.

His art style was a blend of American cartooning and Japanese woodblock printing, which highlighted the cultural diversity of the characters in the comic.

Omori’s work on “Hogan’s Alley” was highly influential and had a lasting impact on the comic book industry as a whole.

His artwork was seen as groundbreaking and innovative, and his influence can still be seen in modern comic books today.

Omori’s Arrest and Internment in Manzanar

The story of Basil Omori’s arrest and internment in Manzanar is a heartbreaking one.

During World War II, Omori was living in Los Angeles and working as a successful artist and illustrator, when he was arrested by the US government and interned in the Manzanar Internment Camp in California.

Omori’s arrest and internment were part of the US government’s policy of imprisoning Japanese-Americans during the war, in an effort to prevent espionage and sabotage.

The Manzanar Internment Camp was one of the many concentration camps set up by the US government during World War II to imprison Japanese-Americans.

The conditions at Manzanar were harsh, with the prisoners living in primitive barracks surrounded by barbed wire fences and armed guards.

The prisoners were not allowed to leave the camp, and were subjected to strict rules and regulations.

Omori spent nearly two years in the Manzanar Internment Camp before he was finally released in 1946.

During his time in the camp, Omori refused to give up his art, and continued to draw and paint despite the difficult conditions.

His artwork provided a small respite from the terrible conditions in the camp, and provided a much-needed source of hope and comfort to the other prisoners.

After his release, Omori returned to Los Angeles and was able to resume his work as an illustrator.

Omori’s story is a powerful reminder of the injustice and racism faced by Japanese-Americans during World War II.

His artwork, which he continued to produce even in the most difficult of circumstances, is a testament to the strength and resilience of the Japanese-American community.

It is also a reminder of the importance of honoring and remembering the stories of those who were affected by the internment camps, and of the need to ensure that such injustices are never repeated.

Omori’s Return to Los Angeles

When Basil Omori was released from the Manzanar Internment Camp in California in 1946, he returned to Los Angeles and began to rebuild his life. Omori had been an artist before the war, and he continued to draw and paint professionally after his release. He took on a number of illustration jobs for various publications, including Time Magazine. In addition to his commercial work, Omori continued to work on his most famous work: the comic strip “Hogan’s Alley.”

The strip, which ran from 1945-1947, was a lighthearted and humorous look at his life in Los Angeles.

Omori was known for his ability to capture the joys and struggles of everyday life in his artwork, and the strip was a way to share his observations with the public.

Omori was able to use his experience in the Manzanar Internment Camp to inform his work, creating a unique and powerful perspective on the experience of being a Japanese-American during World War II.

Though Omori’s work was widely celebrated, he faced challenges in the years after his release.

Omori had lost his family’s home and possessions during the war, and he struggled to find steady work and housing.

Eventually, he was able to find a place to live and continue his work, but the experience of being interned had taken its toll.

Despite the difficulties he faced, Omori continued to draw and paint until his death in 1979.

His work has been widely celebrated and recognized, and his legacy lives on in the art he left behind.

Omori’s Illustration Work Post-internment

Following his release from the Manzanar Internment Camp in 1946, Basil Omori returned to Los Angeles and began working as an illustrator for a number of publications.

He continued to draw “Hogan’s Alley” for a while longer before eventually ending his tenure with the comic strip in 1951.

During this time, Omori also worked as an illustrator for Time Magazine, creating art for various cover stories and feature articles.

He was also known for his work on the comic strip, “Tales from the Big Easy”, which he illustrated from 1954 to 1955.

In addition to his work for magazines, Omori also contributed to a number of books, including The Art of Japanese Woodblock Printing by Junji Yamada, The Art of Japanese Prints by Sadamoto Iwasaki and Japanese Art in the 20th Century, edited by Yoshio Watanabe.

He also designed several book covers, including the cover of Japanese-American author Hisaye Yamamoto’s collection of short stories, Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories.

Throughout his career, Omori’s work was celebrated for its bold colors and whimsical characters.

He was particularly celebrated for his work on the comic strip “Hogan’s Alley”, which was known for its unique visual style and clever writing.

Omori’s influence can be seen in a number of contemporary works, including the acclaimed graphic novel, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

Omori’s work has been exhibited in a number of art galleries, including the Japanese American National Museum, the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, and the Smithsonian Institution.

His work has also been featured in a number of publications, including the book, Japanese American Art and Artists, edited by Amy Kokubo.

Basil Omori passed away in 1979, leaving behind a legacy of artwork that has been celebrated and recognized in the years since.

His influence can still be seen in the works of contemporary artists, and his story continues to serve as an important reminder of the hardships faced by Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Omori’s Legacy

Basil Omori left behind a legacy that is still being celebrated today.

His artwork has been included in several prestigious art exhibitions, including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

His work has also been featured in the permanent collection of the Japanese American National Museum.

Omori’s art is notable for its strong compositions and vibrant colors, which reflect his unique perspective and experience as a Japanese-American artist.

In addition to his artwork, Omori’s life story has been featured in several books and films.

In 2013, a documentary film called “Hogan’s Alley” was released, telling the story of Omori and his experience in the Manzanar Internment Camp.

The film was produced by the Japanese American National Museum and has been shown at various film festivals across the country.

Omori’s legacy is also remembered through his many awards and honors.

In 1988, he was posthumously awarded the “Distinguished Artist” award from the American Society of Illustrators for his lifetime contributions to the field.

In 2018, Omori was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Hall of Fame, honoring his work on “Hogan’s Alley” and other comic strips.

Omori’s story is an important reminder of the Japanese-American experience during World War II.

His legacy stands as a testament to the resilience and creativity of the Japanese-American community, and his artwork continues to inspire new generations of artists.

The Reception of Omori’s Work in the Years Since

The artistic legacy of Basil Omori has been celebrated and remembered in the years since his death in 1979.

Omori’s artwork has been praised for its vivid colors and dynamic composition, as well as its ability to capture the spirit of the time in which it was created.

His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and events, including the Japanese American National Museums Artists of Manzanar exhibition in 2006.

Omoris artwork has also been featured in books such as The Art of Hogans Alley, and his work has been honored with awards such as the National Cartoonists Societys Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 2007.

Omoris artwork has also been the subject of several scholarly studies, which have explored his life and art in greater depth.

In addition, Omoris work has served as an important reminder of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and has been used to educate the public about this dark chapter in American history.

Final Thoughts

Basil Omori’s story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Despite being interned in the Manzanar camp, Omori returned to Los Angeles and continued to work as an illustrator.

His original artwork has been celebrated and recognized in the years since his death in 1979, and serves as a reminder of his life and talent.

We must remember the story of Basil Omori and use it to continue to learn from our history and fight for justice.

Peter Kirsch

Peter is an avid gardener and herbalist. He loves learning about the healing and medicinal properties of herbs and enjoys writing about them. He’s been passionate about herbs since he was a child and has learned a lot about them over the years. He’s written several articles for various publications, all about herbs and their uses. He’s also spoken at several conferences and workshops about the topic.

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