Bennie Nobori was a American animator and comic artist who was active in the 1940s. He drew a comic strip titled 'Yankee Reporter' (1942-1943) for the newspaper Topaz Times while being incarcerated in a U.S. POW camp for Japanese-American civilians in Topaz, Utah, during World War II. Otherwise nothing much is known about his life and career.

Early life and career
Some sources claim that Bennie Nobori was an American of Japanese descent. Whether he was born in Japan or a child of Japanese immigrants in the United States is unclear. He worked as an animator in the late 1930s or early 1940s, according to a description from a photograph taken by Francis Stewart on 11 March 1943, though the studio is vaguely described as "a Hollywood film studio". According to cartoonbrew.com the studio in question was the Disney Studios.

POW jail time
On 7 December 1941 the Japanese army attacked the U.S. military basis Pearl Harbor. The United States entered World War II and president Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a controversial executive order which led to the internment of several Japanese Americans in U.S. POW camps, solely based on their ethnicity. Though it mostly concentrated on people living on the East Coast of the U.S., not the West. Other (future) Japanese-American cartoonists who were incarcerated at that time were Chris IshiiJack Ito, Willie Ito, Bob Kuwahara, Tom Okamoto and Iwao Takamoto. In his case, he was sent to camp Topaz in Central Utah.

Yankee Reporter
While people were jailed they were still allowed to follow education courses and read media. Staff cartoonist Nobori drew a weekly comic strip titled 'Yankee Reporter' (sometimes spelled as 'Jankee Reporter') for the official camp newspaper Topaz Times. The main character was a little Japanese boy. It ran at least between 1942 and 1943. While most Japanese-Americans were freed again by the end of the war it is not known how long Nobori was jailed, nor how long he drew his comic strip, let alone whether it was continued by other cartoonists for the remainder of the war. 'Yankee Reporter' did leave a huge impression on one boy, who was thrilled to see a Japanse-American like him make professional comics: future animator and comic artist Willie Ito. Staff cartoonist Nobori was also active in other activities to pass the time in the camp. According to an article in the Topaz Times of 16 October 1943, Nobori sponsored a center-wide "fly swatting drive" in Heart Mountain. The action resulted in 65.300 flies being killed in a single week. For each 1.000 flies captured one dollar in defense stamps was awarded.

Further life
Nothing else is known about Bennie Nobori's life, except that he did have children and grandchildren. According to ancestry.co.uk a man named Bennie Y. Yobori passed away in L.A. in 2006. No age or other specifics are given.


Bennie Nobori on 11 March 1943 (This photograph by Francis Stewart is part of the War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement, and available in the Online Archive of California.)

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