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Browse > Genre > Biography

12 articles

Desert Exile (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Biography, Non fiction
  • Injustice, Displacement, Evils of racism
  • Widely available

Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese-American Family is an autobiography by noted children's book author Yoshiko Uchida that chronicles her experiences in the years before and during her incarceration in an American concentration camp during World War II. It was originally published in 1982 by the University of Washington Press and reissued with a new introduction by Traise Yamamoto in 2015.

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Bob Sakata: American Farmer (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Biography, Children's
  • Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Injustice, Role of men, Coming of age
  • Available

Biography for children by Daniel Blegen about a Nisei farmer in Colorado that covers his wartime incarceration in an American concentration camp.

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Biography Hawai'i: Koji Ariyoshi (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Biography
  • Working class struggles, Change versus tradition, Convention and rebellion
  • Widely available

Documentary film that profiles journalist, labor leader, and former Manzanar inmate Koji Ariyoshi. Produced as part of the Biography Hawai'i series, it aired on public television stations in Hawai'i in May 2005.

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Lucky Ears: The True Story of Ben Kuroki, World War II Hero (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Biography
  • Patriotism – positive side or complications, Role of men, Heroism – real and perceived, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Widely available

Biography of Nisei war hero Ben Kuroki, written for a fourth grade audience.

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Songbird of Manzanar (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Biography
  • Everlasting love, Expression through art
  • Widely available

Short film by Cody Edison about Mary Nomura recounting her days as the "Songbird of Manzanar." Filmed at the Manzanar National Historic Site and at Nomura's home, she talks about how she took up signing at age sixteen under the urging of music teacher Lou Frizzell, her frequent public performances in camp, and meeting her husband, Shi Nomura. The film features two recordings of Nomura recorded at Manzanar, "I Dream of You" and "Can't Fool This Heart of Mine," and ends with Mary singing "Embraceable You" accompanied by Scott Nagatani on piano.

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Adios to Tears: The Memoirs of a Japanese-Peruvian Internee in U.S. Concentration Camps (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Biography, Memoir
  • Displacement, Immigrant Experience
  • Widely available

Adios to Tears: The Memoirs of a Japanese-Peruvian Internee in U.S. Concentration Camps relays the life story of Seiichi Higashide (1909–97). The book was translated from Japanese into English and Spanish through the efforts of his eight children, and was first published in 1993 by E&E Kudo. A second edition of the book was published in 2000 by the University of Washington Press, with a new foreword by C. Harvey Gardiner, professor emeritus of history at Southern Illinois University and author of Pawns in a Triangle of Hate: The Peruvian Japanese and the United States; a new epilogue by Julie Small, co-chair of Campaign for Justice-Redress Now for Japanese Latin Americans; and, a new preface by Elsa H. Kudo, the author's eldest daughter.

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Most Honorable Son (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Biography
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real or perceived
  • Available

Documentary film that profiles Nisei war hero Ben Kuroki, tracing his life from his Nebraska childhood, his fight to be allowed to serve in the military after the attack on Pearl Harbor, his bombing missions over Europe and Japan, and his visits to American concentration camps in which Japanese Americans were held. Kuroki tells much of the story in his own words, which are augmented by many interviews with crew members who flew with him in both Europe and Japan. In addition to archival footage and photographs, the filmmakers also film reenactments of a few key episodes. Among the incidents highlighted are the dramatic raid on the Ploesti oilfields in what is now Romania, one of Kuroki's last missions in Europe; his speech before the Commonweath Club in San Francisco upon his return; and his visit to the Heart Mountain concentration camp of which inmates Eiichi Sakauye, Jack Tono, and ...

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Why is Preparing Fish a Political Act? (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Biography
  • Convention and rebellion, Loss of innocence, Power of silence, Power of words, Role of women, Self-awareness
  • Available

Short documentary film by Russell Leong that profiles Sansei poet Janice Mirikitani. Mirikitani reads several of her poems (from the collections Awake in the River and Shedding Silence) and talks about her grandmother's resourcefulness; her rejection of her Asian heritage as a young college student and her first husband and daughter; the impact of the Asian American Movement; and her involvement with Gilde Memorial Church and her second husband Cecil Williams. In the final segment of the film, Mirikitani talks about the impact of the Japanese American incarceration on her family and on the community as a whole and reads the poem "We, the Dangerous."

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Old Man River (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Biography, History
  • Family – blessing or curse, Power of the past, Power of silence, Quest for discovery
  • Available

Filmed version of Cynthia Gates Fujikawa's one-woman play of the same name about her search to unearth the secrets in the life of her father, actor Jerry Fujikawa. The play premiered in New York in 1997. Gates and documentary film director Allan Holzman filmed her performances during the run of the play in Los Angeles in early 1998. To try to recapture the effect of Fujikawa talking directly to the audience, Holzman positioned cameras on stage that she could talk into and added additional historic photographs and video. Premiering later in 1998, the film version went to play in various film festivals, community screenings and Days of Remembrance in succeeding years. The DVD version of the film also includes Fujikawa's 2003 documentary, Day of Remembrance.

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Designing the Path: Japanese American Architect, Gyo Obata (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Biography
  • Circle of life, Expression through art, Wisdom of experience
  • Available

Japanese-produced documentary film profiling Nisei architect Gyo Obata.

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Eyewitness: Stan Honda: Reflections of a Photojournalist (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Biography
  • Expression through art, Facing darkness
  • Widely available

Short documentary film about photojournalist Stan Honda, who gained fame for the photographs he took of the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

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When Justice Failed: The Fred Korematsu Story (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Biography
  • Convention and rebellion, Heroism – real and perceived, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Power of the past
  • Available

Biography for children of activist and exclusion challenger Fred Korematsu by journalist Steven A. Chin.

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