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Browse > Interest Level > Adult

464 articles

Civil Rights and Japanese-American Internment (curricula)

  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Expression through art, Immigrant experience, Individual versus society, Injustice, Overcoming, Patriotism, Rights, War

Developed in 2000 by the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) and the Institute for International Studies (IIS) at Stanford University, this high school/college curriculum module presents civil rights in the context of the Japanese-American experience from immigration in the early 20th century to World War II, and on through more contemporary issues of redress, reparations and memorializing the incarceration. Organized into six lessons, this curriculum can provide up to three weeks of stand-alone instruction or select lessons can be used to augment U.S. history textbook coverage.

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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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Legacy of the Nisei Veterans: WWII Stories of the 100th/442nd and Military Intelligence Service (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real and perceived, Role of men
  • Limited availability

Documentary film made up of interviews with ten Nisei World War II veterans from the San Francisco Bay area. Short segments of the interviews are organized by topic in more or less chronological fashion, with the occasional insertion of still photographs from the period. Segments include the reaction to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the arrest of Issei leaders, Executive Order 9066 and its aftermath, early recruits to the Military Intelligence Service (MIS), the formation of the 442nd and the loyalty questionnaire episode of early 1943, the battlefield experiences of the MIS in the Pacific and the 442nd in Europe, and the role of the MIS in occupation Japan. The film ends with a brief summary of each man's life after the war. One unusual element in the inclusion of Takeshi "Gish" Endo's story of being recruited out of Heart Mountain by the British Political Warfare Mission, and doing translation ...

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Resistance at Tule Lake (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Power of the past
  • Limited availability

Documentary film that tells the story of the Tule Lake concentration camp, with a focus on the post-segregation period, through interviews with former inmates, archival images, and scenes from contemporary pilgrimages.

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A Divided Community (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism - Real and Perceived, Patriotism - Positive Side or Complications
  • No availability

Film produced and directed by Momo Yashima that tells the story of the Heart Mountain draft resisters through the stories of resisters Frank Emi, Yosh Kuromiya, Mits Koshiyama and journalist James Omura. While Emi and Kuromiya tell their stories on camera, actor Ralph Brannen voices the words of Kuromiya and Omura. Paul Tsuneishi, a veteran and a member of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) who supported the cause of the draft resisters, provides on camera narration and background. Interviews with lawyer Deborah K. Lim, author of The Lim Report, and historian Art Hansen are also included. The title refers both to divisions between Issei and Nisei during the war and between the JACL and those who resisted aspects of the mass incarceration.

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Right of Passage (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Empowerment, Female roles, Importance of community, Power of the past
  • Available

Documentary film by Janice D. Tanaka that chronicles the convoluted twenty-year history of the Redress Movement.

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Honor Bound: A Personal Journey (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism - real or perceived, Power of the past
  • Available

Documentary film that tells the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team through the story of one soldier, Haruo Howard "Howe" Hanamura, and his daughter, television reporter Wendy Hanamura, who travel to Europe in October 1944 for 50th anniversary ceremonies of the liberation of Bruyeres and Biffontaine by the 442nd. The film was produced by the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) and KPIX, San Francisco, where Wendy Hanamura was a news reporter. After debuting on KPIX on March 5, 1995, it went on to be shown on over 100 PBS stations.

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The Issei Prisoners of the San Pedro Internment Center (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Immigrant experience, Injustice, Losing hope, Power and corruption, Will to survive
  • Available

Novel by Stanley N. Kanzaki about Issei internees at the fictional San Pedro Internment Camp in New Mexico.

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Memoirs of a Certain Nisei (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Empowerment, Patriotism – positive side or complications, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Available

Posthumously published memoir by Kibei war hero Thomas Taro Higa, translated from its original Japanese and published in 1988. The vast majority of the book covers events taking place during World War II.

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Nisei Stories of Wartime Japan (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Displacement, Facing darkness, Nationalism – complications, Self-preservation
  • Widely available

Documentary film by Mary McDonald and Thomas McDonald Mazawa that tells the story of Nisei who were trapped in Japan during World War II based on interviews with ten such Nisei.

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An American Hero: Shiro Kashino (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Animation
  • Heroism – real and perceived, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications
  • Widely available

Short documentary film that uses animation and archival footage to tell the story of Shiro Kashino, a Nisei from Seattle who becomes a war hero as a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, but who loses his rank for his role in a fight in France.

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The Shoyu Kid (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Coming of age, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Illusion of power, Loss of innocence, Vulnerability of the meek
  • Widely available

Short story by Lonny Kaneko set in Minidoka centering on three boys who chase and bully a fourth boy, in the process unearthing his molestation by a camp guard. The Seattle-based author had been incarcerated at Minidoka as a child. The Shoyu Kid was originally published in Amerasia Journal in 1976.

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We'll Meet Again: Children of WWII (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Growing up – pain or pleasure, Power of the past, Reunion
  • Widely available

Debut episode of television series hosted by Ann Curry that tells stories about the reuniting of people tied together by a key historical event many years later. The first of six episodes in the show's first season focuses a pair of stories about children of World War II seeking out people who had a big impact on their lives during difficult times.

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The Silent Glory (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real and perceived
  • Limited availability

Documentary film on the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Relying on archival and newsreel footage along with interviews, The Silent Glory begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the subsequent mass forced removal of West Coast Japanese Americans, continuing with the struggle to restore eligibility to military service for Japanese Americans and the military history of the 442nd, and climaxing with the rescue of the Lost Battalion and the movement to award Congressional Medals of Honor many years later. Among those interviewed are George Katagiri, Kennie Namba, George Oiye, and Al Ouchi, along with Martin Higgins, one of the commanders of the "Lost Battalion." Producer and director Zed Merrill specializes in making films about relatively little known aspects of World War II.

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Valley of the Heart (play)

  • Plays
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, History
  • Change versus tradition, Everlasting love, Family – blessing or curse, Love and sacrifice, Patriotism – positive side or complications

Play by Luis Valdez centered on two farm families—one Japanese American and one Mexican American—in Cupertino, California, during World War II.

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Dark Clouds Over Paradise: The Hawai'i Internees Story (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Lost honor, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Rights - individual or societal
  • No availability

Exhibition organized by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i (JCCH) that focused on the World War II internment of Japanese Americans living in Hawai'i. Originally organized in 2004, a later traveling version of the exhibition debuted in 2006 and traveled widely in Hawai'i over the next several years.

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China Dolls (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Companionship as salvation, Empowerment, Female roles, Forgiveness, Heartbreak of betrayal, Will to survive
  • Widely available

Historical novel by Lisa See centering on performers at Chinese themed nightclubs in San Francisco and New York in the 1930s and 1940s. One of the three main characters is a Japanese American woman passing as Chinese American.

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The Ito Sisters (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Evils of racism, Family – blessing or curse, Immigrant experience, Role of women
  • No availability

Documentary on three Nisei sisters from Central California who lived to see their beiju (88th birthday) celebration, exploring their lives to the end of World War II.

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Shirley Temple, Hotcha-cha (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Displacement, Heartbreak of betrayal, Isolation, Wisdom of experience
  • Available

Short story by Wakako Yamauchi about a Nisei strandee couple and their difficulties both in wartime Japan and in the resettlement era U.S. Told in the first-person voice of Mie, the story begins in 1939 when Mie is seventeen. As was the case for a sizable minority of Nisei youth, she had been sent to Japan for her education, having arrived there three years prior. She attends a boarding school and spends holidays with the Kodamas, a wealthy childless couple who are family friends. On a holiday, she meets Jobo Endo, a fellow Nisei, who is in Japan attending college. Courtship ensues. Recognizing the difficulties they would face in Japan as the war heats up, Jobo suggests that Mie ask the Kodamas for money to return to the U.S. However, the Kodamas had hoped to marry off Mie to a grand nephew. Though they consent to Jobo and Mie getting ...

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Makapuu Bay (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Disillusionment and dreams, Facing reality, Lost love, Names – power and significance, Reunion
  • Widely available

Short story by Wakako Yamauchi about a divorced middle-aged Japanese American writer who goes to a literary conference in Honolulu where she runs into an old boyfriend from the war years. In flashback, we learn that Sachiko—nicknamed "Pinky" while incarcerated in Poston with her father—had met Mitch Ochiai at the camp swimming hole, where she asked him to teach her to swim. They become a couple and continue to see each other when she resettles in Chicago while he attends the Military Intelligence Service Language School in Minnesota. But her father's illness—and eventual death—forces her to return to Poston, while Mitch heads off to war, and they lose touch. Sachiko ends up marrying Joe Noda, her block manager, and settling in Los Angeles. Though Sachiko is divorced and Mitch has never married, a rekindling of the romance in Hawai'i is not to be.

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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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American at Heart (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism - real and perceived, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • No availability

Film that tells the story of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team through historical footage (including clips from the movie Go for Broke!), still photographs and interview with many Nisei veterans, their white commanders, and others tied to the story. American at Heart covers the origin of the units in Hawai'i and Washington, DC, basic training in Camps McCoy and Shelby, their experiences in combat in Europe, and their return to the Hawai'i and the continental U.S. after the war. The film also contrasts the experience of Japanese Americans in Hawai'i vs. those on the West Coast, outlining the mass forced removal and incarceration of the latter. Among those interviewed are General Mark Clark, the World War II commander of the Fifth Army and 15th Army Group in Europe, who discusses what he calls "the wrong decision" to send Japanese Americans to "concentration camps" and his attempts ...

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The Long Journey and the Short Ride (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Darkness and light, Motherhood, Optimism – power or folly, Reunion
  • Available

Seemingly autobiographical story by Toshio Mori about the author and his brother, a paralyzed veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, recalling the latter's visit to Topaz prior to shipping out for combat in Europe. The author and his mother get a pass to leave Topaz for the first time since they had arrived in order to see the brother off at the train station. Their apprehensions about being outside the camp are eased by a white family—who had also just seen a son off to war—who offer them a ride to town. Shifting back to the present of the story, the author notes the successful recovery that his brother has made since the war and both brothers lament that neither of their parents lived to see that recovery. The same incident is the basis for another story Mori had written in 1943 titled "The Travelers." "The Long Journey and ...

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Journey to Washington: On the Trail of Senator Daniel Inouye Japanese American Pioneer (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Patriotism – positive side or complications, Empowerment
  • Available

Japanese-made video on the life of Daniel Inouye, American war hero and United States Senator from Hawai'i. Journey to Washington aired in selected television markets in both the U.S. and Japan.

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Home Is the Expatriate (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Disillusionment and dreams, Pride and downfall
  • Widely available

Short story by Larry Tajiri about a Nisei strandee just returned from Japan after a decade there. Joe Suzuki was a Nisei in Los Angeles who graduated high school in the mid 1930s. Unwilling to take the types of jobs available to Nisei at that time—primarily agricultural and/or manual labor type jobs—he first tried Hollywood, then went to Japan, as did many other Nisei at that time. He landed a white-collar job at a Japanese firm, but it proved to be a dead end job, and, as a Nisei, he drew suspicion from the police. He attempted to return to the U.S. in November 1941, but his ship turned around midway as war broke out, and he was stuck in Japan during the war. He returns embittered, his mother having died in an American concentration camp, and his father having resettled in Chicago.

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