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Browse > Interest Level > Adult

464 articles

From Hawaii to the Holocaust: A Shared Moment in History (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Evils of racism, Facing darkness, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

Documentary film on the men of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion and their encounter with Jewish victims of the Nazi death camps at the end of World War II. The 1993 film was a production of the Hawaii Holocaust Project.

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Citizen Tanouye (film)

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

A 2005 documentary film that tells the story of eight high school students from Torrance High School in California, and their discovery of a school alumnus named Ted Tanouye and his experiences during World War II. A Japanese American soldier of the renowned 442nd Regimental Combat Team who was killed in action and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Technical Sergeant Tanouye and his family were nonetheless incarcerated at the Jerome and Rohwer, Arkansas, concentration camps from 1942–45, without due process. By researching Tanouye's personal history through school yearbooks, newspapers, internet sites and by conducting interviews with Japanese American veterans, the relevance of history and importance of civil liberties becomes tangible for the students, who come to see the parallels between the Japanese American experience during World War II and their own lives and the impact war had on their city.

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Manzanar: Never Again (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Importance of community, Injustice, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Short film shot at a Manzanar Pilgrimage. Attendees—including former inmates and their descendants—talk about Manzanar, the aftermath of camp, and the evolution of the pilgrimages and the Manzanar National Historic Site as we see scenes of the pilgrimage and the preparations for it. The role of activist Sue Kunitomi Embrey is highlighted in reminiscences of those who knew her; her own words are read by an actress.

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Betrayed Trust: The Story of a Deported Issei and His American-Born Family During World War II (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Adult
  • Memoir
  • Coming of age, Disillusionment and dreams, Displacement, Heartbreak of betrayal, Identity crisis, Immigrant experience, Losing hope
  • Available

A Nisei shares his family's heart-wrenching experience of wartime incarceration and the complex background behind their decision to go to Japan instead of staying in the U.S. after the end of the war.

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Honouliuli: Hawai'i's Hidden Internment Camp (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Power of the past, Injustice, Evils of racism
  • Widely available

Documentary short film on the Honouliuli Internment Camp in central Ō'ahu produced by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i. Interviews and other footage from this film were later incorporated into a broader documentary film, The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai'i. Ryan Kawamoto wrote, directed, and edited both films.

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Mitsuye and Nellie: Asian American Poets (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Female roles, Power of words, Role of women
  • Available

One of the earliest documentaries to broach the topic of Japanese American wartime incarceration, Mitsuye and Nellie profiles Asian American poets Mitsuye Yamada and Nellie Wong, showing them reading their poetry, meeting their family and visiting the Minidoka and Angel Island sites.

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Though I Be Crushed: The Wartime Experiences of a Buddhist Minister (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Displacement, Immigrant experience, Injustice
  • Limited availability

Translated memoir of an Issei Buddhist priest focusing on his wartime incarceration at several camps.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser: Songbird of Manzanar (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Reunion, Expression through art
  • Available

Episode 7003 of the long running California public television television series, California's Gold with Huell Howser. Filmed at the 2004 Manzanar Pilgrimage, this episode profiles two Nisei artists, painter Henry Fukuhara and singer Mary Nomura. Fukuhara is introduced by colleague Al Setton, and two of his paintings from the collection of the Japanese American National Museum are also highlighted. Fukuhara, who was just short of his ninety-first birthday at the time, is interviewed and is shown working on a painting. Nomura, the "Songbird of Manzanar," is interviewed about her singing exploits at Manzanar and is shown performing "The Manzanar Song" at the grand opening of the Manzanar Visitors Center.

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Memories of Place: Clarksburg's Japanese Language School (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, History
  • Importance of community, Working class struggles
  • Widely available

Short documentary film on the Holland Union Gakuen (Japanese language school) in Clarksburg, California.

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Henry Sugimoto: Painting an American Experience (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Art, History
  • Expression through art, Immigration experience, Displacement
  • Limited availability

Retrospective exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) featuring the work of Issei artist Henry Sugimoto, who was best known for his depictions of the wartime incarceration experience, many of them executed while he was confined at the Fresno, Jerome, and Rohwer camps. Debuting at JANM in 2001, the exhibition subsequently traveled to Sacramento and to Arkansas.

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Comforting the Afflicted (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Importance of community, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Role of Religion – virtue or hypocrisy
  • No availability

Moderated panel discussion led by Phil Shigekuni with four prominent Japanese American Protestant ministers with ties to Los Angeles who were incarcerated during World War II. Three—Rev. Paul Nagano, Rev. John Miyabe, and Bishop Roy Sano—were at the Poston, Arizona, concentration camp, while Rev. Sam Tonomura was a boy in British Columbia caught up in the forced removal of Japanese Canadians during the war. The discussion covers the men's experiences during the war and the role of the church during the incarceration, particularly with regard to issues of "loyalty" and resistance. The men talk about the role of the church in the Redress Movement, in bridging divides in the Japanese American community today, and in the anti-Muslim/Arab climate following the 9/11 attacks. The format of the film largely follows that of a "talking heads" type television program, with the insertion of still historical photographs.

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Crafting History: Arts and Crafts from America's Concentration Camps (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Art, History
  • Expression through art, Desire to escape
  • Limited availability

2002 exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). Crafting History highlighted some 400 objects from JANM's collection made by Japanese Americans held in American concentration camps during World War II, ranging from a five foot tall Buddhist altar carved in Heart Mountain to bird pins, clothing and other textiles, and furniture. Curated by Kristine Kim, the exhibition opened on November 16, 2002. A full slate of public programs took place during the six-month run of the exhibition, including many crafting workshops. Craft items from the camps were also the subject of The Art of Gaman, a lavishly illustrated book published in 2005 and an exhibition that traveled around the country and in Japan starting in 2010.

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Woman With a Blue Pencil (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Mystery, Historical Fiction
  • Character – destruction, building up, Communication – verbal and nonverbal, Disillusionment and dreams, Evils of racism, Heroism – real and perceived, Manipulation
  • Widely available

Novel about a pulp mystery novel written by a young Nisei as World War II breaks out, his interactions with a sometimes overzealous editor, and his protest in the form of an unpublished manuscript centering on the Nisei private detective he was forced to remove from the novel.

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Issei and Nisei: The Internment Years (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Displacement, Importance of community, Role of religion - value or hypocrisy
  • Available

Memoir of a young Issei Methodist clergyman based in Washington state during the trying years of World War II. Published in the fall of 1967, Daisuke Kitagawa's account was among the first book-length first-person accounts of the Japanese American incarceration.

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Great Grandfather's Drum (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Importance of community, Power of the past, Power of tradition
  • Available

Documentary film that tells the story of Japanese Americans in Maui through the story of Maui Taiko and its founder, Kay Fukumoto.

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One of Many (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Injustice, Disillusionment and dreams, Patriotism - positive side or complications
  • Widely available

Short dramatic film written and directed by Byron Yokomi centering on George Miyamoto, a young man at one of the Arkansas concentration camps facing major life decisions brought on by the loyalty questionnaire crisis. Yokomi made the film as an MFA student at Florida State University.

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Tadaima (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Companionship as salvation, Darkness and light, Disillusionment and dreams, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Widely available

Short dramatic film by Robin Takao D'Oench that chronicles the return of a Japanese American family to their West Coast home after being released from an American concentration camp. The family—two presumably Issei parents and two presumably Nisei kids, an older teenage boy and younger teenage girl—arrive at a home that is unkempt and dirty and also marred by anti-Japanese graffiti both inside and out. As they set about making the house livable again, the two kids go out into the woods and dig up a box filled with Japanese objects—family photographs, documents, and precious objects such as Japanese dolls and clothing—they had presumably buried in the period prior to their forced removal. As they slowly settle back into their home, each family member finds some degree of hope by the end of the first day. The title is a Japanese expression generally uttered by someone who is announcing his ...

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The Cats of Mirikitani (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Disillusionment and dreams
  • Available

An award-winning documentary film from 2006 about a homeless Nisei artist named Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani and the friendship that develops with filmmaker Linda Hattendorf on the streets of New York.

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We the People: A Story of Internment in America (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Evils of racism, Importance of community, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Role of women
  • Available

Memoir of Florin, California-based Nisei educator and activist Mary Tsukamoto co-authored by Elizabeth Pinkerton and published in 1987 when Tsukamoto was seventy-two. Though the book covers her entire life, well over half of it focuses on her and her family's wartime confinement, their resettlement in the Midwest, and eventual return to California.

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The Crystal City Story: One Family's Experience with the World War II Japanese Internment Camps (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Coming of age, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Immigrant experience, Reunion
  • Available

Self-published memoir by Tomo Izumi about her family's internment in the Crystal City, Texas, internment camp and her life before and after the war in a small plantation town on the Big Island of Hawai'i.

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Heart Mountain: An All American Town (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Growing up – pain or pleasure, Injustice, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Documentary film on the Heart Mountain, Wyoming, concentration camp written, produced and directed by Raechel Donahue that focuses on the experiences of the children in the camp.

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America at its Best: Legacy of Two Nisei Patriots (film)

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

Documentary film produced and directed by Vince Matsudaira that highlights events honoring the two Medal of Honor recipients from the Seattle area, William Nakamura and James Okubo in 2001. The video was produced by the Nakamura/Okubo Medal of Honor Committee of the Nisei Veterans Committee, Seattle.

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"Forty Years from Sand Island" (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Action, Crime
  • Greed as downfall, Power and corruption, Power of the past
  • Available

Episode of the Magnum P.I. television series that centers on a murder in the Sand Island Internment Camp in 1942. The episode from the popular series' third season first aired in 1983.

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The Steel Helmet (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

Dramatic film about infantry soldiers in the Korean War written and directed by Samuel Fuller. One of the ensemble is a Nisei soldier and World War II veteran played by Richard Loo. It is likely the first Hollywood film to note the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II in a disapproving manner.

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The Lost Village of Terminal Island (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Displacement, Immigrant experience, Importance of community, Power of the past
  • Widely available

A 2007 documentary film directed by David Meltzer about Terminal Island, once home for a large and prosperous Japanese American fishing community located near the Port of Los Angeles, California. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, nearly 3,000 Japanese immigrants and their families who lived at Terminal Island were forced from their homes and into government concentration camps. Most of the original inhabitants of this tight-knit Japanese American village would never return. This film tells the story of childhood memories of growing up on a once idyllic Terminal Island as well as the painful experiences of suspicion, interrogation and incarceration (most Terminal Islanders were sent to the camp at Manzanar) that the community suffered following the passage of Executive Order 9066. The film also traces the former residents' continuing identification with Terminal Island, noting the reunions that began in 1971 and climaxing with the dedication of ...

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