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Browse > Interest Level > Adult

457 articles

A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Will to survive, Patriotism - positive side or complications, Nationalism - complications, Immigrant experience, Evils of racism
  • Widely available

In 1987, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History (NMAH) opened A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the US Constitution (MPU), an exhibition on the World War II Japanese American detention centers designed to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. Though the creation of an exhibition that exemplified a moment of weakness for the Constitution was opposed by some, the exhibition stayed long past its intended term and was replaced with a permanent online version even after its physical removal in 2004.

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A Crossroad Called Manzanar (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Short, History
  • Growing up - pain or pleasure, Loss of innocence
  • No availability

Short dramatic film about two nine-year-old girls who are best friends—Aya Matsui and Penny Chan—in the final days before Aya's family will be forced to board busses for Manzanar. On what will be her final day of school, Penny—wearing the "Proud to Be Chinese" button than her mother pins on her every morning—comes to pick up Aya as usual. But after being harassed by white children on their way to school, they decide to spend the day playing in the fields and parks before heading home. Aya's family eats on the floor, the rest of their things packed or sold off. The next morning, the Matsuis report for their exile and are put on busses for Manzanar. Penny comes by their house, finding it empty and, shunned by the other kids, rides alone on the school bus to school.

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The Caretaker (film)

  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Female roles, Isolation, Working class struggles
  • Widely available

Short film about Josey Gerrish, a migrant from Fiji, who serves as the caretaker for 95 year old Haru Tsurumoto in Sonoma County, California. Told through Josey's first-person narrative, we learn that she had hoped to be doctor or nurse, but, like many Fijian woman, had to leave her own family behind to become a caretaker in the U.S. She finds herself immediately drawn to Haru, with the women linked by their outsider status. During World War II, Haru had been among those Japanese Americans forcibly removed and held in concentration camps. In the U.S. without papers, Joesy worries about getting stopped by police and deported.

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Ohakamairi: A Visit to the Graves (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Isolation, Power of tradition, Reunion
  • No availability

Short documentary student film by Janice D. Tanaka that focuses on the annual pilgrimages to Manzanar made by Buddhist Rev. Sentoku Maeda. Shot in 16mm black and white while a student at the University of Southern California (USC), Tanaka's film lets Maeda tell his story in his own voice, accompanied by historical photos and footage of Maeda at the Manzanar site. Incarcerated at Manzanar as a young man, he recalls the Buddhist services held there despite administrative opposition. He talks about the "I-re-to" memorial and his promise to visit the graves at Manzanar once the war is over. For the next twenty plus years, he came back to perform memorial services, sometimes alone. The film ends with his recognition of the "young people" who have turned his lonely pilgrimage into a community event starting in 1969.

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Bend with the Wind: The Life, Family, and Writings of Grace Eto Shibata (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Circle of life, Family – blessing or curse, Female roles, Power of tradition
  • Available

Memoir of a Nisei woman—though written in the third person—that covers a nearly one hundred year history of a prominent San Luis Obispo area farming family and that ends with the author's graduation from college at age seventy-four.

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Dandelion Through the Crack/Kiyo's Story (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Evils of racism, Family – blessing or curse, Female roles, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Wisdom of experience
  • Widely available

Memoir by a Nisei woman of farm life in Sacramento, her family's wartime incarceration, and their struggles to reestablish their lives after the war.

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Nakamura Comes Home (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Evils of racism, Injustice, Totalitarianism
  • Widely available

Short story about the return of a Nisei veteran to his California hometown by Henry H. Hayden. Kido Nakamura, with his chest full of medals and a limp due to a war wound, returns to Bonneville, where he had grown up as an orphan, and been on his own since age fourteen, until his forced removal to Tanforan. From camp, he joined the 442nd and served in Europe. He stops first at the hotel where he used to live and work, but a former co-worker tells him that the new owners are unwelcoming. He walks through he town, seeing racist signs, tangible evidence of anti-Japanese sentiment. Walking out to a farm he thinks he can get a job at, he is harassed by drunks and ponders his future in the town.

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