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Browse > Interest Level > Adult

457 articles

They Call Me Moses Masaoka: An American Saga (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Patriotism – positive side or complications, Quest for power, Rights - individual or societal
  • Available

Nisei known primarily for his role as executive secretary of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) during World War II reflects on his life experiences, and declares with confidence that he would make the same choices if he could do it over again.

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Undaunted Courage, Proven Loyalty: Japanese American Soldiers in World War II (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Heroism - real and perceived, Patriotism - positive side or complications, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • No availability

Exhibition on Japanese Americans in the military during World War II that was organized by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Public History Program in 2004. Undaunted Courage included the stories of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service as well as a kiosk featuring stories of Japanese American veterans collected by the Go For Broke National Education Center. The exhibition was one of eight exhibitions in the Little Rock, Arkansas, area that were part of the Life Interrupted project, a collaboration between the Japanese American National Museum and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Three of the exhibitions, all on some aspect of the Japanese American military experience, were displayed at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, the other two being Beyond the Call of Duty: Honoring the 24 Japanese American Medal of Honor Recipients and Witness: Our Brothers' Keepers.

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Camp Notes (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Poetry
  • Available

Mitsuye Yamada's first collection of poetry, initially published in 1976, includes poems she wrote during World War II and soon thereafter. The first book of poetry by a Japanese American woman to focus explicitly on the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans and its aftermath, the collection includes illustrations by Yamada's daughters, Jeni and Hedi, and calligraphy done by her husband, Yoshikazu Yamada.

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A Grain of Sand (album)

  • Albums
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Contemporary Folk
  • Evils of racism, Immigrant experience, Injustice
  • Widely available

Originally produced and released in 1973 by Paredon Records, A Grain of Sand: Music for the Struggle by Asians in America by folk trio Chris Kando Iijima, Nobuko JoAnne Miyamoto, and William "Charlie" Chin is widely recognized to be the first album of Asian American music. The record is a combination of folk songs, political ballads and protest songs. The music was written, performed and recorded at the height of the Asian American, black, and anti-war movements in the early '70s by New York musicians and activists Iijima, Miyamoto, and Chin, who were then in their twenties and early thirties. The original album includes artwork by Arlan Huang/Artist Resource Basement Workshop on the album jacket and liner notes with a political statement by the musicians, lyrics, and a list of Asian American publications from the era. One of the songs, "We Are the Children," is likely the first song in ...

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Manzanar Rites (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction, History
  • Coming of age, Evils of racism, Rights - individual or societal, Vulnerability of the strong
  • Limited availability

Coming of age novel by William Hohri about two teenage boys from West Los Angeles who end up at Manzanar with their families.

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The Sakai Family of Bainbridge Island (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Family – blessing or curse, Importance of community, Necessity of work, Reunion, Role of women
  • Limited availability

Documentary film on the Sakai family, longtime residents of Bainbridge Island, Washington, based primarily on an interview with Kazuko "Kay" Sakei Nakao.

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Home in the West (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Evils of racism, Individual versus society, Injustice, Loss of innocence, Totalitarianism
  • Widely available

Short story recounting the return to California by Hirosho Yugi and his wife after their incarceration at Heart Mountain. His initial happiness is dulled when a group of neighbors try to force him out, first by burning down a shed and throwing rocks through windows, then by the burning down of their house. The day after their house is torched, they receive a telegram informing them of the death of their son in combat in Italy.

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Conscience and the Constitution (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Convention and rebellion, Illusion of power, Injustice, Power of the past, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

Influential documentary film that tells the story of the draft resistance movement at Heart Mountain. Journalist Frank Abe produced, directed, and wrote the hour-long film, which was released in 2000.

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Time of Decay (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Desire to escape, Family—blessing or curse, Loneliness as destructive force, Losing hope
  • Widely available

Short story by Ferris Takahashi of an Issei woman whose family puts her in a cold nursing home against her will at the end of her life. Told from the perspective of the woman, she recalls her forced removal and incarceration in unspecified concentration camps and other episodes in her life.

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Woman from Hiroshima (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Immigrant experience, Motherhood, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Wisdom of experience
  • Available

Novel by Toshio Mori written in the first-person voice of an Issei woman telling her life story to two grandchildren shortly after World War II.

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The Black Dress (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Companionship as salvation, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Progress – real or illusion
  • Limited availability

Short story about a young woman who has recently left Heart Mountain to resettle in New York City in 1945. Invited to a party by co-workers at a silk screen shop, she decides to buy a new dress for the party. At the department store, she impulsively asks the friendly young female sales clerks to join her for dinner that night. Though she immediately regrets asking, the evening leads to an unexpected revelation.

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21st Century Manzanar (book)

  • Books
  • Adult
  • Fiction
  • Evils of racism, Importance of community, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Will to survive
  • Available

Novel by Perry Miyake that imagines an early 21st century roundup of Japanese Americans and how Sansei and Yonsei would react to it.

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An Abandoned Pot of Rice (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Displacement, Immigrant experience, Importance of community, Progress – real or illusion
  • No availability

Short essay by Hisaye Yamamoto DeSoto about the Kumamoto-mura community near Oceanside, California, where her family lived just prior to World War II. The pleasant reminiscences of life there are tempered by recollections of the chaos after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the events leading up to the forced removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast. The title of the story comes from the narrator's recollection of making a pot of rice intending to make rice balls on the day of their forced departure, but forgetting about it, leaving the full pot behind. Years later, she returns to the site of the community, which subsequently became a large military base which for a time housed tens of thousands of Southeast Asian refugees. Noting the similarities with the concentration camps she and her family were in, she observes that this group was the third group of Asians to ...

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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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An American History: Resettlement of Japanese Americans in Greater Cleveland (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Self-reliance, Injustice
  • Available

Oral history-based documentary centering on Japanese Americans who resettled in Cleveland after leaving the concentration camps. Directed by Greg Petusky and Johnny Wu, the film was funded in part by a grant from the Japanese American Citizen's League's National Endowment Fund. It debuted at a screening at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History on April 8, 2000.

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American Fish (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Short, Drama
  • Available

Short dramatic film about two Nisei women who run into each other at a grocery store and the dance that ensues when neither can remember who the other is. Humorous at first, the tone shifts when one asks about "camp" and other replies that she was in Tule Lake, invoking stereotypes of the camp and its inmates in the other. Directed by Jesse Wine, "American Fish" was based on the short story of the same name by R. A. Sasaki. It was screened as part of the Tule Lake Pilgrimage in 1996.

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American Heroes: Japanese American World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Patriotism - positive side or complications, Heroism - real and perceived
  • Limited availability

Traveling exhibition developed by the Smithsonian Institution to commemorate the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service in 2011. Created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in partnership with National Veterans Network, National Museum of American History, and Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the exhibition included photo and text panels about the Japanese Americans who served in World War II along with the medal itself.

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An American Story: The History of California's Nisei Veterans (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism - real and perceived, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • No availability

Short documentary on California's Nisei veterans produced by photographer Tom Graves. The video was funded by a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program.

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Against Their Will: The Japanese American Experience in World War II Arkansas (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Evils of racism, Injustice
  • Available

Exhibition centering on the experiences of Japanese Americans in Jerome and Rohwer, the two concentration camps located in Arkansas, as well as those of who lived near the camps and/or worked in them. The exhibition was developed by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Public History Program and debuted as part of the Life Interrupted project in 2004. The largest of eight exhibitions mounted in various venues in the Little Rock area, Against Their Will debuted at Arkansas Statehouse Convention Center downstairs foyer on September 24, 2004, running through November 28, 2004. Against Their Will is currently on permanent display at the World War II Japanese American Internment Museum, which opened in McGehee, Arkansas, in 2013.

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An American Christmas (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Family – blessing or curse, Immigrant experience, Motherhood, Working class struggles
  • Available

Short story by Alice Nash centering on an elderly Issei woman in contemporary New York. As she struggles to carry a bag of rice home to her apartment, she reflects on her arrival in New York with her late husband after leaving the concentration camp and the kind Yamaguchi family who put them up while refusing to take money from them. They eventually opened a cleaning shop that helped pay for their only son's college education. A successful businessman in California, the son takes her on a trip every year, but largely keeps her away from her grandchildren due to his white wife's discomfort with her. When she gets back to her apartment, the family of the building's supervisor, the Gonzalez family, invites her to their home to help decorate their Christmas tree.

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Beyond Barbed Wire (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Role of men, Disillusionment and dreams
  • Available

A 1997 documentary film on the Japanese American soldiers of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service who fought for the United States during World War II while some of their families were held in concentration camps. The film is based on interviews with numerous veterans as well as with their wives and adult children. Among topics touched on in Beyond Barbed Wire are friction between men from Hawai'i and the continental U.S. during basic training; the unusual story of Korean American Colonel Young O. Kim; the rescue of the Lost Battalion, and the continuing legacy of the veterans for their families. One unique aspect of the film is its treatment of the controversy over the role of Major General John Dahlquist, whom some veterans feel used the Nisei as "cannon fodder." In telling the story of the mass incarceration, the filmmakers include ...

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

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Power of the past
  • Available

Episode 4012 of the California public television series features a visit to the Manzanar site with a group of former inmates. Host Huell Howser interviews activist Sue Kunitomi Embrey, who provides some background on Manzanar's history and points out the administration and inmate areas. Archie Miyatake talks about the photographs his father Toyo Miyatake took at Manzanar and displays the camera Toyo had made at Manzanar with a lens he had smuggled into the camp. The rest of the episode focuses on names carved into cement by inmate laborers, with three such laborers—Goro Kurihara, Jiro Matsuyama, and Gimp Izumi—brought back to the camp to see their handiwork for the first time in nearly sixty years.

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Canefields and Deserts: Japanese American Internment (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Evils of racism, Injustice
  • No availability

Early traveling exhibition assembled by the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) and displayed in venues in Honolulu and Denver, Colorado, in 1992. As part of the 50th anniversary commemoration of Executive Order 9066, JANM put together Canefields and Deserts, which opened at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu on July 10, 1992. Curated by Pam Funai, the exhibition included photographs of Hawai'i internment camps Sand Island and Honouliuli, letter and sketches by artist George Hoshida, and a large scale model of Manzanar made by Robert Hasuike. After its brief ten-day run in Honolulu, the exhibition traveled to Denver in August 1992.

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Camp Nine (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Coming of age, Evils of racism, Power of wealth, Role of women
  • Available

Coming of age novel set in and around "Camp Nine," a fictionalized Japanese American concentration camp based on Rohwer, narrated by a girl from a prominent white family in the adjacent town whose life is transformed by the camp.

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Citizen 13660 (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir, Graphic Novels
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Expression through art, Will to survive
  • Widely available

Published in 1946 as the last camps were being shuttered, Nisei artist Miné Okubo's illustrated eponymous memoir, Citizen 13660, has the distinction of being the earliest, first-person, book-length account of the American concentration camp experience. Always a vigorous booster of her own work, Okubo promoted the book that came to define her career as "the first and only documentary story of the Japanese evacuation and relocation written and illustrated by one who was there."[1] All told, Okubo produced an estimated 2,000 portraits of camp life in a range of styles and materials, including ink, charcoal, and gouache, while imprisoned at the Tanforan temporary detention camp in California and the Topaz concentration camp in Utah. Okubo's voluminous output notwithstanding, it was primarily Citizen 13660's roughly 200 line-drawings that established her standing as a major chronicler of and historic witness to the camp experience.

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