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Browse > Interest Level > Adult

457 articles

Journey of Honor (film)

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

Documentary film produced and directed by Stuart Yamane centering on a trip by a group of Hawai'i Nisei veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team to Italy some fifty-five years after they fought there during World War II. In documenting the trip, Yamane reconnects with his late and estranged father Masakichi, a World War II veteran, who had served with some of the men on the trip. Led by columnist and military history buff Bob Jones, the trip includes stops at Pietrasanta, where they the men are honored in a Liberation Day ceremony and take part in the unveiling of a statue honoring Sadao Munemori; Mt. Fologorito, where they have a reunion with the Alpini, the Italian Mountain Corps who guided Allied troops; the American Cemetary and Memorial in Nettuno; and, finally, Monte Cassino, a mountain that was the site of one of their most difficult ...

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Little Tokyo U.S.A. (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Thrillers
  • Evils of racism, Fear of other
  • Limited availability

Notorious 1942 Hollywood movie that depicts Japanese American leaders in Los Angeles as being part of a Japanese spy ring and that actively advocates the expulsion and incarceration of Japanese Americans using actual documentary footage.

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The Legend of Miss Sasagawara (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Female roles, Hazards of passing judgment, Individual versus society, Losing hope
  • Widely available

Short story by Hisaye Yamamoto that takes place in an Arizona concentration camp during World War II and centers on the odd activities of one woman in the camp, as described by a college age female fellow inmate. Mari Sasagawara, a former ballet dancer, arrives with her Buddhist priest father upon transfer from another camp and soon becomes the subject of much gossip by other camp inmates for her regal bearing and aloofness. After being absent from the camp for a few months—taken to an institution in Phoenix—she returns a changed woman, friendly and sociable, even organizing and teaching a dance troupe of young girls. But after the narrator leaves the camp to attend school in Philadelphia, her friend tells her that Miss Sasagawara's malaise had returned and that she was taken out of the camp again. The story ends with the narrator finding a poem by Miss Sasagawara published ...

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Looking Like the Enemy (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Evils of racism, Role of men, Heroism – real and perceived
  • Widely available

Documentary film on the unique experiences of Japanese American soldiers in Asian wars: World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The 52-minute film was made by Karen L. Ishizuka and Robert A. Nakamura in conjunction with the exhibition Fighting for Tomorrow: Japanese Americans in America's Wars at the Japanese American National Museum and screened in the exhibition gallery.

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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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Mary Osaka, I Love You (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Adult
  • Everlasting love, Immigrant experience, Nationalism – complications
  • Widely available

Short story by acclaimed writer John Fante about the love between a Filipino American immigrant man and a Nisei woman that takes place in Los Angeles as World War II breaks out. A part of Fante's intended novel on Filipino Americans, it was first published in Good Housekeeping magazine in October 1942.

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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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Maybe (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Capitalism – effect on the individual, Necessity of work, Will to survive, Working class struggles
  • Widely available

Short story by Wakako Yamauchi about a middle-aged Japanese American woman working in a sweatshop with a group of undocumented immigrant workers from Latin America. Divorced after twenty-five years of marriage, Florence wanders into a garment factory with a help wanted sign and is hired on the spot and given a relatively responsible position despite her lack of qualifications due to what she thinks is the owners' stereotype about "Japanese." In her first person voice, she introduces various workers as well as the owner's much younger Colombian immigrant wife who takes an immediate disliking to her. She befriends a young couple who were forced to leave their young son back in Mexico and are unable to bring him to the U.S.; the husband semi-jokingly asks Florence to marry him so that he can get a green card. At the end of the story she recalls her and her family's confinement ...

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Matsumi Kanemitsu: A Japanese American Artist (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art
  • Limited availability

Short profile of artist Matsumi "Mike" Kanemitsu that includes his own thoughts about his techniques and goals as an artist. Narrator Amy Hill provides a brief outline of his life and work accompanied by many photographs and the music of Miles Davis. His World War II experience as a Kibei in the U.S. Army is largely passed over to focus on his postwar art career.

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The Music Man of Manzanar (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Optimism – power or folly, Power of the past
  • Widely available

A short documentary film by Brian Tadashi Maeda about Lou Frizzell, who came to the World War II American concentration camp at Manzanar to teach drama and music to the Japanese American high school students who were imprisoned there. The film includes interviews with his former students, who were inspired by Frizell's ability to help the students temporarily forget their circumstances and lose themselves to the beauty and power of music and the joy of being young. The film also includes re-enactments of Manzanar High students performing parts of Frizzell's operetta Loud and Clear. The second half of the film turns its attention to Arnold Maeda, the filmmaker's older brother and a student of Frizzell's who performed in Loud and Clear; we attend a 2002 ceremony at Santa Monica High School in which Maeda and other Japanese American students receive the diplomas they were denied by the mass incarceration and ...

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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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Only What We Could Carry: The Santa Anita Assembly Center (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Adult
  • History
  • Displacement, Injustice
  • Limited availability

Temporary exhibition at the Ruth and Charles Gilb Arcadia Historical Museum about the nearby detention facility. Drawing on photographs, objects, and issues of the Santa Anita Pacemaker in the museum's collection, Only What We Could Carry opened in November 2009. The museum also includes the story of the Santa Anita Assembly Center as part of its permanent gallery on the history of Arcadia.

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A Piece of Cake (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Female roles, Importance of community, Role of women
  • Limited availability

Short story by Yachiyo Uehara that recalls friendships made while in a concentration camp. In the 1980s, a Nisei woman named Fumi is making a roast when she notices a story about a Heart Mountain reunion in the newspaper. The article triggers memories of her two years at Heart Mountain forty years prior, in particular her work as a waitress in the Block 17 mess hall. A city girl from San Francisco, she is at first treated as an outsider by fellow workers who mostly hailed from rural areas. But through her hard work and skill in the Japanese language, she wins them over, in particular the group's de facto leader, Mrs. Shirota. The story climaxes with a visit to the Shirotas' family barrack, where Mrs. Shirota has secured the rare treat of a manju (rice and sweet bean pastry) that the chefs had managed to concoct. Fumi is particularly ...

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Pleasure of Plain Rice (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Desire to escape, Self-awareness, Working class struggles
  • Limited availability

Essay/story by Hisaye Yamamoto on racial identity that focuses on her month-long stint as a domestic in Springfield, Massachusetts, during World War II. She begins the piece by noting various white Americans she knows who have changed their ethnic-sounding last names to less ethnic sounding ones, noting the futility of her doing such a thing as a Japanese American, citing the mass incarceration during World War II. Anxious to leave Poston, where she and her family ended up, she and two of her younger brothers are allowed to leave for Massachusetts in the summer of 1944. While her fifteen-year-old brother Yuke is placed in a summer camp in the Berkshires, the War Relocation Authority office in Boston assigns her and her seventeen-year-old brother Jemo to become domestic servants for a wealthy widow in Springfield. Both initially dislike the stern and formal family and the job duties that had to be ...

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Piecing Memories (film)

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

Short film about Japanese American senior citizen women in a Japanese American Services of the East Bay (JASEB) quilting class who make a quilt inspired by their World War II experiences. The seventeen minute film was made by Bridge Media for the JASEB and was funded in part by a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program.

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Right from Wrong: Learning the Lessons of Honouliuli (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Facing darkness, Rights - individual or societal
  • Limited availability

Wayside exhibition produced by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i (JCCH) that debuted in 2011. The sixteen panel exhibition focuses on the Honouliuli detention camp and JCCH's efforts to preserve the site and tell the story of Hawai'i's World War II Japanese American internees. Funding for the exhibition came from a grant from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program and from the Island Insurance Foundation. JCCH contracted Mo'ili'ili Blind Fish Tank (MBFT) Media to produce the exhibition. Arnold Hiura wrote the exhibition script and Stephen Doi designed and built it.

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Relics from Camp (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Adult
  • Art, History
  • Displacement, Injustice
  • Available

Art installation by Kristine Yuki Aono that debuted at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in 1996. The installation featured soil collected by the artist at each of the ten War Relocation Authority camp sites installed in shallow 3 x 3 square boxes on the floor with glass over them. At each venue, Aono sought community members who lent personal objects from themselves or other family members who had been in each camp that were installed in that camp's box. The exhibition was viewed by walking on the glass over the boxes.

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Sayonara Slam (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Adult
  • Fiction, Mystery
  • Power of silence, Power of the past, Family – blessing or curse
  • Widely available

The sixth book in Naomi Hirahara's Mas Arai Mysteries series finds the Kibei gardener caught up in unraveling the mysterious death of a Japanese journalist covering the World Baseball Classic in Los Angeles. As in the other books in the series, Mas's Hiroshima hibakusha past and the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans play key roles in the plot.

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Searchlight Serenade (film)

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

A 2012 documentary film on Japanese American swing dance bands in the World War II concentration camps. Produced by Claire Reynolds for KEET, a Eureka, California, based public television station serving California's northern coast, the hour long documentary debuted on October 30, 2012. The film was funded by grants from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant program, the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, and the Humboldt Area Foundation (Victor Jacoby Artist Grant).

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Starting from Loomis and Other Stories (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Evils of racism, Immigrant experience, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Memoir by playwright, poet, actor, and librarian Hiroshi Kashiwagi in the form of twenty-five stories, most of them first-person vignettes from various periods of his life. Edited by Tim Yamamura, Starting from Loomis was published by the University of Colorado Press in 2013 as part of the George and Sakaye Aratani Nikkei in the Americas Series.

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A Star Is Something to Steer By (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Coming of age, Convention and rebellion, Losing hope
  • Widely available

Short story by Mataileen Larkin Ramsdell about the contentious but affectionate relationship between a white high school teacher in Rohwer and an intelligent but cynical student. A young teacher from Wisconsin, Eve Erickson is immediately drawn to Joe Moriyama, the smallest boy in 11th grade homeroom class, who is constantly challenging her by pointing out the contradictions between the American creed and the treatment of Japanese Americans. In one instance, he tells her about a girl in her class who had her family farm registered in her name to get around the alien land law, but who now found herself the target of an escheat case upon the death of her father. Over time Joe and Eve come to like and respect each other. When Nisei are deemed eligible for the draft in 1944, Joe and other boys in her class are drafted, but he is uncharacteristically silent. He later ...

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Summer of the Big Bachi (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Adult
  • Fiction, Mystery
  • Facing darkness, Greed as downfall, Power of silence, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Mystery novel by Naomi Hirahara that was the first to feature her Kibei hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) gardener protagonist Mas Arai.

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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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The Red Kimono (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Coming of age, Evils of racism, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Will to survive
  • Widely available

Novel that tells parallel stories of a Japanese American family that is uprooted from their Berkeley, California, home and sent to American concentration camps during World War II, and a young African American man who goes to prison for the beating death of that family's patriarch.

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The Journey (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 3-5
  • Picture Book, Children's
  • Evils of racism, Expression through art, Power of the past
  • Widely available

A children's book by Sansei author and artist Sheila Hamanaka, published by Orchard Books in 1990. The Journey: Japanese Americans, Racism and Renewal is based on a 25-foot mural painted by Hamanaka that mixes the history of Japanese Americans with an emphasis on the American concentration camps of World War II with her own family's experience using a mixture of Japanese iconography, realism and caricature. The book features both close-ups of the mural as well as a panoramic view of all five panels, which are accompanied by the author's text, giving her perspective on history, tradition, and hope. It also includes a preface and afterword reflecting on these themes.

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