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Browse > Interest Level > Grades 9-12

494 articles

An American Contradiction (film)

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

Filmmaker Vanessa Yuille goes to visit the Heart Mountain site, where her mother was born, to learn more about its history. Through interviews with former inmates—particularly Bacon Sakatani—and local residents and experts, she provides an overview of the mass removal and incarceration and of life at Heart Mountain. We also see LaDonna Zall, acting curator at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, lead tour of the site as it is today. The film concludes with Sakatani leading what looks like a local community meeting in a discussion about whether the camp should be called a "concentration camp."

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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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American Pastime (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, History, Sport
  • Widely available

A 2007 feature film directed by Desmond Nakano that is based on true events that occurred at Topaz, an American concentration camp in Utah which held thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II. The film's story focuses on the Nomura family, whose mother and father are both Issei, and their two Nisei children, Lane and Lyle. Following the signing of Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, the Nomuras, along with over 120,000 other Japanese living on the West Coast, are forced into desolate government camps across the country. To boost the morale of the younger inmates and help build a sense of community, Mr. Nomura, who was once a professional baseball player, forms an in-camp league within the concentration camp, in an attempt to to instill some sense of normality into their lives.

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An American Story: World War II Stories of the Tragedy and Triumph of Our Japanese-American Community During Wartime (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Importance of community
  • Widely available

Video on the World War II odyssey of Japanese Americans from the Watsonville area based on interviews with survivors of that time. The video was part of a larger project that also included a curriculum guide/lesson plan kit for teachers and an interactive video kiosk available for display by community organizations. The project was sponsored by the Watsonville Public Library and Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and funded by a $14,000 grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program. The film's premiere screening took place on August 27, 2011.[1]

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American Sons (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Empowerment, Evils of racism, Quest for discovery, Role of men
  • Widely available

Docudrama by Steven Okazaki about four Asian American male characters talking about the role of race in their lives. Though played by actors, the words spoken by each character come from interviews with real people.

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The Art of Gaman: The Story Behind the Objects (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Will to survive
  • Widely available

A short documentary film created by Rick Quan in 2010 to accompany the traveling exhibition, The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946 which features arts and crafts created by Japanese American internees while living in World War II concentration camps. The film includes stories about the inmates who created the objects included in the exhibition, as told by their children and grandchildren. It also includes an interview with the exhibition's curator, Delphine Hirasuna, who describes The Art of Gaman's purpose of celebrating the unique talents of these camp artists and helping people understand the larger story of the Japanese American mass confinement. The DVD release also includes Voices Long Silent, a 1980 short film by Bob Matsumoto, that was also shown in conjunction with The Art of Gaman exhibition.

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The Art of Living: Japanese American Creative Experience at Rohwer (exhibition)

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

Exhibition of art objects created by Japanese Americans in Rohwer. Mounted in 2011 by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, the exhibition was based on the collection of Mabel Rose Jamison Vogel, an art teacher at Rohwer. Vogel bequeathed the objects to McGehee, Arkansas, Mayor Rosalie Santine Gould, who in turn donated the collection to the Butler Center in 2010. The Art of Living included about 125 pieces, ranging from fashion sketches to bird pins to paintings in a wide variety of styles, augmented by photographs of the camp and interview segments with former Rohwer inmates. The project also includes an online version of the exhibition. Among the public programs tied to the exhibition's run were talks by Delphine Hirasuna, author of The Art of Gaman and by Vivienne Schiffer, daughter of Gould and author of the novel Camp Nine, which is set in a Rohwer-like concentration camp.

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Burma Rifles: A Story of Merrill's Marauders (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Historical Fiction, Children's
  • Heroism – real and perceived, Injustice, Vulnerability of the strong, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Limited availability

Book for young readers by Frank Bonham centering on a Nisei intelligence soldier in Burma during World War II. Published in 1960, it is among the first children's books to depict the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans.

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Beacon Hill Boys (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 7-8
  • Young Adult, Historical Fiction
  • Coming of age, Convention and rebellion, Family – blessing or curse, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Identity crisis, Power of tradition
  • Available

Novel for young adults by Ken Mochizuki about a Sansei teenager's quest for identity and meaning in 1972 Seattle.

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The Brighter Side of Dark: Toyo Miyatake, 1895-1979 (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Immigrant experience
  • No availability

A 1996 short documentary film by Robert Nakamura about the life and career of Los Angeles photographer Toyo Miyatake. Through Miyatake's personal and artistic life (he was very much engaged with other modernists of the 1920s and '30s), the film reveals the vibrant artistic and intellectual milieu of Los Angeles's Little Tokyo district prior to World War II as well as the impact Executive Order 9066 and Miyatake's wartime incarceration had on his artistic career. Using a camera lens that he smuggled into the camp at Manzanar where he was incarcerated, Miyatake reconstructed a camera and eventually became the official camp photographer, producing iconic images of camp life and the landscape of the Eastern Sierras. After the war, Miyatake was able to reconstruct his photography business and resume work at his studio in Little Tokyo. For generations, he was the community's most trusted portrait photographer, enlisted for weddings, graduations, and ...

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Chrysanthemums and Salt (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Immigrant experience, Importance of community, Self-reliance
  • Available

Documentary film by Dianne Fukami on the Japanese American community in San Mateo, California, from its late 1800s origins to the outbreak of World War II. As hinted at by the film's title, Chrysanthemums and Salt largely focuses on two of the major industries that employed Japanese Americans before the war, growing and marketing chrysanthemums and salt companies that took advantage of the region's natural suitability for salt evaporation ponds. The film also covers Japanese American community life, the role of the churches and the outbreak of World War II and the reaction to the subsequent forced removal. Chrysanthemums and Salt is notable for including interviews with several Issei, conducted in Japanese with translated voiceovers. "Host" Jane Yanehiro narrates the film and also appears on camera.

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City in the Sun (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Displacement, Evils of racism
  • Limited availability

1946 novel by Karon Kehoe that represented the first full-length work of adult fiction to dramatize Japanese American confinement.

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Chicago Goes to War, 1941-1945 (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Importance of community
  • No availability

1992–93 exhibition at the Chicago Historical Society on the impact of World War II on Chicago. Among the topics covered in the exhibition is the resettlement in the Chicago area of Japanese Americans from wartime concentration camps. It was one of several major local exhibitions that appeared around the 50th anniversary of World War II and that included aspects of the local Japanese American story.

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Desert Exile (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Biography, Non fiction
  • Injustice, Displacement, Evils of racism
  • Widely available

Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese-American Family is an autobiography by noted children's book author Yoshiko Uchida that chronicles her experiences in the years before and during her incarceration in an American concentration camp during World War II. It was originally published in 1982 by the University of Washington Press and reissued with a new introduction by Traise Yamamoto in 2015.

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Diamonds in the Rough (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Power of the past, Role of men
  • Widely available

Documentary film on Japanese American baseball that focuses on Kenichi Zenimura (1900–68), a pioneering Issei baseball player and coach in Hawai'i and in Fresno, California. The film includes four main sections. The first looks at Zenimura's prewar baseball exploits, and by extension, Japanese American baseball in general, featuring interviews with those who played with or against him. The next focuses on the World War II incarceration that saw Zenimura and his family sent to the Gila River, Arizona, concentration camp, where he famously built a baseball field. Next, the film looks at the postwar phenomenon of Nisei players going to Japan and becoming stars in the Japanese major leagues, focusing on the most prominent such player, Wally Yonamine. The final segment sees Zenimura's son Howard returning to the site of the Gila River camp and visiting the location of the former barracks and of the baseball field. Actor Noriyuki "Pat" ...

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Day of Independence (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Coming of age, Family - blessing or curse, Self-reliance
  • Available

A 2003 short dramatic film about one Japanese American family's World War II experience in an American concentration camp, told through the narration of a young baseball player, whose life is traumatically altered by the forced removal and his father's decision to expatriate back to Japan. The screenplay is based on the real-life experiences of playwright and executive producer Tim Toyama's family and adapted from a play Toyama wrote entitled "Independence Day".

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Dust of Eden (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Coming of age, Injustice
  • Widely available

Acclaimed children's book in verse about the wartime incarceration experience of a Japanese American family told from the perspective of a middle-school aged girl.

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The Empty Chair (film)

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

Feature length documentary film by Greg Chaney that recounts the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans from Juneau, Alaska, during World War II.

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The First Battle: The Battle for Equality in War-Time Hawaii (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Drama
  • Limited availability

A 2006 film by Tom Coffman about the multi-racial group of civic and military leaders in World War II Hawai'i that monitored race relations and supported Hawai'i's large Japanese American community. After Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, the Committee for Interracial Unity and the Morale Section led by Chinese American YMCA Secretary Hung Wai Ching and Japanese American school principal Shigeo Yoshida, worked to protect the civil liberties of the people of Japanese ancestry living in Hawai'i, which ultimately led to the decision against a mass removal of Japanese Americans from the islands. In addition to interviews with some of the key figures and archival footage and stills, The First Battle also recreates several key scenes with actors playing key historical figures such as Ching, Yoshida, and Hawai'i FBI head Robert Shivers. Major funders included Central Pacific Bank, the Gerbode Foundation, the Hawaii Pacific Rim Society, and ...

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A Flicker in Eternity (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Short
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Loss of innocence, Coming of age
  • Widely available

A short documentary film from 2013 by Sharon Yamato and Ann Kaneko about the experiences of a young Nisei named Stanley Hayami, based on his diary and letters. A Nisei teenager incarcerated with his family during World War II at Heart Mountain, Hayami kept a diary documenting his life and thoughts in camp and subsequently as a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team until his death while in combat in Europe just days before Germany surrendered. Filmmakers Yamato and Kaneko tell the story largely in Hayami's own words, voiced by actor Aaron Yoo, as well as those of his older sister Sach, voiced by Amy Hill. The film includes archival photographs and footage and aspiring artist Hayami's own drawings from his diary, often in animated form. The DVD release of the film included interview footage with Hayami family members including Stanley's sister-in-law Miwako Hayami, niece Dawn Hayami, and nephew ...

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East of Occidental: The History of Seattle's Chinatown (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Change versus tradition, Rebirth
  • Widely available

Documentary film on Seattle's Chinatown/International District that outlines the history of the area and argues that pan-Asian Americanism makes it unique among American ethnic enclaves. The film includes the story of the mass removal of Japanese Americans from the area and their subsequent incarceration during World War II.

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Double Solitaire (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Literary Fiction
  • Limited availability

A 1997 documentary film that uses the motif of games to examine how the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans affected the lives of two "ordinary" people, the filmmaker's Sansei uncles Norm and Stan. Described as "all American" guys who lived in the Amache concentration camp as children, they don't believe that the experience affected them much. However, subsequent conversations and reflections reveal otherwise. Winner of the SECA Award in the Media Arts and King Hu Award, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film & Video Festival in 1998. Directed, produced and written by Corey Ohama.

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From a Different Shore: An American Identity (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Change versus tradition, Importance of community, Power of the past, Reunion
  • Limited availability

Documentary film produced by Great Britain's The Open University that examines the Japanese American community by focusing on three families in Los Angeles.

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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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Four-Four-Two (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Historical fiction
  • Coming of age, Companionship as salvation, Displacement, Forgiveness, Identity crisis
  • Available

A popular and confident Nisei boy and his best friend enlist in the all-Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team and are thrown into the horrific reality of combat in Europe.

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