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Browse > Interest Level > Grades 9-12

495 articles

The Broken Lines of Age (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Communication – verbal and nonverbal, Desire to escape, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Short story by Jimmy Tokeshi about an Issei grandfather who takes his nineteen-year-old granddaughter on an impromptu pilgrimage to Manzanar on Christmas Eve decades after his wartime incarceration there.

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The Japanese Lover (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Everlasting love, Evils of racism, Circle of life, Family – blessing or curse, Immigrant experience
  • Widely available

Novel by best-selling Chilean American novelist Isabel Allende, the title character of which is a Nisei man whose story of wartime incarceration is woven into the narrative.

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Uncle Yozo (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Disillusionment and dreams, Importance of community, Optimism – power or folly
  • No availability

Comical story by Ted Tajima about an Issei man at an unspecified concentration camp who enlivens the first Christmas in camp by elaborately playing Santa. A regular contributor of stories to the Rafu Shimpo holiday edition, Tajima taught at Alhambra High for 35 years and led their acclaimed journalism program.

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The Sun Gods (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Power of the past, Power of silence, Quest for discovery, Everlasting love
  • Widely available

Novel by Jay Rubin set in Seattle and that involves wartime incarceration at the Minidoka, Idaho, concentration camp.

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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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Internment of Japanese Americans (Greenhaven Press) (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12
  • Grades 9-12
  • Young adult
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Hazards of passing judgment, Injustice
  • Limited availability

Reader intended for high school audiences that includes a mixture of primary, contemporaneous, and contemporary pieces on the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans.

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Dear Miss Breed (play)

  • Plays
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Communication – verbal and nonverbal, Evils of racism, Growing up – pain or pleasure
  • No availability

Play about a San Diego librarian who corresponded with incarcerated Japanese American children during World War II. Playwright Joanne Oppenheim adapted Dear Miss Breed from her children's book Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference.

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The Experience of Japanese Americans in the United States: A Teacher Resource Manual (curricula)

  • Pre-K, Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Immigrant experience, Injustice, Knowledge versus ignorance, Overcoming - fear, weakness, vice, Patriotism - positive side or complications, Rights - individual or societal, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

The Advisory Council to the Ethnic Heritage Project of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) developed, printed and distributed this manual in 1975. It was one of the first efforts to provide K–12 instructional materials about the history and achievements of Japanese Americans in the United States. The aim of the manual was to counter existing teaching materials which contained information that "portray(ed) persons of Japanese ancestry in a distorted or stereotypic fashion" (page 6). In addition, the authors sought to see Japanese Americans represented in the educational system's instructional framework of cultural pluralism.

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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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When National Security Trumps Individual Rights (curricula)

  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Individual versus society, Injustice, Patriotism - positive side or complications, Power of the past, Rights - individual or societal, War - glory, necessity, pain tragedy
  • Widely available

This lesson prompts students to think about the balance of civil liberties and national security during times of national crisis by considering the Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. United States (1944). Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu fought against the mass removal of Japanese Americans during World War II by refusing to report to the Tanforan Assembly Center in 1942. He challenged his felony conviction on constitutional grounds, and the case was appealed to the Supreme Court where he lost in a 6-3 decision. In 1983, this conviction was vacated after information surfaced proving that the government had originally withheld critical evidence.

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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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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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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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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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When Military Necessity Overrides Constitutional Guarantees: The Treatment of Japanese Americans During World War II (curricula)

  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Evils of racism, Immigrant experience, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

This curriculum guide examines the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans through the lens of its constitutional merit. It should be noted that it was published in 1982, and it contains terminology that in 2017 is considered inappropriate and/or offensive in the use of "Oriental" versus Asian or Asian American. In addition, many of the suggested classroom materials are outmoded (filmstrips) or out of print and may be difficult to access. The guide refers to a "media kit" which may have been available when the guide was first published.

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The Internment of Japanese Americans during World War II (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Young adult
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Hazards of passing judgment, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications
  • Widely available

Overview work on the Japanese American World War II incarceration aimed at middle and high school audiences.

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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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