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Browse > Interest Level > Grades 9-12

495 articles

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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Tallgrass (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Change versus tradition, Coming of age, Dangers of ignorance, Female roles, Loss of innocence
  • Widely available

Coming-of-age novel by Sandra Dallas set in rural Colorado during World War II when the life of adolescent girl is transformed by the arrival of Japanese Americans from the West Coast in a nearby concentration camp.

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Take What You Can Carry (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Young Adult
  • Coming of age, Individual versus society, Vulnerability of the strong, Wisdom of experience
  • Widely available

The lives of two older teen boys, Kyle and Ken, alternate stories in the graphic novel Take What You Can Carry (2012) by Kevin C. Pyle. Although experienced a generation apart, the stories of these two teens merge into a complete story of healing and redemption.

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Tadaima (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Companionship as salvation, Darkness and light, Disillusionment and dreams, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Widely available

Short dramatic film by Robin Takao D'Oench that chronicles the return of a Japanese American family to their West Coast home after being released from an American concentration camp. The family—two presumably Issei parents and two presumably Nisei kids, an older teenage boy and younger teenage girl—arrive at a home that is unkempt and dirty and also marred by anti-Japanese graffiti both inside and out. As they set about making the house livable again, the two kids go out into the woods and dig up a box filled with Japanese objects—family photographs, documents, and precious objects such as Japanese dolls and clothing—they had presumably buried in the period prior to their forced removal. As they slowly settle back into their home, each family member finds some degree of hope by the end of the first day. The title is a Japanese expression generally uttered by someone who is announcing his ...

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Tanforan: From Race Track to Assembly Center (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Displacement
  • Available

Documentary film on Tanforan, a former horse racing track that became the site of a wartime "assembly center" for incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II. The film includes interviews with many former inmates of Tanforan, some of whom lived in what were once horse stalls, including Maya Nagata Aikawa, George and Michiko Uchida, Tomoye Takahashi, Hid Kashima, Sox Kitashima, Dave Tatsuno, Yoneo Kawakita, Hiro Katayama, Sachi Kajiwara, Sugar Hirabayashi, Hiro Fujii, Yo Kasai, Chizu Togasaki, Tomoko Kashiwagi, Toru Saito, and Jan Matsuoka. Tanforan was produced by KCSM, a San Mateo, California based public television station as part of The New Americans series and was directed by Dianne Fukami. Funders for the film included the Chevron Corporation and the Ray and Peggy Daba Fund.

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Tsuru (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Desire to escape, Evils of racism, Individual versus society, Will to survive
  • Widely available

Short dramatic film about an elderly Issei couple whose attempt to avoid the mass roundup of Japanese Americans during World War II is aided by a white nurse. Tsuru was a senior year project at Chapman University by Chris K. T. Bright.

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To Be Takei (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Empowerment, Everlasting love, Injustice, Optimism – power or folly, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

Documentary film that profiles actor George Takei and his husband and manager Brad Takei, capturing both their pasts and their daily lives today.

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Under the Blood Red Sun (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 6-8
  • Historical Fiction, Young Adult
  • Coming of age, Companionship as salvation, Growing up – pain or pleasure, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

Acclaimed novel for young adults set in the early months of World War II told through the eyes of a teenage Nisei protagonist in Honolulu whose father and grandfather are both interned. The novel was made into a feature film in 2014. It was followed by a sequel, House of the Red Fish, in 2006.

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Uncle Gunjiro's Girlfriend (play)

  • Plays
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Evils of racism, Power of the past, Reunion, Role of Religion – virtue or hypocrisy
  • Limited availability

Performance piece that incorporates storytelling, music, dance, and multimedia elements to expose the secret of Brenda Wong Aoki's family: her great-uncle's marriage to a white woman and the subsequent split in the family.

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Valor with Honor (film)

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

Documentary film by Burt Takeuchi that tells the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Eschewing a narrator, the film is built around the thirty-five interviews with veterans Takeuchi conducted and also includes brief reenactments of battle scenes that were shot at Sequoia Paintball Park in Santa Cruz, California. Valor With Honor tells the story in largely chronological fashion, starting with prewar life, the impact of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the roundup of Japanese Americans on the West Coast before getting to induction and basic training, combat in Italy, the rescue of the Lost Battalion, the liberation of Dachau sub camps, and the return to postwar society. Much of the running time focuses on the Rescue of the Lost Battalion and includes interviews with members of the 141st, the men who were rescued. The 86-minute film was completed in 2010 and has been screened widely across the country ...

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The View from Within: Japanese American Art from the Internment Camps, 1942-1945 (exhibition)

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

The first-ever national exhibition of more than 130 paintings and other works of art produced by Japanese American artists during their incarceration in the World War II American concentration camps, timed to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the mass incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans. The exhibition was curated by Karin Higa and jointly coordinated by the Japanese American National Museum, the UCLA Wight Art Gallery, and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. It first opened at the Wight Art Gallery in Los Angeles on October 13, 1992, and ran until December 6, 1992, then subsequently traveled to the San Jose Museum of Art (January 15-April 10, 1994), Salt Lake Art Center (July 1994), Honolulu Academy of Arts (September 1994), and the Queens Museum New York (May 11-July 16, 1995).

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Weedflower (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Growing up – pain or pleasure, Evils of racism, Fear of other, Losing hope
  • Widely available

Coming-of-age novel for young adults set in Poston with a young Nisei girl as the protagonist. Weedflower was author Cynthia Kadohata's second young adult novel, after the Newbery Medal winning Kira-Kira.

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Why She Left Us (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Family – blessing or curse, Motherhood, Power of the past, Role of women
  • Widely available

A 1999 novel by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto that follows the Okada family from the 1920s to the 1990s and includes their incarceration at the Santa Anita Assembly Center and Amache as well as the experiences of two Nisei who serve in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The novel is structured as a series of vignettes told from the points of view of four characters. Why She Left Us was honored with an American Book Award in 2000.

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"Wase Time!": A Teen's Memoir of Gila River Internment Camp (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Family – blessing or curse, Importance of community, Role of men
  • Limited availability

First person memoir by Kenneth A. Tashiro of his and his family's forced removal and incarceration at the Gila River, Arizona, concentration camp. After a brief introduction that introduces Tashiro's family, the story begins on Pearl Harbor day when Kenneth—nicknamed "Iggy"—hears about the start of the war after exiting an Abbott and Costello movie. He and his family move from Los Angeles to Del Rey in an attempt to avoid incarceration, but they are eventually removed from Sanger to Gila in August of 1942. His father, Kenji Tashiro, is a journalist, who becomes the editor of the camp newspaper, before leaving to join the army at age 37. His mother, eight months pregnant at the time of the removal, stays behind for a time, rejoining the family later with the baby girl. Twelve when he entered the camp, Tashiro's perspective is purely that of an active teenager, so there is ...

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What If Heroes Were Not Welcome Home? (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Heroism - real and perceived, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Isolation
  • Widely available

Exhibition on the return of Nisei soldiers to their Hood River, Oregon, home, recounting the chilly reception they received from the local community as well as highlighting those who stood up for them. Curated by Linda Tamura and Marsha Matthews and organized by the Oregon Historical Society (OHS), What If Heroes Were Not Welcome Home? debuted at the OHS in Portland in August 2013 in conjunction with the display of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Japanese American veterans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 100th Infantry Battalion, and Military Intelligence Service.

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