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Browse > Place > California

40 articles

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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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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Forced Out: Internment and the Enduring Damage to California Cities and Towns (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Importance of community, Power of the past
  • Limited availability

A 2003 documentary film that explores the subject of the Japanese American forced removal and mass incarceration during World War II and its economic impact on California's Japantowns through the stories of merchants and community institutions. Among the stories highlighted are Honnami Taedo, a ceramics shop in San Francisco Japantown; the Rafu Shimpo newspaper, Fugetsudo sweet shop, and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo; a San Francisco-based quilt project by Japanese American women that documents the wartime events; and the Asahi Market in Oxnard, which was run for the Japanese American proprietors by a Mexican American family during the war.

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Forsaken Fields (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Displacement, Necessity of work, Working class struggles
  • Limited availability

Documentary film on the impact of wartime incarceration on Japanese American farming in California.

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Home Again (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Character - destruction and building up, Displacement, Evils of racism
  • Available

A 1955 novel authored by a former War Relocation Authority (WRA) official that tells the epic story of one Japanese American family from California, covering their prewar travails, their wartime incarceration, and their return to California after the war. The book was heavily promoted particularly within the Japanese American community and widely reviewed.

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Nikkei Style (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Change versus tradition, Importance of community, Power of tradition, Quest for discovery
  • Limited availability

Personal essay on being Japanese American by Sansei filmmaker Steven Okazaki, narrated in his first person voice. Beginning his journey at a family mochizuki event in Oxnard, California, he explores his family history, taking us to the house he grew up in in Venice, California, and telling us what he knows of his mother's and father's families, including their World War II incarceration (his mother went to Santa Anita, then Amache, his father to Heart Mountain) and featuring a brief interview with his mother. In search of more information about his father's side, he goes to Japan to visit a distant cousin and to Hawai'i to visit one of his father's old army buddies, from whom he learns much. The film ends with footage from various bon dances in Hawai'i and the continental U.S, which Okazaki cites as a living symbol of being Japanese American. Along the way, Okazaki muses ...

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Return to the Valley: Japanese American Experience After WWII (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Rebirth, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Documentary film that tells the story of Japanese Americans returning to the Santa Clara, Salinas and Pajaro Valleys and the Central Coast after World War II. Produced by KTEH, a San Jose public television station, Return to the Valley was the first episode of an anthology series titled Voices of the Valley and debuted in 2003. It received a region Emmy Award in 2004 for "Outstanding Community Program."

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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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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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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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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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Enemy Alien (book)

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

Bilingual memoir by Kiyo Hirano of her World War II experiences as an "enemy alien" is a rare example of an Issei woman's first-person perspective of the American concentration camps. Enemy Alien (Japanese title: Tekikoku gaijin) was translated into English by George Hirano and Yuri Kageyama and published by Japantown Arts and Media Workshop (JAM) Publications in 1983. Hirano's Japanese-English biographical account of her incarceration at the Merced Assembly Center and Amache and of her resettlement was originally written as an assignment for a creative writing class at the Japantown Arts and Media Workshop in San Francisco, and eventually published by the organization.

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Gaijin: American Prisoner of War (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Graphic novels
  • Coming of age, Displacement, Isolation
  • Widely available

Gaijin: American Prisoner of War by Matt Faulkner is the story of a hapa teenage boy's struggle living in post December 7 San Francisco, California. 13-year-old Koji Miyamoto discovers that life being biracial (his mother Adeline is white and his father Ichiro is Japanese) is just as difficult inside an incarceration camp as it was outside in the city after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Written for 5th through 8th grade readers, this graphic novel has a distinctive style of elongated caricatures colored with dark reds, yellows, blues, and browns.

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Harsh Canvas: The Art and Life of Henry Sugimoto (film)

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

A 2001 biographical documentary film on the life and work of Issei artist Henry Sugimoto, based on the artist's memoirs and testimony before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. The film highlights Sugimoto's art through archival and contemporary footage and follows his life's journey from immigration to his incarceration with his family during World War II in Arkansas, and postwar relocation to New York. Actor Mako narrates the film in the voice of Sugimoto. Interviews with his daughter Madeleine Sugimoto and sister-in-law Naomi Tagawa provide additional information on his life, while fellow artist George Mukai and curators Kristine Kim and Stephanie Barron discuss the significance of his work.

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If Tomorrow Comes (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Love and sacrifice, Evils of racism
  • Available

Made for television movie that tells the story of a Romeo and Juliet type romance between a Nisei man and a white woman against the backdrop of World War II. Produced by Aaron Spelling Productions, "If Tomorrow Comes" debuted on CBS on December 7, 1971. It was directed by George McCowan from a teleplay by Lew Hunter and starred former child star Patty Duke opposite newcomer Frank Liu. The movie was originally titled "My Husband, the Enemy," with protests by the Asian American community leading to a name change.

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Hito Hata: Raise the Banner (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Immigrant experience
  • Limited availability

Landmark feature film produced by Visual Communications (VC), a Los Angeles based non-profit in 1980. Centering on the life story of an Issei man, Hito Hata was likely the first dramatic feature film about Asian Americans by Asian Americans since the silent film era.

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Private Life (book)

  • Books
  • Historical Fiction
  • Facing reality, Identity crisis, Female roles, Disillusionment and dreams
  • Available

A middle-aged white woman recounts her friendship with a Japanese American family she first meets through personal tragedy; the injustice they experience, partly as a result of her own husband, leads her to a personal awakening.

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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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Days of Waiting (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, love and sacrifice, injustice
  • Limited availability

An award-winning 1990 documentary film by Steven Okazaki about the life and work of artist Estelle Peck Ishigo, a Caucasian woman who voluntarily entered the Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming during World War II with her Japanese American husband. The film won an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject in 1991 and The George Foster Peabody Award.

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I'll Remember April (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Coming of age, Loss of innocence, Fear of other
  • Available

Dramatic film directed by Bob Clark and written by Mark Sanderson set in April 1942 about four young boys who discover a Japanese sailor. One of the boys is Japanese American, and he and his family also prepare for their imminent forced removal and incarceration. Pat Morita plays the boy's grandfather.

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Interactions (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Power of the past
  • No availability

A 2000 film that chronicles the experiences of four high school students, who are given four days to find out about Japanese American teenagers in U.S. concentration camps during World War II. Equipped with a phone and a computer, Kiet, Christina, Miguel and Lluvia interview former inmates and visit the site of one of the camps, while contemplating the meaning of the wartime incarceration and its relevance to the present.

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Morning Glory, Evening Shadow: Yamato Ichihashi and His Internment Writings, 1942-1945 (book)

  • Books
  • Non fiction
  • Disillusionment and dreams, Family - blessing or curse
  • Available

The incarceration experiences of Yamato Ichihashi, the first endowed chair of East Asian Studies at Stanford University, and his wife, Kei, as told through their own words.

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Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Available

Documentary film by Eric Paul Fournier that chronicles the story of American civil rights hero, Fred Korematsu, whose refusal to obey orders prohibiting Japanese Americans from remaining on the West Coast led to a landmark Supreme Court case.

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Sanga moyu (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Family - blessing or curse, Patriotism - positive side or complications
  • Limited availability

Japanese television series that dramatized the Japanese American experience. Sanga moyu (Burning Mountains and Rivers) was a 1984 series produced by NHK, Japan's national broadcasting network. Consisting of 51 episodes that ran 45 minutes each, the series debuted on January 8, 1984, and ran through December 23, 1984. The story was based on the novel Futatsu no sokoku (Two Homelands) by Toyoko Yamasaki and focused on the Amo family of Los Angeles whose three Nisei sons chose different paths during World War II while the family was incarcerated at Manzanar: one who volunteers for the U.S. Army and fights in Europe, another who serves in the Military Intelligence Service during the war crimes trials and American occupation, and a third who is trapped in Japan at the outbreak of war and drafted into the Japanese army. Japanese American organizations in the continental United States objected to the portrayal of split ...

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Streams of Light: Shin Buddhism in America (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Adult
  • Documentary
  • Change versus tradition, Power of tradition, Role of Religion – virtue or hypocrisy
  • Widely available

Documentary film on shin Buddhism in the United States focuses on the Japanese American temples of the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) from 1898 to the present. The sixty-four minute film was directed by Brazil-based Buddhist priest Rev. Kentaro Sugao with the cooperation of the BCA and the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

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