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Browse > Theme > Importance of community

57 articles

Dear Miss Breed: Letters from Camp (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Importance of community, Power of words
  • Available

Exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) based on the letters sent to librarian Clara Breed by Japanese American students forcibly removed to concentration camps. Dear Miss Breed opened in JANM's Legacy Center gallery on January 14, 1997, and closed on April 13, 1997. A short film of the same name was also featured in the exhibition. Though it did not travel subsequently, an online version of the exhibition was created and is available at the JANM website.

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Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Convention and rebellion, Evils of racism, Empowerment, Importance of community, Working class struggles
  • Available

Documentary film profiling Nisei political activist Yuri Kochiyama co-produced and co-directed by Patricia Saunders and Rea Tajiri.

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Comforting the Afflicted (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Importance of community, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Role of Religion – virtue or hypocrisy
  • No availability

Moderated panel discussion led by Phil Shigekuni with four prominent Japanese American Protestant ministers with ties to Los Angeles who were incarcerated during World War II. Three—Rev. Paul Nagano , Rev. John Miyabe, and Bishop Roy Sano—were at the Poston , Arizona, concentration camp, while Rev. Sam Tonomura was a boy in British Columbia caught up in the forced removal of Japanese Canadians during the war. The discussion covers the men's experiences during the war and the role of the church during the incarceration, particularly with regard to issues of "loyalty" and resistance. The men talk about the role of the church in the Redress Movement , in bridging divides in the Japanese American community today, and in the anti-Muslim/Arab climate following the 9/11 attacks. The format of the film largely follows that of a "talking heads" type television program, with the insertion of still historical photographs.

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Doka B-100 (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Character – destruction, building up, Family – blessing or curse, Importance of community, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Working class struggles
  • Widely available

Short story by Ernest Nagamatsu on the difficult adjustment to civilian life of a group of World War II veterans. Written in the first person voice of an ex-GI named Hamamoto in 1954, "Doka B-100" coveys both Hamamoto's alienation and the welcoming embrace of Little Tokyo Los Angeles . Estranged from his domineering father because of the way he left the service (despite serving heroically in the 442nd , he quit before his time was up) and his choice of social work as an occupation, Hamamoto's wife had decided to go back to her family in Chicago with their daughter to get away from the arguments. Finding a small apartment in Little Tokyo and a part time job in a diner, he finds a niche in starting to counsel the veterans who would gather in a Little Tokyo pool hall. That work eventually leads to a paying job with the …

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A Circle of Freedom: Lost and Restored (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Evils of racism, Importance of community
  • Limited availability

Exhibition at the History Museum of Hood River County on the Japanese American experience in Hood River, Oregon. Instigated by Museum Coordinator Connie Nice once she learned of the of the wartime incarceration of local Japanese Americans and the particularly virulent opposition to their postwar return, the exhibition has the support of the local community. The small exhibition included four sections: "Our Lives Before," "Our Lives Removed," " Our Lives in Camp," and "Our Lives in Service." Included in the exhibition are documents from the local American Legion chapter, which made national headlines in 1944 when it removed the names of Nisei soldiers from a local "roll of honor." The exhibition subsequently became a semi-permanent part of the museum.

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Our American Family: The Furutas (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, History
  • Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Injustice, Importance of community
  • Available

Episode of the television series Our American Family that focuses on a Japanese American family from Southern California. The episode premiered in February 2015.

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The Bracelet (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Children's
  • Growing up – pain or pleasure, Importance of community, Self-awareness, Will to survive
  • Widely available

A children's picture book by Nisei author Yoshiko Uchida , with illustrations by Joanne Yardley, originally published in 1993. The Bracelet is a story derived from the author's own childhood experiences in an American concentration camp during World War II. The book opens as seven-year-old Emi, her mother and sister prepare to leave their home in Berkeley, California, for Tanforan , a racetrack that has been converted into a temporary camp for Japanese Americans. Emi's best friend, Laurie Madison, brings her a gold bracelet as a farewell gift, and as a reminder of the value of their friendship. Emi vows that she will never take it off, but as she helps clean out the filthy horse stable that will serve has her family's "apartment," the gold chain slips off her wrist and is lost. At first, she is desolate, but Emi eventually realizes that she does not need the bracelet …

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Issei and Nisei: The Internment Years (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Displacement, Importance of community, Role of religion - value or hypocrisy
  • Available

Memoir of a young Issei Methodist clergyman based in Washington state during the trying years of World War II. Published in the fall of 1967, Daisuke Kitagawa's account was among the first book-length first-person accounts of the Japanese American incarceration.

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The Lost Village of Terminal Island (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Displacement, Immigrant experience, Importance of community, Power of the past
  • Widely available

A 2007 documentary film directed by David Meltzer about Terminal Island , once home for a large and prosperous Japanese American fishing community located near the Port of Los Angeles, California. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 , nearly 3,000 Japanese immigrants and their families who lived at Terminal Island were forced from their homes and into government concentration camps. Most of the original inhabitants of this tight-knit Japanese American village would never return. This film tells the story of childhood memories of growing up on a once idyllic Terminal Island as well as the painful experiences of suspicion, interrogation and incarceration (most Terminal Islanders were sent to the camp at Manzanar ) that the community suffered following the passage of Executive Order 9066. The film also traces the former residents' continuing identification with Terminal Island, noting the reunions that began in 1971 and climaxing with …

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Reluctant Samurai: Memoirs of an Urban Planner (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Family – blessing or curse, Fulfillment, Importance of community, Progress – real or illusion
  • Limited availability

Memoir by a Nisei man that recounts his agricultural upbringing, his time in American concentration camps, and his postwar career as an urban planner who was a key figure in the redevelopment of downtown Los Angeles.

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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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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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Honoring Alameda's Japanese American History (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Importance of community, Immigrant experience, Role of Religion – virtue or hypocrisy
  • Limited availability

Conventional documentary on the history of the Japanese American community in Alameda, California, that is more or less equally divided between the prewar years and wartime incarceration/aftermath. Perhaps due to sponsorship by the Buddhist Temple of Alameda and the Buena Vista United Methodist Church, there is a focus on the history and activities of those two institutions throughout. While the first half is specifically on the Japanese American community in Alameda and is thus somewhat unique, the section on the wartime removal and incarceration is more general and thus repeats information that can be found elsewhere.

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Crossroads in Nihonmachi (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Displacement, Importance of community, Rebirth
  • Limited availability

A 2006 documentary film by Adrianne Anderson and Tony Sondag about the redevelopment struggle in San Francisco's Japantown. As in other cities on the West Coast, plans for urban renewal disproportionately affected ethnic minorities including Japanese Americans, destroying or diminishing historical Japantowns after World War II. The film traces the history of San Francisco's Nihonmachi, focusing on the eviction of Japanese American residents of San Francisco's Nihonmachi starting in the 1960s—drawing parallels with the 1942 eviction of Japanese Americans under Executive Order 9066 —and 1970s efforts by community members to halt evictions and preserve and reclaim the community and its history. The film covers the 100th anniversary celebration of the community in 2006, while also noting the continuing threats it faces.

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A Girl Like You (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Coming of age, Evils of racism, Family – blessing or curse, Importance of community, Motherhood, Quest for discovery, Role of women
  • Available

Coming-of-age novel by Maureen Lindley that takes place largely in Manzanar and whose protagonist is a mixed-race Sansei girl.

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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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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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Great Grandfather's Drum (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Importance of community, Power of the past, Power of tradition
  • Available

Documentary film that tells the story of Japanese Americans in Maui through the story of Maui Taiko and its founder, Kay Fukumoto.

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Good Luck Soup (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Coming of age, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Importance of community, Individual versus society, Power of tradition
  • Widely available

Autobiographical documentary film by Matthew Hashiguchi that explores his and his family's experience growing up as mixed-race Japanese Americans in Cleveland, Ohio. Hashiguchi draws inspiration from his Nisei grandmother and family matriarch Eva Hashiguchi, who settled in Cleveland after leaving the Jerome , Arkansas, concentration camp during World War II and chose to remain there. In addition to the feature length film, the Good Luck Soup project also includes an interactive website that serves as an "participatory storytelling" platform.

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A Session at Tak's Place (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Adult
  • Communication – verbal and nonverbal, Companionship as salvation, Importance of community, Optimism – power or folly
  • Widely available

Short story by Manzen (Tom Arima) about four old Nisei men discussing the future of the Japanese American community and the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). Tak, a 65-year-old retiree, wakes up one morning with an uneasy feeling after a late night JACL meeting the previous evening. His close friend Nobe, a JACL lifer, drops by to talk about the meeting, and they are soon joined by two more friends, Joe and Mits. The four talk about the role they and the JACL should take in the implementation of the recently passed Civil Liberties Act of 1988 , what to make of a recent JACL resolution to investigate the organization's actions regarding the so-called " No-No Boys ," and the role of the JACL. After a spirited discussion, Tak feels much better and is grateful for the men's friendship.

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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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We the People: A Story of Internment in America (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Evils of racism, Importance of community, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Role of women
  • Available

Memoir of Florin, California-based Nisei educator and activist Mary Tsukamoto co-authored by Elizabeth Pinkerton and published in 1987 when Tsukamoto was seventy-two. Though the book covers her entire life, well over half of it focuses on her and her family's wartime confinement, their resettlement in the Midwest, and eventual return to California.

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Manzanar Daze and Cold Nights (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Desire to escape, Importance of community, Reunion
  • Available

Posthumously published memoir by a Nisei man about his years at Manzanar during World War II.

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Memories of Place: Clarksburg's Japanese Language School (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, History
  • Importance of community, Working class struggles
  • Widely available

Short documentary film on the Holland Union Gakuen ( Japanese language school ) in Clarksburg, California.

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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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