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Browse > Interest Level > Grades 6-8

121 articles

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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Encounter with the Past: American Japanese Internment in World War II (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice
  • No availability

A 1980 documentary film on the history of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans at Manzanar , produced and directed by Tak Shindo , a Nisei musician and composer, best known for his albums from the jazz exotica music era and television soundtrack work. The film is built around color footage of the camp taken by Aksel Nielson, the director of recreation at Manzanar. Narrated by Shindo, the film includes his own experiences at Manzanar, military service, and subsequent musical career. Though he had passed away prior to the making of the film, Nielson's voice can be heard describing scenes of sporting events and gardens at Manzanar, and his wife, Melva Nielson, a music teacher at Manzanar, is interviewed at length on camera. Among those appearing in the film are Military Intelligence Service veteran Yukio Tamura, artist Estelle Ishigo , photographer Toyo Miyatake , nursery owner Shinobu Mashiko, …

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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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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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A Personal Matter: Gordon Hirabayashi vs. the United States (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Character - destruction, building up, Rights - individual or societal
  • Limited availability

Documentary film on Gordon Hirabayashi and his legal challenge to the World War II-era measures against Japanese Americans during the war and the revival of that challenge forty years later. John de Graaf directed the 28-minute documentary, which tells his story in a largely chronological manner, ending with the 1980s coram nobis case verdict. In addition to Hirabayashi's own words and contemporary footage of him visiting such key locales as the Federal Court House in Seattle, where he was first tried; the King County Jail, where he was incarcerated; and his alma mater, Auburn High School, the filmmakers tell the story through interviews with two of his brothers, friends, and some of his lawyers (including Arthur Barnett , his friend and lawyer in the 1940s cases). A Personal Matter aired nationally on Public Broadcasting Service stations in 1992. Among the funders of the film are the National Commission on the …

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Forgotten Valor (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real or perceived
  • No availability

Dramatic film about a 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran who was among those awarded the Medal of Honor in 2000, but who refuses to attend the ceremony and subsequently disappears.

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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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Half Kenneth (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, Short
  • Coming of age, Loss of innocence, Family - blessing or curse
  • Limited availability

Short dramatic film about two mixed race brothers at Manzanar in 1945. A 21-minute short, Half Kenneth was made by Ken Ochiai as a master's thesis film at the American Film Institute.

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Starting Over: Japanese Americans After the War (film)

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

Documentary film centering on the return of Japanese Americans to their homes after their exclusion and incarceration in concentration camps.

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Redress: The JACL Campaign for Justice (film)

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

Documentary film produced by Visual Communications for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in 1991 documenting the JACL's role in the Redress Movement , which had recently culminated in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 . Written and directed by John Esaki, the film was shown at Days of Remembrances and other events. William Hohri , a frequent critic of the JACL, wrote a letter to Japanese American vernacular papers that compared the video to "how history was manipulated in the old Soviet Union" noting the omission of the corm nobis cases and non-JACL contributors to the movement. In response, Cherry Kinoshita, the JACL's national redress chair, noted the video's goal "to document JACL's role in the redress effort," and not to tell a comprehensive story of redress. [1]

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Resettlement to Redress: Rebirth of the Japanese-American Community (film)

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

Resettlement to Redress was commissioned by KVIE, with station General Manager David Hosley wanting to focus on a part of the Japanese American wartime story that had not been told before. KVIE also produced a viewer's guide to the program that includes lessons to be used with middle school and high school students. Funding for the program was provided by grants from the Henry and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation, Adrian and Monica Yeung Arima, and members of KVIE.

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Remembering Manzanar (film)

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

Introductory video at the Manzanar National Historic Site's Visitor Center. Commissioned by the National Park Service and produced by Signature Communications of Huntingtown, Maryland, in 2004, Remembering Manzanar provides a broad overview of the Japanese American wartime forced removal and incarceration based on interviews with a dozen former inmates, along with residents of the area around Manzanar and a teacher at Manzanar. None of the narrators are identified as they talk and none are pictured onscreen. Visuals consists entirely of archival still and moving images, including clips from newsreels and War Relocation Authority films along with home movies shot by inmates; period cartoons and caricatures; period artifacts; and contemporary footage of the Manzanar site. The 22-minute video is shown every half-hour at the Manzanar Visitor Center. No director, editor, or cinematographer is credited.

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Whispered Silences: Japanese American Detention Camps, Fifty Years Later (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Art, History
  • Displacement, Power of the past
  • Available

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibition that featured photographs of former Japanese American concentration camp sites shot during the 1980s by artist Joan Myers. Debuting in 1995, the exhibition traveled around the country for the next four years. It was accompanied by a book published by the University of Washington Press titled Whispered Silences: Japanese Americans and World War II , which includes her photographs along with Gary Okihiro's historical/autobiographical overview of Japanese American history.

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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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Witness: Our Brothers' Keepers (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Evils of racism, Patriotism - positive side or complications, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real and perceived
  • No availability

Exhibition on Japanese Americans and Jewish Americans in the military during World War II and their participation in the liberation of Nazi extermination camps organized by the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) and the National Museum of American Jewish Military History. Witness debuted in on April 20, 1995, in JANM's Legacy Center Gallery to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau. It closed on August 27, 1995. [1]

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Crossings: 10 Views of America's Concentration Camps (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Art, History
  • Expression through art, Desire to escape
  • No availability

2009 exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum featuring the work of ten artists, juxtaposing work created by Issei and Nisei artists in the concentration camps and works by contemporary artists that draw on that experience. The "crossings" in the title refers to the "crossing point between generations" that the exhibition strives to provide. Featured artists included Sesshu Foster , Masumi Hayashi , Hisako Hibi , Toyo Miyatake , Tadashi Nakamura, Benji Okubo , Mine Okubo , Shizu Saldamando, Renee Tajima-Peña, and Sadayuki Uno . Crossings opened on April 2, 2009.

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Pilgrimage (film)

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

Documentary film that traces the origins of the first Manzanar pilgrimage in 1969 and links it to the 2005 pilgrimage and to efforts to uphold the rights of Arab and Muslim Americans after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The film includes interviews with many of the organizers of the 1969 pilgrimage and archival footage and photographs of that event and of related events from that time. Directed and edited by Tadashi Nakamura, the film was a production of the Center for EthnoCommunications of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center in 2008. The film is dedicated to the memory of Sue Kunitomi Embrey , who passed away in 2006. It was funded in part by grants from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Fund, the UCLA in LA Center for Community Partnerships, the California Wellness Foundation, and the Center for Asian American Media.

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On the Go: Little Tokyo (film)

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

Segment of Jack Linkletter's On the Go television show set in Little Tokyo that focuses on the wartime incarceration and its aftermath. Linkletter interviews three Japanese Americans on the sidewalks of Little Tokyo: Eiji Tanabe (referred to only as "Mr. Tanabe"), a Nisei businessman who had been active in the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) before and after the war; Mr. Shimizu, the Issei owner of Asahi Shoe Store; and John Aiso , then a municipal court judge. In Tanabe's segment, the longest, he describes his work for the JACL (which is not referred to by name), the loss of his hotel businesses—for which he received token compensation through the Evacuation Claims Act —and his " voluntary evacuation " to his hometown of Spokane, before returning to Los Angeles and starting a travel business. Shimizu describes in halting English his arrest on the night of December 7 and subsequent internment …

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Kim/Kimi (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 6-8
  • Children's, Young Adult
  • Coming of age, Identity crisis, Quest for discovery
  • Widely available

Kim/Kimi (1987) by Hadley Irwin explores one teen's quest to discover herself by finding out about her father's past. Kimi Yogushi, who is more commonly known as Kim Anderson, has an Irish American mother. Kim's father Kenji, who had died before she was born, was Japanese American. Sixteen-year-old Kim happily lives with her family in an all-white community in Iowa but she begins to want to know more about the Japanese American part of her identity. Her mother finally tells Kim that Kenji had been disowned by his family for marrying outside his race.

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The Bitter Memory: America's Concentration Camps (film)

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

Early film that provides an overview of the wartime forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans on the West Coast produced by the University of California, Berkeley in 1975. Bitter Memory tells the story through narration and interviews with former inmates accompanied by archival footage from Office of War Information/War Relocation Authority (WRA) films and WRA still photos. All footage—even contemporary interview footage and footage shot at Tule Lake —is in black and white. Identified inmate narrators include poet and playwright Hiroshi Kashiwagi , Mary Otani, Michi Mukai, and Kumito Ishida. The bulk of the film deals with living conditions in the concentration camps—the lack of privacy, the breaking up of the family unit, employment, food and so forth—along with the loyalty questionnaire and segregation . The film is also known as Bitter Memories: Tule Lake , even though only the last few minutes of the film focus on Tule …

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Months of Waiting, 1942-1945 (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Adult
  • Art, History
  • Expression through Art, Displacement, Injustice
  • No availability

The first group exhibition of art created in the wartime concentration camps. Produced by the California Historical Society in 1972 as a companion to its Executive Order 9066 photographic exhibition, Months of Waiting toured several venues from 1972 to 1974.

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Executive Order 9066 (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History, Art, Photography
  • Injustice, Evils of racism
  • Limited availability

Landmark photographic exhibition on the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans curated by Richard and Maisie Conrat for the California Historical Society in 1972. The first exhibition on this topic to tour nationally—including such venues as the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York—it likely introduced many Americans to this story and was part of a resurgence of interest in the topic both inside and outside the Japanese American community in the 1970s.

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Dear Miss Breed (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, importance of community
  • Limited availability

A 2000 short documentary film by Veronica Ko about San Diego children's librarian Clara Breed , whose wartime correspondence with Japanese American youth she had befriended before the war became an unlikely source of hope and courage when the children were sent to American concentration camps. The film, which is hosted by actor Marcus Toji, includes excerpts from some of the 250 letters Miss Breed received from the Japanese American children. The film was created and produced in conjunction with an exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum of the same title. The film was recognized with numerous awards including the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film & Digital Media, Council on Foundations, 2002; the 34th Annual Worldfest Houston, Grand Prize nomination, Special Gold Jury Award, Historical, 2001; and the Columbus International Film & Video Festival, Honorable Mention, 2000.

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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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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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