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Browse > Media Type > Books

222 articles

In Search of Hiroshi (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Family – blessing or curse, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Power of the past
  • Available

Memoir by Nisei journalist Gene Oishi published by Charles E. Tuttle in 1988.

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A Century of Change: The Memoirs of Nellie Yae Sumiye Nakamura from 1902 to 2002 (book)

  • Books
  • Memoir
  • Coming of age, Death - inevitable or tragedy, Disillusionment and dreams, Displacement, Facing reality, Family - blessing or curse, Immigrant experience, Injustice, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Available

The recollections of a Nisei woman, from her childhood in the Santa Clara Valley, to her marriage, her family's incarceration at Santa Anita and Heart Mountain, and their efforts to rebuild their lives back in California after the war ended.

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Fox Drum Bebop (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Family – blessing or curse, Immigrant experience, Power of words
  • Widely available

Novel by Gene Oishi that tells the saga of the Konos, a Japanese American farming family from coastal California, covering the years 1940 to 1982. Largely based on the author's own life and family, each chapter is a stand alone short story set in a particular time period. Early chapters covering the prewar years and the upheavals of World War II are told from the perspective of different family members, while later chapters covering the postwar years are largely through the perspective of Hiroshi, the character based on the author. Fox Drum Bebop was published by Kaya Press in 2014 and received the 2016 Association for Asian American Studies book award in the Creative Writing: Prose category.

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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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Hunt for the Bamboo Rat (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 6-8
  • Children's
  • Facing darkness, Forgiveness, Heroism – real and perceived, Will to survive
  • Widely available

Young adult novel by Graham Salisbury based on the wartime exploits of Richard Sakakida, a Nisei intelligence agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps who was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines.

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Journey of Heroes: The Story of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Heroism – real and perceived, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Evils of racism
  • Widely available

A comic book version of the story of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team told in the first person voice of a Nisei from Hawai'i.

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Silent Honor (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Romance
  • Coming of age, Companionship as salvation, Everlasting love, Evils of racism, Loss of innocence, Will to survive
  • Widely available

Novel by bestselling author Danielle Steel about a Japanese American family in the San Francisco Bay Area and their wartime odyssey in American concentration camps, highlighting a romance between a niece recently arrived from Japan and a white college professor.

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Blue Jay in the Desert (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Picture book
  • Quest for discovery, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

Blue Jay in the Desert by Marlene Shigekawa and illustrated by Isao Kikuchi is a children's picture book about how the gift of a hand-carved wooden blue jay symbolizes the love and hope a grandfather gives to his grandson.

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Fish for Jimmy (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Picture book
  • Growing up - pain or pleasure, Heroism - real and perceived, Family - blessing or curse
  • Widely available

Fish for Jimmy: Inspired by One Family's Experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp, written and illustrated by Katie Yamasaki, is based on the author's great-grandfather's family experience at the Granada camp in Amache, Colorado. This picture book for young readers which expresses in few words an older brother's act of kindness and daring that kept a family strong during their imprisonment.

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Garden of Stones (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Role of women, Motherhood, Temporary nature of physical beauty, Power of the past, Facing darkness
  • Widely available

Popular novel by Sophie Littlefield centering on three generations of Japanese American women whose lives are dramatically shaped by the wartime incarceration of the elder two at Manzanar.

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Fighting for Honor: Japanese Americans and World War II (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Young Adult
  • Evils of racism, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

Book aimed at middle and high school audiences on the experience of Japanese Americans during World War II, that focuses equally on the wartime incarceration and on military service.

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Betrayed Trust: The Story of a Deported Issei and His American-Born Family During World War II (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Adult
  • Memoir
  • Coming of age, Disillusionment and dreams, Displacement, Heartbreak of betrayal, Identity crisis, Immigrant experience, Losing hope
  • Available

A Nisei shares his family's heart-wrenching experience of wartime incarceration and the complex background behind their decision to go to Japan instead of staying in the U.S. after the end of the war.

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Family Torn Apart: The Internment Story of the Otokichi Muin Ozaki Family (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Communication – verbal and nonverbal, Facing darkness, Immigrant experience, Injustice, Power of words
  • Widely available

Family Torn Apart is the story of the wartime experiences of Otokichi Muin Ozaki, an Issei who was a Japanese language school teacher, tanka poet, and a leader within the Japanese community in Hilo, Hawai'i. While most incarceration accounts focus on the mainland experience of the English-speaking Nisei who comprised nearly two-thirds of the incarcerated population, Ozaki's story provides insight into the incarceration experience of Hawai'i island Japanese, many of whom authorities detained at mainland incarceration sites. While this book includes radio scripts of Ozaki's incarceration experience and his own accounts of camp news, it is also comprised of letters that family and friends wrote responding to his correspondence. The variety and frequency of these letters and other sources provide intimate details of Ozaki's incarceration that lasted nearly four years. This story highlights the uniqueness of the Hawai'i experience from the perspective of an Issei observer and the impact of ...

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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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My Life with a Thousand Characters (book)

  • Books
  • Memoir
  • Coming of age, Expression through art, Overcoming - fear, weakness, vice
  • Available

The creator of numerous Hanna-Barbera characters including those from Scooby Doo tells his life story, including his childhood as a Nisei in Los Angeles and his experience incarcerated at Manzanar concentration camp.

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The Boy from Nebraska (book)

  • Books
  • Widely available

Brief biography of Ben Kuroki, Nisei war hero, by Ralph G. Martin and published in late 1946 when Kuroki was arguably the best known Japanese American.

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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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Woman With a Blue Pencil (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Mystery, Historical Fiction
  • Character – destruction, building up, Communication – verbal and nonverbal, Disillusionment and dreams, Evils of racism, Heroism – real and perceived, Manipulation
  • Widely available

Novel about a pulp mystery novel written by a young Nisei as World War II breaks out, his interactions with a sometimes overzealous editor, and his protest in the form of an unpublished manuscript centering on the Nisei private detective he was forced to remove from the novel.

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Molly Donnelly (book)

  • Books
  • Widely available

Written for younger teen readers (6th-9th grade), Molly Donnelly by Jean Thesman chronicles the life of a young Irish American girl from ages 12 through 16 during World War II in Seattle, Washington. Serving as a subplot of the novel, one of Molly's best friends is her next door neighbor, Emily Tanaka, who along with her family is sent to an incarceration camp for the duration of the war. While on a picnic at the beach on Sunday December 7 with Emily and another friend Louise, Molly's Uncle Charlie suddenly runs up to them to say that the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. Emily, who moved to Washington from Honolulu three years prior, still has family in Hawai'i and frantically runs home.

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We, the Dangerous (book)

  • Books
  • Widely available

We, the Dangerous: New and Selected Poems is a collection of poetry by Sansei Janice Mirikitani, published by Virago Press in 1995. The poems' subjects range from remembering the World War II American concentration camps and her family's first-hand experiences ("Breaking Silence" is based on her mother's experience testifying before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians in 1981) and the outrage of sexual abuse victims, to the politics and protest of the Gulf War. Several of the poems also address topics of the devastation of war, violence, silence, and activism.

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Dandelion Through the Crack/Kiyo's Story (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Evils of racism, Family – blessing or curse, Female roles, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Wisdom of experience
  • Widely available

Memoir by a Nisei woman of farm life in Sacramento, her family's wartime incarceration, and their struggles to reestablish their lives after the war.

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Kibei (book)

  • Books
  • Historical Fiction
  • Change versus tradition, Disillusionment and dreams, Displacement, Facing reality, Identity crisis
  • Available

The saga of a Kibei Nisei confronting prejudice and his own conflicted identity as his and his family’s lives are irreparably transformed by the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans.

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Though I Be Crushed: The Wartime Experiences of a Buddhist Minister (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Displacement, Immigrant experience, Injustice
  • Limited availability

Translated memoir of an Issei Buddhist priest focusing on his wartime incarceration at several camps.

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The Pigtail Twins

  • Books
  • Widely available

Children's book published in 1943 that may have been the first book-length work of fiction to mention the Japanese American exclusion and incarceration, if obliquely. The book was authored by Anne M. Halladay and published by Friendship Press.

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Dash (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
  • Children's, History
  • Companionship as salvation, Evils of racism, Displacement, Heartbreak of betrayal
  • Widely available

Dash, Kirby Larson's book for 4-6 grade readers, tells the story of 11-year-old Mitsi Kashino and how the love for her dog Dash gives her strength while she and her family are sent to an incarceration camp.

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