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Browse > Time > 1940s

117 articles

People Aren't All Bad (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Companionship as salvation, Darkness and light, Evils of racism
  • Widely available

Short video by Matthew Hashiguchi that centers on the wartime experience of Yutaka Kobayashi, a Nisei from San Francisco, who recalls a memorable moment of kindness from a guard at Topaz .

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The Nisei Monologues: Children of the Camps (play)

  • Plays
  • Grades 9-12
  • Grades 9-12
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Hazards of passing judgment, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications
  • No availability

Three actor play in which the actors give monologues adapted from actual words of Japanese Americans about incarceration, covering the range of the experience from witnessing Japanese planes flying overhead to attack Pearl Harbor, to the arrests of Issei community leaders, the roundup of Japanese Americans, and resistance and cooperation in the concentration camps. Though most pieces are not attributed, first person narratives by Min Yasui , James Sakamoto , and Joe Kurihara are noted. In between the monologues are stories from Japanese mythology and statements by various government officials both in support of and opposing the forced removal and incarceration.

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Nihonjin Face (play)

  • Plays
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Circle of life, Evils of racism, Progress – real or illusion, Wisdom of experience
  • Widely available

Short play for school audiences by Janet Hayakawa and Tere Martínez that juxtaposes the Japanese American incarceration with the Civil Rights Movement and anti-immigrant sentiment in the present.

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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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My Friends Behind Barbed Wire (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, History
  • Heroism – real and perceived, Individual versus society
  • Widely available

Short film that tells the story of the Rev. Emery Andrews , pastor of the Japanese Baptist Church in Seattle, and his family and their support of Japanese Americans during their World War II ordeal. The story is largely told through an interview with Brooks Andrews, Emery's son, and through historical photographs, including images from the Andrews family. Brooks provides an overview of the forced removal and incarceration and his childhood recollections of his Nisei friends being taken away. He also recounts the Andrews' family's move to Twin Falls, Idaho, so as to continue to serve the congregation that had been incarcerated at the nearby Minidoka concentration camp and the discrimination they faced from the local community. He also cites parallels to the contemporary treatment of Muslim Americans.

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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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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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Democracy Under Pressure: Japanese Americans and World War II (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Injustice
  • Available

Documentary film on the wartime experience of Japanese Americans from the San Diego area, including their exclusion and subsequent incarceration at Santa Anita Assembly Center and Poston , as well as their return home. The story is told through the eyes of former inmates Ruth Takahashi Voorhies (born 1923) and Ben Segawa (born 1930), along with historian Don Estes.

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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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A Fence Away From Freedom: Japanese-Americans and World War II (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Young Adult, History
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Book for young adults that tells the story of the wartime removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans through the oral history voices of those who were children and young adults at the time.

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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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Coming Home: Memories of Japanese American Resettlement (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Displacement, Evils of racism
  • No availability

Exhibition organized by the Japanese American National Museum and curated by Darcie Iki that explored the obstacles, such as housing and employment shortages and discrimination, that Japanese Americans faced after they left the confines of America's concentration camps. The exhibit opened on August 14, 1998, and ran until February 7, 1999. The exhibit explored the process of rebuilding community as well as the individual struggle to come to terms with the larger "camp" experience. It focused on five collections, each displayed in intimate settings, that reflected varied life experiences encountered in the process of coming home.

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Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Coming of age, Displacement, Evils of racism, Role of women
  • Widely available

Children's novel aimed at ages 8 to 11 by Sandra Dallas centering on the wartime incarceration experience of the Itano family at the Tallgrass, Colorado, camp, featuring as its protagonist twelve year old Tomi Itano. The book is a sequel of sorts to Dallas' adult novel, Tallgrass (2007).

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Letters to Eve (play)

  • Plays
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Expression through art, Facing darkness, Love and sacrifice, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • No availability

Musical play that juxtaposes the experiences of a Japanese American family in Manzanar with that of an African American musician and his Jewish girlfriend held in captivity in a Nazi prison camp.

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The Japanese Internment Camps: A History Perspectives Book (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Children's, History
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications
  • Available

Children's book on the wartime removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans that focuses on Manzanar and tells its story through three first-person accounts.

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Heart Mountain: An All American Town (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Growing up – pain or pleasure, Injustice, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Documentary film on the Heart Mountain , Wyoming, concentration camp written, produced and directed by Raechel Donahue that focuses on the experiences of the children in the camp.

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Japanese American Internment Camps (Greenhaven Press, 2002) (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8
  • Grades 7-8
  • Young Adult, History
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Hazards of passing judgment, Injustice
  • Available

Collection of pieces on the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans for middle and high school audiences. As part of Greenhaven Press's "Opposing Viewpoints" and "At Issue in History" series, the assembled pieces express different perspectives on the topic.

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The Untold Story of Ralph Carr and the Japanese: The Fate of 3 Japanese-Americans and the Internment (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, History
  • Heroism – real and perceived, Individual versus society, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Available

Japanese-produced documentary film on Colorado Governor Ralph Carr and his embrace of Japanese Americans during World War II, along with the experiences of three Japanese Americans affected in different ways by his stance.

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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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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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My Friend Suki (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Disillusionment and dreams, Displacement, Facing darkness
  • Widely available

Short story by Vera Arvey about a Nisei woman whose wartime incarceration along with a run of familial tragedies lead to a breakdown and residence in a mental hospital. The narrator of the story begins by sending a Christmas present to Suki, but doesn't hear back for several weeks, when she gets a notice that Suki has been sent to a mental hospital. Through correspondence with various friends and her own recollections, she pieces together the story starting with Suki's Issei parents' immigration, the impact of exclusion and incarceration, the string of events leading to her current state, and Suki's most recent, hopeful, letter.

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Okage Sama De (I Am What I Am Because of You) (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Heroism – real and perceived, Vulnerability of the strong, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

Filmed version of storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung performing a one-person show mostly centering on the stories of Japanese American soldiers during World War II.

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American Scrapbook (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical fiction
  • Identity crisis, Family
  • Widely available

Novel set in Manzanar and Tule Lake by prolific writer Jerome Charyn and published in 1969.

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Reflections of Internment: The Art of Hawaii's Hiroshi Honda (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Art
  • Displacement, Expression through art, Injustice
  • No availability

Exhibition of paintings by Hawai'i Kibei artist Hiroshi Honda, most of which depict the various internment and concentration camps he was held in during World War II. The paintings displayed came from a collection discovered and preserved by Honda's son, Ed Honda. Working with an ad hoc committee that included Bill Hoshijo and University of Hawai'i Professor Franklin Odo, the Hondas donated the collection to the Honolulu Academy of Art (HAA) (now the Honolulu Art Museum). With funding from the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Reflections of Internment opened at HAA on September 10, 1994, alongside a traveling exhibit, The View from Within: Japanese American Art from the Internment Camps, 1942–1945 , a broader survey of art from the concentration camps. An accompanying thirty-three page catalog included essays by Odo and Marcia Morse and color reproductions of nineteen of the artworks; …

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The Legend of Miss Sasagawara (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Female roles, Hazards of passing judgment, Individual versus society, Losing hope
  • Widely available

Short story by Hisaye Yamamoto that takes place in an Arizona concentration camp during World War II and centers on the odd activities of one woman in the camp, as described by a college age female fellow inmate. Mari Sasagawara, a former ballet dancer, arrives with her Buddhist priest father upon transfer from another camp and soon becomes the subject of much gossip by other camp inmates for her regal bearing and aloofness. After being absent from the camp for a few months—taken to an institution in Phoenix—she returns a changed woman, friendly and sociable, even organizing and teaching a dance troupe of young girls. But after the narrator leaves the camp to attend school in Philadelphia, her friend tells her that Miss Sasagawara's malaise had returned and that she was taken out of the camp again. The story ends with the narrator finding a poem by Miss Sasagawara published …

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