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Last Updated: Sep 26, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Japanese American Internment Print Page

Children and Young Adult Books

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Weedflower - Cynthia Kadohata
After twelve-year-old Sumiko and her Japanese-American family are relocated from their flower farm in southern California to an internment camp on a Mojave Indian reservation in Arizona, she helps her family and neighbors, becomes friends with a local Indian boy, and tries to hold on to her dream of owning a flower shop.

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The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559 Mirror Lake Internment Camp - Barry Denenberg
Twelve-year-old Ben Uchida keeps a journal of his experiences as a prisoner in a Japanese internment camp in Mirror Lake, California, during World War II.

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I am an American: A True Story of Japanese Internment - Jerry Stanley
This book chronicles the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, focusing on the experiences of one high school student, Shi Nomura, and relating them to the larger events of the period - from the history of Japanese immigration to the political and military events of the war. A book that takes both an intimate and broadly historical look at wartime America and the injustice done to Japanese Americans.

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The Children of Topaz: The Story of a Japanese-American Internment Camp Based on a Classroom Diary - Michael O. Tunnell and George W. Chilcoat
The diary of a third-grade class of Japanese-American children being held with their families in an internment camp during World War II.

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Journey To Topaz: A Story Of The Japanese-American Evacuation - Yoshiko Uchida

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Baseball Saved Us - Ken Mochizuki
A Japanese American boy learns to play baseball when he and his family are forced to live in an internment camp during World War II, and his ability to play helps him after the war is over.

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The Invisible Thread - Yoshiko Uchida
Growing up in California, Yoshi knew her family looked different from their neighbors. Still, she felt like an American. But everything changed when America went to war against Japan. Along with all the other Japanese-Americans on the West Coast, Yoshi's family were rounded up and imprisoned in a crowded.



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Morning Glory, Evening Shadow: Yamato Ichihashi and His Internment Writings, 1942-1945 - edited by Gordon H. Chang

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Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and the Librarian who Made a Difference - Joanne Oppenheim

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Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience - edited by Lawson Fusao Inada
This collection of reminiscences, letters, stories, poems, and graphic art gives voice to the powerful emotions with which these victims of wartime hysteria struggled.

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Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment - Dorothea Lange; edited by Linda Gordon and Gary Y. Okihiro

Websites: Online Lessons & Primary Sources


Manzanar: "Never Again"

"Manzanar: Never Again" is a short documentary from The National Parks: Untold Stories series from PBS. A discussion guide is availalble from the PBS website.


Rabbit in the Moon

Rabbit in the Moon. New Day Films, 2001.
A documentary/memoir about the lingering effects of the World War II internment of the Japanese American community. The PBS website includes a timeline and interviews.


Time of Fear

Time of Fear. PBS Home Video, 2005.
This film traces the lives of the 16,000 people who were sent to two camps in southeast Arkansas, one of the poorest and most racially segregated places in America. It explores the reactions of the native Arkansans who watched in bewilderment as their tiny towns were overwhelmed by this huge influx of outsiders. Through interviews with the internees and local citizens, the program explores how it affected the local communities, and the impact this history had on the issues of civil rights and social justice in America then and now.

The film clip below includes excerpts of a 2-hour interview with George Takei for Time of Fear.

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Adult Fiction

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When the Emperor Was Divine - Julie Otsuka
In this debut novel, Julie Otsuka tells her family's story from five flawlessly realized points of view and conveys the exact emotional texture of their experience: the thin-walled barracks and barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear and loneliness, the unheralded feats of heroism.

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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford
A Chinese American man in 1986 remembers his youth in the 1940s, how his friend Keiko's family was interned during WWII, and the difficulty of life in the United States during the War.


Print Curriculum Units

Civil Rights and Japanese American Internment - Stanford Program on International and Cross Cultural Education
This curriculum unit "offers students the opportunity to consider civil rights issues in the context of the Japanese-American experience during the immigration years and during World War II." For secondary students.

Diamonds in the Rough: Baseball and Japanese-American Internment - Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE)
Teachers guide containing handouts and activities. Accompanies film "Diamonds in the Rough: Zeni and the Legacy of Japanese-American Baseball."


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