Learn about the people touched by the World War II Japanese American prison camps...in their own words.
These short documentaries explore the history of the camps and their impact today.
Gabriel’s Heart Mountain
Gabriel, an LA middle school student, created a virtual Japanese American internment camp on Minecraft, based on the site where his grandmother was incarcerated during WWII. This is the story of his journey to the camp, his Minecraft project, and the learning-history-through-Minecraft workshop he taught with educational technologist Randall Fujimoto.
Yuri and Bill Kochiyama travel to Camp Shelby, where Bill trained with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and then to Jerome, Arkansas to revisit the incarceration camp where Yuri and her family were forced to stay. Along the way, they visit their freedom fighter son’s home and a farmer who befriended the Japanese Americans, and they pay tribute to a civil rights activist.
A meditation on skateboarding, civil liberties and memory in collaboration with Martin Wong and Michael Louie of Giant Robot. Originated for the multi-media performance piece, "Amnesia," created by Roger Shimomura on different generations' perspectives of the World War II Japanese American internment camps.
Nisei Cubs Fan
Cal Tajima has been a Chicago Cubs baseball fan since he was a boy. At 92 years old, he’s going to see them play in the World Series. Discover how his love for the Cubs is related to his time as a WWII veteran.
Boy Scouts of heart mountain
The Boy Scouts of Heart Mountain reunite! Bill Ujiiye and his friends, who formed the Boy Scouts of Heart Mountain while being imprisoned in the Heart Mountain incarceration camp, get together to reminisce about their boy scout days and how their bond has lasted.
When Marie Tajima and her family were forced to leave their home and move into an incarceration camp in Heart Mountain, they couldn’t bring all of their belongings. Many favorite things were left behind. She sent her beloved collection of dolls to her pen pal and hasn’t seen them since...until now.
Densho is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. Densho’s website is a rich resource for both adults and kids interested in learning more about this history. Of special relevance to users of Building Histories 3.0 are the Densho Encyclopedia and Densho’s online course for teachers looking for instructional strategies to engage students in this story.
JApanese american national museum
The Japanese American National Museum, located in Downtown Los Angeles, is the largest museum in the U.S. dedicated to sharing the experience of Japanese Americans. JANM’s website offers extensive educational resources concerning the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, including a map of all confinement sites, lesson plans developed by classroom teachers, and letters between incarcerated family members. Their local educators will find extensive resources for planning visits to JANM and preparing students to make the most of their experience.
The Smithsonian’s A More Perfect Union is a collection of interactive galleries combining images, music, art, text, and first-person accounts of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. This extensive resource is entirely searchable by keyword, theme, and location, and it offers additional resources, including classroom activities and a bibliography with a section devoted to children and young adults.