Voices of the Japanese American Incarceration

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Film & Other Media

Feb 202311



During World War II, the West Coast Japanese Americans lacked the power to overcome politics and prejudice to forestall their imprisonment by the US government. Although their voices were not heard in 1942, the incarcerees speak over the passage of time about the importance of protecting civil liberties for all. Through readings, music, art, and poetry, descendants and allies of incarcerees bring life to voices featured in the book When Can We Go Back to America? by Susan H. Kamei. We must hear, remember, and carry forward their messages.

The program will feature readings from When Can We Go Back to America? by Sansei (third generation) and Yonsei (fourth generation) Japanese Americans whose family members were incarcerees and members of the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team; art from the exhibit Resilience – A Sansei Sense of Legacy; a performance of “Citizen 13660: Vignettes” for string and clarinet quintet composed by Chad Cannon, based on illustrations from Miné Okubo’s book Citizen 13660; and poetry by incarcerees included in the book, presented by traci kato-kiriyama, artist and author of Navigating With(out) Instruments.

This program is presented in partnership with the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Cultures.

Image credit: Jerry Takigawa, E.O. 9066


JANM . Last modified Dec 11, 2022 2:56 a.m.

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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation