Japanese American Incarceration Events, Teaching Resource

Submitted by: Belle Nishioka.

Hi, All –

Feb. 19 marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent, most of whom were American citizens (such as my father and aunt), and more than 50 percent of whom were children (my father and aunt were only 11 and 17 and the time).

As you may know, a federal Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians later concluded that the incarceration was based solely on “race prejudice, war hysteria and the lack of political leadership”

I have included information about a free and excellent online training course for instructors. If you are a BC employee  and would like a copy of my PowerPoint based on my family’s experience (e.g. included a picture of my grandfather at Topaz incarceration “camp” in the Utah desert; a picture of the horse stalls where my family was imprisoned for 7 months; and a picture of my then teenage uncle, who was shot at by a Topaz soldier with a machine gun for trying to steal wood to make furniture for his family), please feel free to contact me. I also have a copy of the federal government’s record of my dad’s incarceration at the Tanforan horse stalls, which can be incorporated in presentations for students. All of these materials were sent to the Diversity Caucus list-serve.

Since I am unable to commit to any more incarceration presentations at this time, if you are a BC employee, you are welcome to use any or all of the presentation in your own classes if you wish.

I’ve also listed some events coming up about the incarceration, including “Allegiance,” George Takei’s film of his Broadway musical, which will be shown in a number of locations on February 19th (https://www.fathomevents.com/events/allegiance). Perhaps offer your students extra credit or an optional make-up assignment for attending one or more of these events? I plan to attend the first two events below, so hope to see you there!


Belle M. Nishioka
BC counselor/instructor


Teaching Resource

This free online course (about five to six hours) will give you the historical background, primary source materials, and instructional strategies you need to teach the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans in the secondary school classroom. Each learning activity in this online course is meant to give you a sense of the learning experience your students will have in your classroom.


1. Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner

Featuring poems by Lawrence Matsuda and artwork by Roger Shimomura.

Opening reception: Thursday, Feb. 16, 6 p.m.

RSVPs encouraged – rsvp@wingluke.org

On display Feb. 17, 2017 – Feb. 11, 2018

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which resulted in the forced removal and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans. They were charged with no crime. The cause of their imprisonment was their ancestry. This exhibition recognizes the 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066, and explores historic and contemporary issues of racism, discrimination and human rights.

2. Seattle Public Library

Never Again: Japanese American WWII History and American Muslim Rights Today

Sunday, Feb. 19 at 2 3:30 p.m.

Central Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, Washington 98104


Join us for Never Again: Japanese American WWII History and American Muslim Rights Today, a presentation and conversation examining Japanese American incarceration during World War II and how it relates to racism today. Presented in partnership with Densho, CAIR-Washington State and ACLU of Washington.

Feb. 19, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. To mark this anniversary, Densho executive director Tom Ikeda and Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, will discuss the correlation between the Japanese American past and the treatment of law-abiding American Muslim children and families today. The presenters will also talk about what Seattleites can do to prevent harassment and discrimination of American Muslims in their community

For full event details, visit http://post.spl.org/2j7Cui8


Holocaust and Japanese American Connections:
How Could Concentration Camps Happen?
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
1-3:00 p.m. program,

University of Washington
Kane Hall, room 120
Seattle, WA 98105

The Nisei Veterans Committee, Holocaust Center for Humanity, UW Department of American Ethnic Studies and the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle have joined together to explore the historical connection between Jews, Japan, and Japanese Americans. How Could Concentration Camps Happen?, co-sponsored by the Seattle Japanese American Citizens League, is the first of three programs and focuses on the conditions that led to concentration camps during WWII on both sides of the Atlantic.

Feb. 18 marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. Dee Simon, the Baral Family Executive Director of the Holocaust Center for Humanity, will present on the histories and social backgrounds of Jews and Japanese Americans along with Dr. Tetsuden Kashima, Professor Emeritus of American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington. Seattle University’s Professor Lorraine Bannai will present a comparison between historical cases and the potential for a repeat of history in contemporary society.

Both Lecture and Reception are free and open to the public. For more information on How Could Concentration Camps Happen?, visit the event page or see the flyer. Information on the upcoming April programming can be found on the poster.


Last Updated February 7, 2017