Reparations: Justice

Issei and nisei faced further loss and discrimination even after the 100th Battalion/442nd RCT and the MIS proved their loyalty in distinguished service to America, and a long road to right an enormous wrong began. Links lead to oral histories, articles, interviews, stories, images, bibliographies, and lesson plans that examine the complex issues involved in reparations.

What really surprised me was how it spoke to me on a personal level, since I have had no war experience. My uncle fought in the Korean War and WWll, but never spoke of his experiences.  This novel helped me understand why. Also the character, Sensei, spoke to Hiro’s of forgiving and not rehashings things. He told Hiro something to the effect that he should keep the fear, the sufferings where they belong, in the past. We can learn from even the worst of what has happened, but we can’t wallow in it. While this was about war, I found relevance to that idea and others in the book relevant to life today. Finally, speaking of relevance- I learned so much about the prejudice and bigotry evidence in the Japanese/Americans’s experiences. This was a page turner book for me, one of those novels that will stay with me.

— Reader review


Process paper: Executive Order 9066: Rights Violated, Responsibilities Neglected, by Ferch, Rand,

I make a special nod to the efforts of the American Asians Advancing Justice, the Asian American Education Program, the Asian American Foundation, and Stanford University’s Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education – together, partners whose teaching efforts embrace the history of all Asian races in our society and stand together against all hatred. Their evolving teaching efforts include a book of twelve thematic units and forty-eight lessons plans (Untold Civil Rights Stories) and the five-part PBS series, Asian Americans, and I hope will expand to include other sources of learning. Under the aegis of this partnership, an exciting new effort is under way in our Illinois schools, first in the nation to mandate education in Asian American studies.

Chock-filled with details on the evacuation, life in the camps, slow release to “safe” areas of the US during the war, the cultural conflicts between AJAs from Hawaii and the mainland-born AJA, and some of the important battles in the European theatre, Hiro’s War is eminently readable story of endurance, patriotism in all its manifestations, and love. But Hiro’s War is at its most compelling when it implicitly asks the reader to imagine what he or she would do under analogous circumstances – and by doing so allows the reader to engage with current events: from the treatment of Muslims and Middle Easterners after each outbreak of “war” in the Middle East and Asia, the events of 9/11, and the US’ treatment of refugees from other parts of the world. Hopefully, readers of Hiro’s War will seek in themselves the answer to the question (so timely in 2021) what are the qualities of a true Patriot.

— Reader review


Tateishi, John. Redress: The Inside Story of the Successful Campaign for Japanese American Reparations.