The Camps

Years of anti-Oriental discrimination preceded the internment of nisei Japanese Americans and their immigrant issei parents after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The links below give you a start in discovering the history behind the internment, the civil rights that were violated, and the ways issei and nisei dealt with being torn from their homes and livelihoods because of their race. Many of the websites listed include bibliographies and lesson plans for all students of history. For large sites, relevant material is called out to save navigation time. *Accessible to younger readers.

“The depictions of squalid living conditions in the camps are so realistic it is difficult to believe this actually happened in the USA. It is a subject that was little, if at all, taught or covered in U.S. history books post-WWII.”

— Reader review


Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project is the pre-eminent website for information about the internment, offering oral histories, texts, images, lesson plans, plus a podcast and education hub.

Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii is a rich source of information about Japanese American internees and soldiers from the Hawaiian islands. The center has been instrumental in curriculum created in conjunction with the Go For Broke National Education Center, the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, and the Hawaii State Department of Education.

Go for Broke National Educational Center is the education website focused on the 442nd and has been involved in the creation of a curriculum about internees and soldiers from Hawaii.

National Veterans Memorial Center honors the nisei soldiers from Maui, is involved in creating lessons plans about the nisei, and hosts afternoons with the author.

Japanese American Service Committee, originally the Chicago Resettlers Committee, is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the Japanese immigrants and their descendants in Chicago, with special focus on WWII and the resettlement, as well as ongoing consultation within the Asian community.

Chicago Japanese American Historical Society focuses on the dynamic history of Chicago’s Japanese American community, including building bridges to deal with today’s racism.

JACL Chicago sponsors ongoing programs about civil rights, including its recent involvement in the development of mandatory study of Asian history in Illinois schools, teacher training programs, and reconciliation with Midwest colleges that refused admittance to Japanese Americans in World War II.

National Park Services sites present history, photos, education resources, and visitor information about the camps. Start with Minidoka.

Discover Nikkei, JANM’S collection of stories, oral histories, and lesson plans.

Facing History and Ourselves is an educator-focused website presenting the history behind today’s bigotry across a broad spectrum of the global community, including Japanese Americans.

National Japanese American Historical Society, another wonderful resource.

Voices of Chicago, experiences of Japanese American residents originally published online by the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society.

National Archives and Records Administration, the grand-daddy of national research, texts, documents, and images.
Online teaching with NARA documents presents a broad array of history and literature about Japanese American resistance to wartime incarceration.

Calisphere University of California website presents an exhibition of photos of issei and nisei during all phases of incarceration.

San Francisco State University’s website offers documents, resource links, and lessons plans about the civil liberties violated by the internment.

The Annenberg Classroom examines issues involved in the internment. EDSITEment! presents lesson plans on the internment.

Washington Post presents a comprehensive graphic history of the internment.

New York Times presents lessons in using primary sources to learn about the internment.

50 Objects: How Do We Remember the Past? connects to the internment through related objects.

Wing Luke Museum focuses on educating students about the Asian Pacific American experience.

Soldiers and the Camps, a website created and curated by Dr. James McIlwain, identifies the exact internment camp of each of the 9,000 soldiers who left the camps to serve.

“…Rebecca Taniguchi teleports the reader back to the Japanese internment camps in the U.S. during WWII. You begin your journey walking with teenage Hiro as he navigates from his initial displacement from his hometown of Seattle to various internment and relocation camps over the course of the war and eventually joining to fight for the U.S. in the European Theatre. In many ways Hiro is walking the archetypal path of the hero’s journey, discovering himself and stepping into his wisdom and courage alongside his allies, mentors and enemies. Taniguchi imbues her beautiful novel with many relatable archetypes harkening to Joseph Campbell’s works.”

— Reader review


Conscience and the Constitution. Frank Abe, George Takei, Lawson Fusao Inada. Lillian Benson. DVD.

A Meeting at Tule Lake. A moving video of Hiroshi Kashiwagi’s return to Tule Lake, where the youth of his memory meets the youth of today. Poetry narration by Kashiwagi.

The First Battle: The Battle for Equality in War-Time Hawaii. Tom Coffman. DVD.

The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americas in Hawaii. Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i. Includes a 30-minute classroom version. DVD.

Inside Honouliuli, Hawaii’s Forgotten Internment Camp, a seven-minute online introduction to Hawaii’s internment camps.


Daniels, Roger. Concentration Camps U.S.A.: Japanese Americans and World War II.

Weglyn, Michi. Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps.

Kashima, Tetsuden. Judgment Without Trial: Japanese American Imprisonment During World War II.

Soga, Yatsutaro. Life Behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment Memoirs of a Hawaii Issei.

Fiset, Louis. Camp Harmony: Seattle’s Japanese Americans and the Puyallup Assembly Center.

Fiset, Louis. Imprisoned Apart: The World War II Correspondence of an Issei Couple.

Otuska, Julie. When the Emperor Was Divine.

Okada, John. No-No Boy.

*Houston, Jeanne Wakatsu. Farewell to Manzanar.

*Mochizuki, Ken. Baseball Saved Us.

*Okubo, Miné. Citizen 13660.

*Oppenheim, Joan. Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference.

*Takei, George, et. al., They Called Us Enemy. Graphic memoir.

*Abe, Frank. We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration. Graphic novel.

Abe, Frank.The Literature of Japanese American Incarceration.

Brown, Daniel James. Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II.

Kamei, Susan H. When Can We Go Back to America?: Voices of Japanese American Incarceration during WWII.

Cahan, Richard, et. al. Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II: Images by Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and Other Government Photographers.

Partridge, Elizabeth, et al. Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams’s Photographs Reveal About the Japanese American Incarceration.

Endo, Rachel. The Incarceration of Japanese Americans in the 1940s: Literature for the High School Classroom (NCTE High School Literature Series).

Inada, Lawson Fusao. Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience.