Of Further Interest

The legacy of Japanese American incarceration appears in popular culture in many ways.  The museum exhibit “The Art of Gaman,” rock songs, the Broadway musical “Allegiance,” and other cultural artifacts preserve this event and present it to new generations.

VISUAL ARTS

  • The Art of Gaman showcased the crafts of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during WWII. The artists worked with the materials at hand; in many cases they had not been artists before their incarceration and did not continue their creative work once they were released.
  • Densho Encyclopedia: Arts & Crafts in Camp offers more detailed information on artistic production in the camps.

MUSIC

  • Fort Minor is the solo side project of rock band Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, who is of Japanese-American descent. The song Kenji was released in 2005 and is a narrative of a Japanese family who is sent to an internment camp, based on his real family history. The song includes excerpts of interviews from his father and aunt, who were interned. Available here is the genius lyric explanation, and a video posted in 2012 by a student.
  • Manzanar written written by Tom Russell and performed here by Tom Russell and Laurie Lewis is about the Japanese-American internment, originally released in ’93 on his album, Box of Visions, and has been covered by Laurie Lewis as well as the Runaways. Lyrics located here.
  • Kiri’s Piano by Canadian folk musician James Keelaghan is a fictionalized historical piece based on the real life of a Japanese-Canadian woman whose family was torn apart by forced relocation and internment. The song also inspired a short film by France Benoit, which can be viewed here. (Lyrics may be found here.)

OTHER RESOURCES

  • Buzzfeed and Densho.org cooperated to make this video in which Japanese-Americans visit Manzanar.
  • Located here is a brief overview of Fred Korematsu vs. the United States. This Supreme Court case, and Korematsu’s bravery in challenging Executive Order 9066, is a crucial part of 20th century American legal history.
  • FEPOW (Far East Prisoners of War) website, an excellent resource with links to other projects.
  • COFEPOW (Children of Far East Prisoners of War) website.
  • This site reposted Denver Post Photo Blog with photographs about the Pacific War.
  • This link is a personal gallery of a user’s father’s photographs from his time served in the Pacific War. (The language use reflects the perspective of an American combat veteran during that time.)
  • Children of the Camps: a Japanese-American focused project detailing the trauma of internment via a six-part documentary, a timeline, and historical documents.