'Guard Tower' photo (c) 2011, Josh Hawley - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Every January 30th is officially Fred Korematsu Day in California. Here’s some background on it from YES Magazine:

In 1942, 23 year-old shipyard welder Fred Korematsu refused to join over 120,000 West Coast Japanese Americans who were rounded up and taken to incarceration camps under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order No. 9066. While Korematsu’s family was at the Topaz incarceration camp in the Utah desert, Korematsu was appealing his conviction. In 1944, the Supreme Court voted in a 6-3 decision against Korematsu, claiming the incarceration was justified for military reasons. It wasn’t until Nov. 10, 1983 that his conviction was overturned.

Fred Korematsu continued to speak up for civil rights throughout his life. He believed that “If you have the feeling that something is wrong, don’t be afraid to speak up.” That message remains alive in the mission and teachings of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education. In 2010, the state of California established January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day.

Also, the Day of Remembrance For The Japanese American Internment is on every February 19th, which marks the anniversary of the Executive Order by President Roosevelt authorizing that shameful event.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources On Japanese Internment In World War II:

The Fred Korematsu Institute has a full, and free, “teaching kit”.

World War II: Internment of Japanese Americans is a photo gallery from The Atlantic.

Here is a link to my Internment Of Japanese-Americans lesson on my United States History class blog, which includes many resources.

U.S. official cites misconduct in Japanese American internment cases is a fascinating article in The Los Angeles Times discussing how the present United States Solicitor General is apologizing for the misconduct of one of his predecessors for his role in defending Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. During the war, he chose not to reveal a government study concluding that Japanese-Americans were not a risk to U.S. security.

Life In A Japanese Internment Camp is from The Smithsonian.

A More Perfect Union is another resource from The Smithsonian.

Colors of Confinement is a NY Times slideshow sharing rare color photos of a Japanese-American internment camp.

Indefinite detention: Echoes of World War II internment is from The San Francisco Chronicle.

This is a link to a good History Channel video

Here’s a government film from World War Two:

The Akune brothers: Siblings on opposite sides of war is a new TED-Ed video and lesson.

Densho (a Japanese term meaning “to pass on to the next generation”) is an incredible website that offers an enormous amount of resources useful for teaching and learning about the internment of Japanese during World War II.

It’s apparently been around for quite awhile, but I just learned about it through an article in NBC News, Digital Project Aims to Preserve Stories of Incarcerated Japanese Americans.

This chart exposes the racism and paranoia behind Japanese internment is from Vox.

Minoru Yasui to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom is from NBC News.

NPR has a piece on Minoru Yasui.

Seventy Years After Manzanar, the Stories of Incarceration Live On is from NBC News.

Ansel Adams’s Subversive Images of Japanese Internment
is from The Atlantic.

For Japanese-Americans, Resistance to Syrian Refugees Recalls Long-Ago Fears is from The New York Times. Here’s an excerpt:


This article is from NBC News: Digital Teach-In Provides Internment Camp History Lessons That Schools Lack. It’s about a free new series of lessons being provided by the amazing Densho organization. You can sign up to have the lessons emailed to you, though I assume they will also be posted on the site.

Watch Muslim kids read letters from Japanese internment camp survivors is from The L.A. Times.

Google Honors Activist Yuri Kochiyama On 95th Birthday is from NBC News.

A mini history lesson about the concentration camps on American soil. is from Upworthy.

Behind Barbed Wire: Remembering America’s Largest Internment Camp is from NBC News.

I filmed Japanese-American internees reading letters to Muslim kids. Here’s why. is from The Washington Post.

Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps

Executive Order 9066, the ‘Single Act’ that Began Internment is from NBC News.

Executive Orders, Japanese-American Internment & Today

75 Years After Executive Order 9066 is from NBC News.

Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II is from the National Museum of American History.


Amazing, Merciless & Frighteningly Spot-On NY Times Video Comparing Family Separation To Japanese-American Internment

Feedback, as always, is welcome.

The Supreme Court ruled for President Trump’s travel ban. And the Japanese-American internment was a part of it:

For Survivors of Japanese Internment Camps, Court’s Korematsu Ruling Is ‘Bittersweet’ is from The NY Times.

The New York Times has just published an interactive on Japanese-American internment during World War II. It focuses on Mas Okui, who was imprisoned in Manzanar during the war and goes back to visit it every year.

I Know What Incarceration Does to Families. It Happened to Mine. is from The NY Times.


Then They Came is a San Francisco exhibition on Japanese-American internment. It is a substantial number of online educational materials.


The Smithsonian is offering a free eight-poster set on Japanese American Internment to teachers, along with a fairly detailed lesson guide on how to use them. I like both the posters and and accompanying curriculum. Put your request in here.


California To Officially Apologize To Japanese Americans Over Internment is from NPR.

ORAL HISTORY ACTIVITY: UPROOTED! JAPANESE AMERICANS DURING WWII is a nice distance learning lesson from The California Museum.

The Language of Incarceration is from the Smithsonian.


“Where There’s an Injustice, We Cannot Afford to Forget It” is from Slate.

Prisoner in My Homeland is a role-playing simulation game about Japanese-American internment during World War II. It’s from Mission US, which has been justly criticized in the past for some of their role-playing games (you can read about those critiques at The Best Online Learning Simulation Games & Interactives — Help Me Find More). I have not played this particular game, but their most recent other ones have indicated they may have taken those criticisms to heart.


Opinion: A ‘slam dunk’ bill to prevent a repeat of an ugly chapter of American history is from CNN.

Justice Deferred is an interactive.

How to Approach Teaching About the Japanese American Incarceration is from Edutopia.

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