There are many resources that help explain what allowed the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans to happen, what it was like for the people who spent the war in concentration camps, how families were affected, and the difficulty of rebuilding lives after the war.

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Louis Fiset, Imprisoned Apart: The World War II Correspondence of an Issei Couple
(University of Washington Press, 1997)

A record of the correspondence between an Issei husband and wife who were incarcerated apart during World War II, this book includes a very useful overview of how and why people like this husband, and Gihachi, were detained by the FBI and incarcerated in the Department of Justice camps.

Tetsuden Kashima, Judgment without Trial: Japanese American Imprisonment during World War II
(University of Washington Press, 2003)

This helpful history of the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans includes an in-depth explanation of who among Japanese immigrants was targeted for surveillance by US intelligence agencies prior to World War II, how they were rounded up by the FBI, which agencies within the US government were involved in the decision-making, and the different issues faced by those interned in Department of Justice camps during the war.

Personal Justice Denied: The Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians with foreword by Tetsuden Kashima
(University of Washington Press, 1997)

The official report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, the independent commission created by an act of Congress to investigate the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans.

Heidi Kim, ed., Taken from Paradise Isle: The Hoshida Family Story
(University of Colorado Press, 2015)

George Hoshida’s diary, memoir, and letters account the anger, resignation, philosophy, optimism, and love with which the Hoshida family endured their separation and incarceration during World War II. George and Tamae Hoshida and their children were an American family of Japanese ancestry who lived in Hawai’i until George was arrested as a “potentially dangerous alien” and interned in a series of camps over the next two years.

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Laura Atkins and Stanley Yogi, Fred Korematsu Speaks Up
(Heyday Books, 2017)

The biography of one of the Japanese Americans who challenged the legality of the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans before the Supreme Court.

Barry Denenberg, The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559, Mirror Lake Internment Camp
(Scholastic Inc., 1999)

Twelve-year-old Ben Uchida keeps a journal of his experiences as a prisoner in a Japanese internment camp in Mirror Lake, California, during World War II.

Kathryn Fitzmaurice, A Diamond in the Desert
(Viking Press, 2012)

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, thirteen-year-old Tetsu and his family are sent to the Gila River Concentration Camp Center in Arizona where a fellow prisoner starts a baseball team. When Tetsu’s sister becomes ill, and he feels responsible, he stops playing.

Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience during and after the World War II Internment
(Ember Press, 2012)

The coming-of-age story of a teenage girl incarcerated in Manzanar.

Cynthia Kadohata, Weedflower
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006)

A story of wartime incarceration told through the perspective of a Japanese American girl living in California.

Mariko Nagai, Dust of Eden
(Albert Whitman & Company, 2014)

Wartime incarceration as told through the perspective of a Japanese American girl who, with her family, is forced from Seattle to Minidoka concentration camp in Idaho.

Miné Okubo, Citizen 13660
(University of Washington Press, 2014)

One of the first books to be published by a former inmate, this account by a young woman and artist incarcerated in Topaz, Utah, offers an intimate view of the incarceration experience.

Joanne Oppenheim, Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration
during World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference
(Scholastic Inc., 2006)

Account of the close relationship between a librarian in San Diego and the Japanese American students with whom she corresponded during World War II.

Joanne Oppenheim, ed., Stanley Hayami, Nisei Son: His Diaries, Letters, and Story from an American Concentration Camp to Battlefield, 1942-1945
(Brick Tower Press, 2008)

The diary and letters of a high school student from Los Angeles who was incarcerated at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.

David Patneaude, Thin Wood Walls
(Houghton Mifflin, 2004)

When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Joe Hamada and his family face growing prejudice, eventually being torn away from their home and sent to a concentration camp in California, even as Joe’s older brother joins the United States Army to fight in the war.

Martin W. Sandler, Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans during World War II
(Walker Books for Young Readers, 2013)

An in-depth account of the lives of Japanese Americans before, during, and after imprisonment that culls information from first-person interviews and oral histories.

Yoshiko Uchida, Journey to Topaz: A Story of the Japanese-American Evacuation
(Heyday Books, 2005)

Account of an 11-year-old girl’s experiences in Topaz, one of the concentration camps during World War II.

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Brian Komei Dempster, ed., From our Side of the Fence: Growing Up in America’s Concentration Camps
(Kearny Street Workshop Press, 2001)

An anthology of personal accounts by Japanese Americans recalling their experiences, many decades later, of what it was like to grow up inside concentration camps during World War II.

Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel
(Ballantine Books, 2009)

Bestselling novel recounts the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans who were in Seattle.

Monica Sone, Nisei Daughter
(University of Washington Press, 2014)

The author reflects on her childhood growing up in Seattle, then being forced from her home and incarcerated at a concentration camp during World War II. Originally published in 1953.

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