Hidden Memory: Japanese American Incarceration

 

Knowing your family’s story . . . and why it matters

by Storyteller Anne Shimojima

This unit raises the challenge for you and your students of knowing your family’s story – and why it matters. Other themes : How a national crisis can lead to xenephobia and the subtitles of institutional racism …. all told through the warm and lively storytelling style of professional storyteller Anne Shimojima as she recalls her Japanese American family and history.. Lesson Plan, story-text, student activities and audio-downloads. 

During World War II, the government of the United States authorized the arrest and relocation of every Japanese American on the West Coast. 120,000 Japanese Americans, the majority of whom were citizens, were forced into incarceration camps for the duration of the war.  During this time, Japanese-American men still served in the U. S. military even as their families were held prisoner at home.  Although the Congress passed the Evacuation Claims Act in 1948, which allowed incarcerees to make a claim against the government to recover a small percentage of their losses, this program was a failure.  It was not until 1988 that the U. S. government issued a formal apology and attempted in earnest to make reparation for the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

This lesson plan uses the story “Hidden Memory” by professional storyteller Anne Shimojima.  In this story, Shimojima tells about the experience of her family in the United States, especially during the time of World War II when some of her family were sent to the Incarceration camps

Use this story to teach about how easily racism and xenophobia can arise during times of war and national panic, what it is like to feel “unseen” in America, how people can survive adversity, and to commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May.

.

Lesson Plan

Download the Hidden Memory: Japanese American Incarceration lesson plan (PDF)

Story Excerpts

The following MP3 track contains 4 story excerpts for use with the Hidden Memory: Japanese American Incarceration lesson plan. Please note that these excerpts are protected by copyright and are exclusively for educational use.

Hidden Memory – Part One — 6:17 minutes

Hidden Memory – Part Two 5:32 minutes

Hidden Memory – Part Three — 7:28 minutes

Hidden Memory – Part Four 8:01 minutes

Need help to download the MP3 Story Excerpts? Click here for directions.

.Video Stories

Two short video versions of Anne Shimojima’s stories EVACUATION and INCARCERATION can be found below.

EVACUATION

….

INCARCERATION

 

____________________________________________

About Storyteller Anne Shimojima

Like many Japanese-American families, Anne’s Shimojima’s family didn’t talk about their experiences during World War II. Gathering family photographs and interviewing a 91-year-old aunt opened the way to uncovering the story, and helped Anne to articulate her own identity as a Japanese-American.

Anne tells stories from her Asian background and around the world. Her thirty-plus years as an elementary school library media specialist have given her a rich knowledge of story and a keen ear for performance. She enriches the curriculum with stories and teaches her students to become storytellers themselves. Anne performs in schools, libraries, museums, and festivals, and gives workshops on the use of storytelling in education and on the creation of family history projects.

 

Connecting the Dots: Racism, Activism & Creating a Life

by Storyteller Michael McCarty

African American Storyteller Michael McCarty tells his true story Connecting the Dots: Racism, Activism & Creating a Life.

Racism in Chicago … the Black Panthers …Activism and the institution … Expulsion from High School …. Drugs …. Searching … Journeys around the world … Stories and people that shape us ….Ways and paths to self-discovery … With humor and hope the storyteller “connects the dots” in his life.

Invite your students in to explore their responses to McCarty’s challenges, dead-ends and the people and events that shaped his life’s journey.
.

 

    • African American Storyteller Michael McCarty tells his true story Connecting the Dots: Racism, Activism & Creating a Life.
    • Racism in Chicago … the Black Panthers …Activism and the institution … Expulsion from High School …. Drugs …. Searching … Journeys around the world … Stories and people that shape us ….Ways and paths to self-discovery … With humor and hope the storyteller “connects the dots” in his life.
    • Invite your students in to explore their responses to McCarty’s challenges, dead-ends and the people and events that shaped his life’s journey.
    • Let Michael McCarty’s story inspire conversation among your students (and faculty) about the issues of racism, standing up for one’s beliefs, working for change in the world and in our lives and the power of stories to inspire and connect.
    • Complete text and audio download of this story come in a short version and a long version. (See below).
    • Connecting the Dots is an ideal discussion starter for college age, young adults and justice and peace groups. Lesson Plan provides questions and activities.

.

 

Connecting the Dots (Short Version)

Lesson Plan

Download the Connecting the Dots (Short Version)lesson plan (PDF)

Story Excerpts

The following MP3 tracks are story excerpts for use with the Connecting the Dots (Short Version) lesson plan. Please note that these excerpts are protected by copyright and are exclusively for educational use.

Excerpt #1a – 4:11 minutes

Excerpt #1b7:07 minutes

Excerpt #1c — 6:06 minutes

Excerpt #2a4:24 minutes

Excerpt #3a — 4:55 minutes

Need help to download the MP3 Story Excerpts? Click here for directions.

.

 

Connecting the Dots (Long Version)

Caution

In this longer version of the lesson plan, there is reference to drug use particularly in Story #2.  While the storyteller talks about how he eventually gave up drugs and devoted himself to being healthy and productive, a teacher might want to address the topic of drug use and abuse before beginning the lesson or to skip reading and listening to the sections of the story that pertain to drug use.

Lesson Plan

Download the Connecting the Dots (Long Version) lesson plan (PDF)

Story Excerpts

The following MP3 tracks are story excerpts for use with the Connecting the Dots (Long Version) lesson plan. Please note that these excerpts are protected by copyright and are exclusively for educational use.

Excerpt #1 — Track One17:25 minutes

Excerpt #2 –Track Two18:20 minutes

Excerpt #3 — Track Three17:16 minutes

Need help to download the MP3 Story Excerpts?  Click here for directions.

____________________

About Storyteller Michael McCarty

Michael McCarty (“Have Mouth Will Run It“™) is a multicultural storyteller of African, African-American and International Folk tales, Historical tales, Stories of Science, Spiritual stories as well as stories of the brilliant and absolutely stupid things he has done in his life.

His stories inform, educate, inspire and amuse. His storytelling style is energetic and enthusiastic.

SEARCH ACROSS THE RACES: A Native American Looks at His Mixed Identities

I am Indopino brings together Tlingit, Cherokee, and Filipino storyteller Gene Tagaban’s personal story and the history of discrimination against American Indians in Alaska. He also weaves into this rich narrative the story of Elizabeth Peratrovich, who helped pass the 1945 Anti-Discrimination Act in Alaska, the first of its kind in the country.

.

.

 

.

A SEARCH FOR IDENTITY AND AN AMERICAN INDIAN VISION THAT STILL LIVES TODAY.

This lesson plan uses the original story “I Am Indopino” by Gene Tagaban.  He is a noted storyteller and story artist whose heritage is Tlingit, Cherokee, and Filipino. This story brings together Tagaban’s personal story and the history of discrimination against American Indians in Alaska. He also weaves into this rich narative the story of Elizabeth Peratrovich, who helped pass the 1945 Anti-Discrimination Act in Alaska, the first of its kind in the country.

This unit contains:

  • Downloadable printable lesson plan
  • Teacher guide
  • Student activities
  • Printed text of story
  • Audio-downloads of story told by Gene Tagaban with his evocative music
  • Other Resources

Gene Tagaban weaves together historical and personal stories to explore larger themes and questions.  He explores the complexity of personal identity in light of his own multi-ethnic background while extending the question “Who am I?” to all of us.

Gene Tagaban illuminates the stereotypes that still surround indigenous people, in particular American Indians, and how those labels get in the way of seeing people for who they are in particular.

Tagaban also demonstrates how our histories —whether historical events, folk tales, or heroes—help shape who we are and how we understand ourselves.

_________________________________________________________

Lesson Plan


Download the I am Indopino lesson plan (PDF)

Story Excerpts

The following MP3 tracks are story excerpts for use with the I Am Indopino lesson plan. Please note that these excerpts are protected by copyright and are exclusively for educational use.

Excerpt #1 — Track One10:36 minutes

Excerpt #2 — Track Two8:55 minutes

Excerpt #3 — Track Three9:31 minutes

Need help to download the MP3 Story Excerpts? Click here for directions.

____________________

About Storyteller Gene Tagaban


 

Gene Tagaban is a Native American performing artist, storyteller, trainer, counselor and healer. His heritage is Cherokee, Tlingit and Filipino. Raised in Alaska, Gene’s Native American name Gaay Yaaw, loosely translates as Salmon Home Coming. He is of the Tak deintaan Raven Freshwater Sockeye clan of Hoonah, Alaska, and the Child of a Wooshkeetaan Eagle Thunderbird clan of Juneau, Alaska.

Storyteller Gene Tagaban can be contacted about performances at www.storytellingraven.com or onecrazyraven@earthlink.net

STORY SHORT: Construction

story-short-template-brighter

Construction
by Storyteller Jim May

www.storytelling.org/JimMay
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 9 Minutes, 30 Seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Race and class shape our lives, but there are ways to overcome racism and classism.

(more…)

STORY SHORT: Grandpa’s Story

story-short-template-brighter

Grandpa’s Story
by Storyteller Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo

www.ethnohtec.org
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 9 Minutes.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

The immigrant experience is complicated; often it’s only the children of
immigrants who realize the dream of a new country.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: Between Worlds

story-short-template-brighter.

Between Worlds
by Storyteller Olga Loya

www.OlgaLoya.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 5 Minutes, 30 Seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Every child and adult needs a sense of belonging.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: Why Do You Want To Go To College?

story-short-template-brighter
Why Do You Want to Go To College?

by Storyteller Olga Loya

www.OlgaLoya.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 4 Minutes, 10 Seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

No one else can tell you what you can or can’t accomplish in life.
We can turn adversity and other people’s prejudices into our strength.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: What’s a Mexican?

story-short-template-brighter.

What’s a Mexican ?
by Storyteller Olga Loya

www.OlgaLoya.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 8 Minutes, 48 Seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

The search for identity is a personal one. No one can tell you who you are.
When we accept all aspects of ourselves, we feel more comfortable in
our own skins as well as in the world.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: Remembering Lisa Derman

story-short-template-brighter
REMEMBERING LISA DERMAN
by Storyteller Jim May

www.storytelling.org/JimMay
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 8 Minutes, 24 Seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

All people will face a time when they must decide
whether to stand up for what is right.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: John Henry

story-short-template-brighter.

JOHN HENRY
by Storyteller Jim May

www.storytelling.org/JimMay
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 10 Minutes.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

A metaphor for race in America that is both realistic and hopeful.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: A Second Language: A Time to Laugh, A Time to Understand

story-short-template-brighter

A SECOND LANGUAGE:
A TIME TO LAUGH, A TIME TO UNDERSTAND

by Storyteller Antonio Rocha

www.storyinmotion.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 5 minutes, 20 seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

It’s important to learn about other cultures,
and one of the best ways to do that
is by learning another culture’s language.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: The American Visa: A Saga in 3 Acts

story-short-template-brighter
THE AMERICAN VISA: A SAGA IN 3 ACTS
by Storyteller Antonio Rocha

www.storyinmotion.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 8 minutes.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Persistence in pursuit of a goal, along with a little kindness from strangers, can lead to success.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: A Twice Saved Life

story-short-template-brighter

A Twice Saved Life
by Storyteller Alton Chung

www.altonchung.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 8 minutes, 45 seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Even people who differ greatly from ourselves can turn out to be heroes.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: Reflections on Minidoka

.story-short-template-brighter

Reflections on Minidoka
by Storyteller Alton Chung

www.altonchung.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 7 minutes, 10 seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

The importance of remembering our own past and the past of our people.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: Onara

story-short-template-brighter.

Onara
by Storyteller Alton Chung

www.altonchung.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 5 minutes, 30 seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Discovering what we have in common, across the races, even in times of conflict.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: You Never Know What the End’s Gonna Be

story-short-template-brighter.

You Never Know What The End’s Gonna Be
by Storyteller Diane Ferlatte

www.dianeferlatte.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 5 minutes, 20 seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

 THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Family Ties that moved from conflict to care and love across racial lines.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: Penny For Your Thoughts

story-short-template-brighter.

Penny For Your Thoughts
by Storyteller Diane Ferlatte

www.dianeferlatte.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 3 minutes, 55 seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

 THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Getting to know the person in front of you rather than focusing on the label.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: Next Town

story-short-template-brighter.

Next Town
by Storyteller Diane Ferlatte

www.dianeferlatte.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 5 minutes, 5 seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

 THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Maintaining pride and optimism in the face of prejudice and adversity.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: I Deserve to Be Here

story-short-template-brighter.

I Deserve to Be Here
by Storyteller Emily Hooper-Lansana

www.emilyhooper.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 7 minutes, 55 seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

 THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Crossing Color Lines to Reach for your Best.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: Finding Josephus

story-short-template-brighter.

Finding Josephus
by Storyteller Lyn Ford

www.lynford.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 5 minutes, 58 seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

 THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Small stories can teach us who we really are
(more…)

STORY SHORT: From Moon Cookies to Martin and Me

story-short-template-brighter.

From Moon Cookies to Martin and Me
by Storyteller Lyn Ford

www.lynford.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 8 minutes, 54 seconds.

______________________________________________________________________________

 THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Working for peace and justice across faith and racial backgrounds.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: City Girls: North Side vs. South Side

.story-short-template-brighter

City Girls:  North Side vs. South Side.
by Storyteller Susan O’Halloran

www.susanohalloran.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 10 minutes.

______________________________________________________________________________

 THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Storyteller Susan O’Halloran remembers the “dividing lines” of her youth.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: Negotiating the Narrows

story-short-template-brighter.

NEGOTIATING THE NARROWS:.
by Storyteller Susan Klein

Storyteller Susan Klein remembers “learning” prejudice at a young age.
www.susanklein.net
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 12 minutes.

______________________________________________________________________________

 THEMES
______________________________________________________________________________

Religious differences.  Recognizing the connection between various kinds of “-isms.”
Hope for societal change that embraces diversity.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: LOOKING FOR PAPITO

story-short-template-brighter.

LOOKING FOR PAPITO
by Storyteller Antonio Sacre

www.antoniosacre.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 8 minutes.

______________________________________________________________________________

THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

Embracing the complex, compound identity of a multicultural heritage and
recognizing that many others in the U. S. share similar heritages.
(more…)

STORY SHORT: FASTER THAN SOONER

story-short-template-brighter.

FASTER THAN SOONER
by Storyteller Antonio Sacre

www.antoniosacre.com
Approximate Length of Video and Audio: 7 minutes.

______________________________________________________________________________

 THEME
______________________________________________________________________________

The power of knowing one another’s stories and how to learn history, culture, and stories about other countries.
(more…)