Beyond the Book
Learn more about the themes and experiences described in the book. The following are a few resources to go beyond the book, including discussion questions, classroom resources, and cultural resources.
In the Classroom
Links and Resources
Special Collections and University Archives: Japanese American Archival Collection (JAAC)
The Japanese American Archival Collection (JAAC) ImageBase presents about 1400 images in a searchable database of selected photographs and images of artifacts related to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. This award winning collection is housed in the Special Collections and University Archives of California State University, Sacramento.
JARDA: Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives
JARDA contains thousands of Japanese American internment primary source materials:
- Personal diaries, letters, photographs, and drawings
- US War Relocation Authority materials, including camp newsletters, final reports, photographs, and other documents relating to the day-to-day administration of the camps
- Personal histories documenting the lives of the people who lived in the camps as well as the administrators who created and worked in the camps
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
The Japanese American Citizens League is a national organization whose ongoing mission is to secure and maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who are victimized by injustice and bigotry. The leaders and members of the JACL also work to promote cultural, educational and social values and preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American community.
Seattle Reads: "When the Emperor Was Divine"
Washington Center for the Book at The Seattle Public Library Presents:
Seattle Reads "When the Emperor Was Divine": A Reading Group Discussion transcript (.PDF)
Moderator Eric Liu, Panelists Margaret Harada, Frank Kitamoto, Hubert Locke, Kip Tokuda and Shigeko Uno
Reproduced with permission from "Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project" July 2, 2009.
Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project
Densho is a Japanese term meaning "to pass on to the next generation," or to leave a legacy. Densho's mission is to preserve the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II before their memories are extinguished. We offer these irreplaceable firsthand accounts, coupled with historical images and teacher resources, to explore principles of democracy and promote equal justice for all.
Time of Rememberance Program, Elk Grove Unified School District
The Time of Remembrance Program was created in 1983 by the late Mary Tsukamoto, Elk Grove educator and lifelong civil rights activist. In 1942, Mary, her husband Al, and daughter Marielle were forced to leave their home with whatever possessions they could carry and relocate to an internment camp in Jerome, Arizona. Throughout her career, she worked tirelessly with local communities and schools to bring all races and ethnic backgrounds together. Part of her continuing local legacy is the Time of Remembrance Program, which she organized to bring Elk Grove students into contact with former internees to listen to their stories and to learn what it means to be an American citizen.
National Public Radio
Japanese Americans reflect upon their experience of internment camps through audio stories of individuals and families, contributing vignettes to the collective memory.
Dec. 20, 2008Weenie Royale: Food and the Japanese Internment
- Dec. 5, 2007Looking Back at Japanese Internment Camps
- Oct. 13, 2007Haiku Poet Documented Life in Japanese Camps
- May 14, 2007Sound Vault: War Camps
- Jan. 21, 2007The Enduring Art of 'Gaman' on Display
- May 29, 2006Tending 'Defiant Gardens' During Wartime
- Aug. 22, 2005Interned Japanese Americans Finally Graduate
- June 6, 2005Hearing Voices: A Japanese-American in a WWII Camp
- June 5, 2005Exploring Manzanar Camp's Legacy in Music
- Nov. 26, 2002WWII Japanese Americans Share Stories at Reunion
- June 30, 2001Japanese-American Memorial
Uprooted! The Japanese Americans during WWII
Through photographs and artifacts – including crafts and other artwork made in the internment camps – this exhibit surveys a century of Japanese American history in California.
Tule Lake was the crucible for Japanese American resistance to internment during World War II, where thousands of Japanese Americans met America's betrayal of their hopes and dreams with anger, defiance and rejection.
- Novel gives students insight to internment camps
The State Hornet reviews When the Emperor Was Divine.
- Otsuka talks about the meaning behind her novel
In an interview with the State Hornet Otsuka talks about the meaning behind her novel When the Emperor Was Divine.
Capital Public RadioAn interview of Julie Otsuka on Capital Public Radio's Insight program.
last updated: 10/2/2009