Confronting History: Stories of Internment

February 19, 2022, marked the 80th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a wartime order which authorized the forcible removal and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans from their communities in the Western United States and Hawai'i, including San Mateo County. The San Bruno Public Library, the Redwood City Library, and the South San Francisco Library presented a series of programs exploring these past injustices during February and March 2022. Below you will find links to several programs which were recorded and are still available to view, as well as a listing of unrecorded programs to provide background to the series. 


Author Naomi Hirahara Discusses Clark and Division
Edgar Award-winner Naomi Hirahara’s eye-opening and poignant new mystery tells the story of a young woman’s search for the truth about her revered older sister’s death and brings to focus the struggles of one Japanese American family released from Manzanar to Chicago during World War II. Ms. Hirahara discusses the inspiration behind her book, explores its setting in Chicago, and the experiences of the Japanese American community in the "camps" and after relocation. Sponsored by Redwood City Public Library.

Remembering Tanforan: Panel Discussion and Former Internee Interviews
Panel explores the events leading up to Executive Order 9066, the history of the Tanforan Assembly Center, life at the Center, and the 2022 planned Memorial installation at the San Bruno BART station. Featuring Leslie Hatamiya (Author of Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and the Passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, Executive Director, San Bruno Community Foundation), Steve Okamoto (Former Internee, Vice-Chair, Tanforan Assembly Center Memorial Committee, former Foster City Councilperson, alumnus UC Berkeley), and Ben Takeshita (Former Internee, alumnus San Mateo High School, UC Berkeley, veteran Korean War, formerly employed at California Dept. of Employment). Sponsored by San Bruno Public Library. 

Tsuru for Solidarity: Folding Cranes to Protest, Speak Out, & Heal
The events of WWII have inspired camp survivors, their descendants, and their allies to continue the fight for justice and an end unjust immigration policies. This all-ages event combined art and activism. Sponsored by Redwood City Public Library.

First To Go Film Discussion
First to Go presents an intimate, inspirational, and emotional story of the impact traumatic events can have across generations. This event included a film screening and a Q&A with director Myles Matsuno in conversation with Professor Masao Suzuki Ph.D. The link here contains the Q&A session. To view the film, you can visit the South San Francisco Library in person and watch on a computer there. Sponsored by South San Francisco Public Library.


Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Love in the Library
Maggie Tokuda-Hall shares her new book Love in the Library. Set in a desert internment camp this picture book is based on the love story of the author’s grandparents.

Katie Yamasaki, A Fish for Jimmy
Picture book author and illustrator Katie Yamasaki discusses A Fish for Jimmy and the true stories of her family's experiences in the internment centers which inspired her book.

Meet the Authors: Traci Chee and Misa Sugiura
These award-winning YA authors discusses their books and the teen experience in internment camps and the pressures of living up to their family's grand expectations for them. 

Meet Graphic Novelist Kiku Hughes
Displacement tells the story of a young American named Kiku who is suddenly transported to a Japanese American internment camp during World War II. Alongside her young grandmother Kiku "witnesses the lives of people who were denied civil liberties by their own government but still managed to create a community and commit acts of resistance in order to survive."   

Kevin Kaatz & Linda Ivey: Citizen Internees
A banker's wartime correspondence archived at the Redwood City Public Library Local History Room provides a rich glimpse into the lives of Japanese and Japanese American internees from Redwood City.


San Bruno Public Library
Redwood City Public Library
South San Francisco Public Library

Friends of the San Bruno Public Library
Friends of the Redwood City Public Library
South San Francisco Friends of the Library