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Best Books on Japanese Internment

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The story of the second world war still intrigues the interest of many until today. The war was a crucial episode, which came to change the futures of many nations. So it makes sense why so many readers all across the globe find themselves craving for more information on the Japanese Internment.

We have compiled a list of the best books on the Japanese Internment for you. Take your pick from some of the best written books on the subject to date!

5 Best Books on Japanese Internment

1. Looking Like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese American Internment Camps 

Author: Mary Matsuda Gruenewald

Publisher: NewSage Press

Pages: 242

This is an extraordinary recital of events from a renowned author and an excellent job done in terms of words. The author compels the reader to take the imaginative road and witness the mishaps of the internment. The work is indeed a real recounting of events, as faced by the author, thus making it credible and highly relevant.

In this touching story, the author shares her own experience of the entrapment. This book is a transparent window into the life of the author’s family during this time. So, the book proves to be effective in highlighting the perils of people, before the bombing of the Pearl harbour took place.

Reading this book, people will be able to manifest how the lives of Japanese Americans were sent to a toss because of the bombings and how they had to leave everything behind them. For many readers, this story will be an altogether new experience. But once they have read this book, there will be no turning back to the unknown history which occurs in this book.

This book is highly recommended for you, even if you are someone who doesn’t like to read history. This book also sheds some light on the current state of debates across the political arena.

Summary: The readers will appreciate the personal account laid out in this book. The direct and structured tone used in this book will capture the interest of most history buffs and ardent readers.

2. Silver Like Dust

Author: Kimi Cunningham Grant

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Pages: 338

This book is an exceptional work done by the author, so this is why it has been included in this list. The author makes use of very simple and plain language, which makes it easy for the readers to catch the text. At the same time, there is no compromise on the scope of information which is shared in the book. Again, this book proves to be a pivotal source in highlighting the type of imprisonment and entrapment in which the Japanese American people were kept.

Drawing on personal experience, this book takes inspiration from the grandparents of the author who resided in the Wyoming camp. This book digs out the trapped historical events and truth of the internment camps. The readers will feel shaken by the revelations which have been made in the book by the author.

The author goes on to speak of the pains of staying in such camps. Yet, she centres the book around her grandparents. It is because they made it through the tortures of the camp with their strong endurance. It is believed that the Japanese Internment was one of the most shameful chapters of American history. If there are readers who wish to know about it, this is one book which they must not miss out on. This book captures the essence of the pain and turmoil of being a part of the internment.

Summary: This authentic account by the author will thrill the readers to a great extent. So this is one book that must not be missed if you are seeking something original and relevant.

3. Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II

Author: Richard Reeves

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co

Pages: 443

The pearl harbor bombing was truly the beginning of nailing of many coffins. This book is testimony to the fact because it highlights how everything changed for the Japanese American people after it. Riddled with facts and stark revelations, this book is an amazing attempt by the author to capture the Japanese internment for more than one lakh and twenty thousand Japanese American people.

No one could have thought that their harmonious lives in America would take a turn to this. The author does justice to the horror that people faced during this time. In doing so, he describes their plight with words. But the reader might be able to draw a mental image of the same and feel for the loss of these people. Better words could not describe the slaughter of so many dreams and aspirations than in this book.

The facts laid down in the book emerge from personal interviews. They were conducted by the author himself so that he could make his text as live and accurate as possible. For this, he personally met survivors and collected memoirs and letters from them. Thus, this book turns out to be a work of accuracy and reality. And it remains unmatched to any other similar book.

This book will be highly appreciated by readers who have a genuine interest in understanding the history of Japan because this history is incomplete without learning about the internment, one of the saddest chapters of the second world war. This book is an absolute must for readers who feel a genuine curiosity about the lives and troubles of the one lakh and twenty thousand people, who made a part of this internment.

Summary: With an interesting focus on the topic of internment, the author spins a web of words in this book, which will hold the interest of the reader unfailingly until the very last page of this book.

4. The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps

Author: Delphine Hirasuna

Publisher: Ten Speed Press 

Pages: 128

So before you make an opinion that this book is about arts and crafts, we must tell you that this isn’t any ordinary work. This book involves the excellent work of the author. He highlights the story of Japanese Americans and how they carved their lives around the internment camps in which they thrived. This is a very delicate and sensitive matter which invokes a realization of the true events that went down in the lives of those people.

The author uses choicest words to describe how these people used whatever material which was available to them. So this is how they made flower brooches from seashells, teapots from slates and beautiful dolls from different fabrics.

At the same time, the author describes how it was a turbulent time for these people. The author concludes how these people made their lives bearable with the resources which were available to them. In this photographic collection, the readers will be able to read the pain etched on the art and craft.

Summary: The author brings a fresh and captivating view of the Japanese internment. It will make the reader’s time and effort worthwhile to take a view of this book and acknowledge the author’s efforts.

5. Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience

Author: Lawson Fusao Inada

Publisher: Heyday

Pages: 464

The author taps the emotional and psychological aspect of the people’s mind who lived the Japanese internment. Through words, he captures the plight of the people and the fear in which they thrived. Their commitment and loyalty to the United States earned them brutality, because of which they faced dire repercussions.

The author describes the events which led to the internment and how different people were made to stay in different parts of the country during this period. The author draws inspiration from personal accounts and interviews to pen down this book.

For the emotional reader, this book might even invoke tears of pity. The author has enriched his work with the use of photographs, personal letters and editorials of newspapers to lend credit to his work. This book will describe very well how the camp atmosphere was fearful and confusion swarmed among the inhabitants. As a reader, you will come to appreciate the work of the author and the effort which he has put in to make this book accurate and relevant.

This book carries the essence of the Japanese internment, which must be read by everyone.

Summary: The use of real life accounts has made this book an excellent read because the author is able to describe the actual incidents with clarity while working with the emotion of the reader.

In Conclusion

Perhaps five books may not be enough, to sum up, the horrific incidents of the Japanese Internment. However, as a reader, you can take cues from these books and build your knowledge base about the entire episode with the help of these books.

We are sure that these choices will prove to be useful for your reading purpose and also give you complete insights about the internment.  

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