Image credit: Jerry Takigawa, E.O. 9066

The Japanese American National Museum, in partnership with the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Cultures, will present “Voices of the Japanese American Incarceration” on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

During World War II, the West Coast Japanese Americans lacked the power to overcome politics and prejudice to forestall their imprisonment by the U.S. government. Although their voices were not heard in 1942, the incarcerees speak over the passage of time about the importance of protecting civil liberties for all.

Through readings, music, art, and poetry, descendants and allies of incarcerees bring life to voices featured in the book “When Can We Go Back to America?: Voices of Japanese American Incarceration During WWII” by Susan H. Kamei. We must hear, remember, and carry forward their messages.

The program will feature readings from “When Can We Go Back to America?” by Sansei and Yonsei Japanese Americans whose family members were incarcerees and members of the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team; art from the exhibit “Resilience – A Sansei Sense of Legacy”; a performance of “Citizen 13660: Vignettes” for string and clarinet quintet composed by Chad Cannon, based on illustrations from Miné Okubo’s book “Citizen 13660”; and poetry by incarcerees included in the book, presented by traci kato-kiriyama, artist and author of “Navigating With(out) Instruments.”

Free. JANM is located at First Street and Central Avenue in Little Tokyo. To RSVP for in-person attendance or virtual viewing, go to:

To see videos of past events, visit JANM’s YouTube channel:

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