Japanese American Experiences in Internment Camps during World War II as Represented by Children's and Adolescent Literature
AdvisorShort, Kathleen G.
Committee ChairShort, Kathleen G.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study examines the representation of Japanese American experiences in internment camps during World War II in children's and adolescent literature. This study focuses on a specific set of children's and adolescent books about one time period in the history of Japanese Americans. I have formulated two major research questions for this study. The first question: What are the characteristics of the selected children's and adolescent books about Japanese American experiences during World War II? The second question: How do the selected children's and adolescent books portray the experiences and responses of Japanese Americans during World War II?I selected fourteen books for inclusion in this study and analyzed the books related to my research questions. These books are organized into three genres: picture books, historical fiction, and nonfiction. The research methodology for this study is qualitative content analysis that includes methods for data collection and analysis and descriptions of the books and illustrations. I used the research questions to first examine books in each of the three genres and then make comparisons across the three genres.The findings based on the first research question include that the books are based on the research and experiences of both authors and illustrators and have a range of time periods from before the war to after the war. The findings also show that in the books, the authors and Japanese Americans express their criticism of Japanese Americans' experiences in the difficult situations related to the internment camps. They criticize the treatment of Japanese Americans by the U.S. government and discrimination against Japanese Americans.The analysis of the books based on the second research question provides insights into the experiences of Japanese Americans and how they felt, thought, and acted. The books portray the prejudice and discrimination faced by Japanese Americans from the point of immigrating to the United States and even after the war. The most important finding is that the books portray Japanese American children as creating lives of significance in the difficult conditions of assembly centers and internment camps.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture