Collection Statement

This collection focuses on the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a regiment formed during WWII made up entirely of Japanese Americans. However, some books focus on life in America during and after the war, but nonetheless, they all follow the stories of a group that was racially persecuted and discriminated against in a country they called home. It is the main theme in all of these stories: struggling with questions of loyalty and the systemic racism and discrimination that is faced as a result.

Even then, the answer to the question of loyalty has always been the same even though others chose not to acknowledge it in order to promote their hate-filled view of the Japanese: all these people are loyal to the country of which they are citizens - the United States of America - and that they belong and take pride in calling themselves American, just as much as every other person.

I started this collection sometime in tenth grade, with my first book that I collected being Honor Before Glory by Scott McGaugh. I had gotten into history after watching Band of Brothers in my grade ten history class, but I was more interested in the idea of people fighting for a country that turned their backs on them - a clear example of which was the Japanese American and Canadian internment camps. The question of identity between ancestry and nationality was one that I wanted to explore more, and luckily, I came upon McGaugh's book while shopping in Indigo. I found myself falling deeper into the rabbit hole, especially as I stumbled upon online documents about the 442nd and did my own research. I was astounded by all this information and the heartbreaking number of casualties. From that point on I devoted myself to learning and preserving the history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, men who risked their lives to fight for a country that turned their backs on them – and for what? Loyalty and because it was simply their duty as an American citizen. It was so admirable.

In the end, I even got accepted into the Vic One program while talking about this
research I did on them in my application. This collection is so important to me because it reminds me everyday of why I work so hard and what path I want to go down in the future - all I want to do is tell the story of the 442nd and preserve it.

My most "prized" possession in this collection is Go for Broke: A Pictorial History by Chester Tanaka. It was so hard to find, but I was desperate to get my hands on it due to its intimate point of view, with its author being one of the soldiers who fought. So when I got it, I never felt more satisfied in my life.

When I consider a gap that I'd like to fill in my collection, I think I'd like to find the older books, ones that were published almost immediately after the war ended. Most of them are authored by soldiers themselves or draw on intimate and personal information and recounts, due to the number of veterans that would have been alive at the time. and it's just different. Hearing stories first-hand, rather than having someone else write it for them decades later, is just different. So I would like to add older books. For example, there's one extremely rare yearbook for the 442nd that was created in 1943 called The Album.  It’s pretty much impossible to find. That would be an extremely nice addition to my collection if I ever get the chance to add it.

List of Titles in Exhibition

Asahina, Robert. Just Americans: How Japanese Americans Won a War at Home and Abroad: The Story of the 100th Battalion/442d Regimental Combat Team in World War II. Gotham, 2006.

Chang, Thelma. "I can Never Forget": Men of the 100th/442nd. SIGI Productions, 1991.

Checkoway, Julie. The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui's Sugar Ditch Kids and their Quest for Olympic Glory. Grand Central Publishing, 2016.

Crost, Lyn. Honor by Fire: Japanese Americans at War in Europe and the Pacific. Presidio, 1994.

Duus, Masayo. Unlikely Liberators: The Men of the 100th and 442nd. University of Hawaii Press, 1987.

Elms, Matthew. When the Akimotos Went to War: An Untold Story of Family, Patriotism, and Sacrifice during World War II. American Battle Monuments Commission, 2015.

Houston, Jeanne W., and James D. Houston. Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience during and After the World War II Internment. Houghton Mifflin, 1973.

Hughes, Dean. Four-Four-Two. Atheneum, 2016.

Lam, Andrew. Repentance. Tiny Fox Press, 2019.

Masuda, Minoru. Letters from the 442nd: The World War II Correspondence of a Japanese American Medic. Edited by Hana Masuda, and Dianne Bridgman. University of Washington Press, 2008.

McCaffrey, James M. Going for Broke: Japanese American Soldiers in the War Against Nazi Germany. University of Oklahoma Press, 2013.

McGaugh, Scott. Honor before Glory: The Epic World War II Story of the Japanese American GIs Who Rescued the Lost Battalion. Da Capo Press, 2016.

Okada, John. No-no Boy. Penguin Books, 1957.

Oppenheim, Joanne. Stanley Hayami, Nisei Son: His Diary, Letters, and Story from an American Concentration Camp to Battlefield, 1942-1945. Brick Tower, 2008.

Pearson, Bradford. The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration, and Resistance in World War II America. Atria Books, 2021.

Sakamoto, Pamela R. Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught between Two Worlds. Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2016.

Sterner, C. D. Go for Broke: The Nisei Warriors of World War II Who Conquered Germany, Japan, and American Bigotry. American Legacy Historical Press, 2015.

Tanaka, Chester. Go for Broke: A Pictorial History of the Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442d Regimental Combat Team. Presidio Press, 1997.

Vea, Sandra. Rising Son: A US Soldier's Secret and Heroic Role in World War II. Sasquatch Books, 2016.

Yenne, Bill. Rising Sons: The Japanese American GIs Who Fought for the United States in World War II. Thomas Dunne Books, 2007.