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In Time of War: Stories of the Japanese American Experience in World War II

"We had our parents behind a barb wired fence.
We had to get them out."
- Gene Akutsu

In a single moment, the United States vaulted itself into World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941. The semblance of measured serenity and daily life dissolved, and suddenly America shifted itself into the mindset of a nation attacked, a nation at war.

In Time of War - The Japanese American Experience of WWIIBut behind the pure strains of patriotism loomed a different conflict. Struggling to identify its allies and opponents, the U.S. Government incarcerated Pacific Coast Japanese-American citizens in internment camps-a decision that has been questioned and hotly debated in the 60-some years since WWII.

Introducing In Time of War, a 60-minute documentary exploring the personal stories of Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest who were affected by evacuation, internment and military service in WWII.

Featuring exclusive interviews with survivors of this historical event, archival footage of WWII and the critical insights of recognized historians, In Time of War tells the intimate stories of Japanese Americans living the legacy of war.

This web page is meant to be a resource for students, teachers, and those interested in the Japanese American experience during World War II.

Resources for Educators


In Time of War was funded in part by the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program

Produced in collaboration with North by Northwest Productions and Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project

Writer/Director/Editor: Andrea Palpant
Producers: Andrea Palpant & David Tanner
Executive Producer: David Tanner
Associate Producer/Project Director:
Rose Sliger
Executive Consultant: Dale Soden
Narrator: Patty Duke
Videographers: Richard Lyons, Christopher Fyan, Dan Heigh, John Eames
Field Audio: Chris Duffle, John Nance
Musical Score: David Alan Earnest
Sound Design: Aaron Breeden, Britt Ortize
Stills Producer: Colleen Saddler
Stills Editor: Jason Payne
Graphic Design: Tami Rotchford
Online Editor: Michael Southworth
Production Assistant: Tanya Schiable, Joel Philips
Historical consultants: Dale Soden, Professor of History, Whitworth; Douglas Sugano, Professor of English, Whitworth; Gail M. Nomura, Assistant Professor of American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington; Robert Sims, Professor of History Emeritus, Boise State University
Special thanks: Ed & Heidi Tsutakawa, Ellen Kubokawa, Mary Hosoda, Toki Sekijima, Miyo Mccoy, George Morihiro, Jack Sameshima, Gene Akutsu, Seiko Edamatsu, Pat Cooper, Fred & Lily Shiosaki, Charlie, Joanne & Sydney Schmidt, Shigeko Price, Sam Mitsui, Mark Mitsui, Nisei Veterans Association of Seattle, Japan Week Committee, Spokane, Whitworth Sponsored Programs Office
Archival Resources: Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project, National Archives and Records Administration, Go For Broke Educational Foundation, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, Seattle Buddhist Temple Archives, Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community, and the following families: Kamikawa, Kinoshita, Kunitsugu, Mitsuoka, Murakami, Tazuma, Yamada, Yanagihara, Deaconess Hospital Nursing School Alumni Association, Donna Pierce, Whitworth Archives, Dr. James Watanabe, Highland Park United Methodist Church, John B. Cobb, Jr., Whitworth Archives
The following individuals: Mii Tai, Tomeo Mukai, Ellen Kubokawa, Mary Hosoda, George Morihiro, Ed & Heidi Tsutakawa, Pat Cooper, Fred Shiosaki, Joanne Schmidt, Seiko Edamatsu, Gene Akutsu