Watch the official book launch of Facing the Mountain, a new book about WWII Japanese American incarceration and the 442nd RCT by Daniel James Brown, NY Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat. The virtual event on May 11 featured a conversation between Brown and Densho Executive Director Tom Ikeda, who has conducted oral histories with many of the men highlighted in the book. Facing the Mountain grew out of conversations Brown had with Ikeda in 2015. Watch the recording of the event here.

About The Book

Facing the Mountain is an unforgettable chronicle of wartime America and the battlefields of Europe. Based on Brown’s extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists as well as deep archival research, it portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese American families and their sons. While some fought on battlefields as members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, others fought to defend the constitutional rights of a community. Regardless of where their battles played out, these individuals were exemplifying American patriotism under extreme duress by striving, resisting, standing on principle, and enduring.

Facing the Mountain embodies the sort of far-reaching creative work that we dreamed would be possible when Densho was founded 25 years ago. The book draws upon the stories and words of Japanese American elders and ancestors to tell this history in a way that can reach vast audiences. Daniel James Brown has an exceptional ability to tell compelling, people-centered stories. He humanizes this part of history for a population of readers that may be learning about it for the first time.

“Facing the Mountain comes to us during a time of deep unrest, a time when our empathy for others is so needed to guide the choices we will make. This book will open hearts.”


Learn more about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Japanese American military service, and resistance during the war.

Purchase Facing The Mountain

You can purchase Facing the Mountain from our partner booksellers:

Honolulu, HI | Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i
Los Angeles, CA | Vroman’s Bookstore
San Francisco, CA | Book Passage
Seattle, WA | Elliott Bay Book Company
Seattle, WA | University Book Store

Thanks to our Sponsors

Oki Foundation
Ron Tanemura & Tina Yamagiwa

Colbert & Gail Matsumoto

M. J. Takisaki, Inc.

City Produce Company LLC
Concourse Concessions LLC
Ohashi Landscape Services

Thanks to our Community Co-Sponsors

Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown