BrainPOP creates short animated movies for students K-12, together with quizzes and related materials. Densho staff worked with BrainPOP on this short movie and module about the Japanese American incarceration, and they have graciously agreed to allow Densho’s followers to access it for free. This movie and accompanying activities and lesson plans are recommended for elementary school students. 

During WWII, the United States sent more than 110,000 Japanese Americans to prison camps without charges or trial. After Japan had bombed a navy base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the U.S. entered WWII on the side of the Allies. But the attack also sparked a wave of anti-Japanese hysteria and suspicion—the result of a long history of anti-Asian racism in the United States. Military authorities accused Japanese Americans of aiding the enemy in the attack—and of being potential spies. In early 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, convinced that Japanese Americans were a national security risk, signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing mass removal of people from military areas. By year’s end, every Japanese American on the west coast was behind barbed wire. Despite harsh conditions, people found ways to build community, and many resisted their imprisonment. A Supreme Court case brought by Mitsuye Endo kickstarted the closing of the camps. Press “play” to learn about this historic violation of American civil liberties and the people who lived through it.