The Japanese-American Internment Project is a powerful living history exhibition documenting the experiences of Japanese-American internees. This multimedia exhibition, developed by Community Works with students at George Washington, Balboa, and Horace Mann schools in San Francisco, honors those who were interned or impacted by the internment. Drawing on the oral histories of Japanese-Americans who were themselves interned or whose parents were internees, the students worked to create a unique exhibition that simultaneously chronicles the experiences of one generation and the reactions of another.
In 1942, following President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, some 120,000 Japanese-Americans from the West Coast were moved into internment camps for the duration of the war. They were allowed to take only the possessions they could carry and were forced to abandon their businesses and personal property. The legacy of that experience is explored in If They Came For Me Today: The Japanese-American Internment Project.
The message of If They Came For Me Today is powerful: Civil injustice resonates for generations. After hearing the stories of the 15 men and women affected by the internment, the students produced written, visual, and video art relating interviewees’ stories to their own personal experiences and to contemporary and historical instances of civil injustice. Their work is featured in the exhibition, along with suitcases full of artifacts from detainees, photographs, and biographies of the honorees.
Artist in Residence: Dee Morizono Myers
The Japanese American Internment honors:

Dianne Fukami, Philip Kan Gotanda, Sato Hashizume, Chizu Iiyama, Ernie Iiyama, Ginger Masuoka, Janice Mirikitani, Esther Oda, Ruth Okimoto, Emiko Omori, Toru Saito, Morgan Yamanaka, George Yoshida, Sox Kitashima (deceased), and Mary Masamitsu