Share the Courage
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In 1942 Roosevelt's
Executive order 9066
imprisoned thousands of
loyal American families.
These innocent citizens
struggled to maintain their
families while incarcerated.
Witness this silent chapter
of our history. Share one
Japanese American family's
fight to sustain faith and
love in the country they

Recommended Age:
4th Grade through


Civil Rights
US Constitution
US History
Asian American
World War II
Multi Cultural
Creative Writing
Theatre / Drama
Media /
Television - Film

Emiko Yamada is a teenage girl growing up in Seattle's "Nihonmachi" (Japantown). For a "Nisei"
(The child of immigrants from Japan) it is clear that there are certain parts of town and
certain establishments were you are not allowed to go. The Yamadas own a small grocery
store where "Emi" works and dreams of someday going to College and becoming a teacher.
The Yamadas are proud of their "American" life and their contribution to their new country.

When Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, Emi and her family are the victims of anti-Japanese
hysteria. The people of Emiko's community have become the scapegoat for American fear,
even though they are not responsible for the actions of a foreign country.

The story follows the Yamadas as they are forced to sell or give away their possessions and
home. When Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, the army rounds everyone in Emi's
community up. They are first placed in a camp called "Camp Harmony", on the site of the
Washington State Fair. Emi's father is taken away by the FBI to a special camp in Montana.

From Camp Harmony Emi is sent to a new camp in Idaho called "Minidoka". She and her family
remain here for three years.

While in Minidoka Emi's family is reunited with their father but he has become withdrawn. Her
brothers take different sides when the government demands that they state their loyalty to
the United States. Grant wanting to prove his loyalty joins the Army. Tommy refuses to
answer "yes" to the government's loyalty questions and is ostracized as a "No-No" boy.

Grant is killed by the Germans during the war. Tommy is sent to a maximum-security prison
camp. After the war he moves to Chicago and finds himself welcomed there.

When Emi and her parents return to Seattle they slowly rebuild their lives. Emi, having lost her
dream to go to college is surprised when her parents send her to school. Emi understands that
she will not be able to talk about the camps to other Americans but tries to look forward and
honor her family. She looks forward to a time of greater understanding when her story can be

WITHIN THE SILENCE was co-produced by
The Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle's
International Distric
Written by Ken Mochizuki
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