Item # 159763.

WE HEREBY REFUSE: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration

By Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura. Illustrated by Ross Ishikawa and Matt Sasaki.

In this groundbreaking graphic novel the story of America’s concentration camps is presented as you've never seen it before. While they complied when evicted from their homes in 1942, many refused to submit to imprisonment without a fight. Based upon painstaking research, We Hereby Refuse presents an original vision of America's past with disturbing links to the American present.


JIM AKUTSU, the inspiration for John Okada's acclaimed novel No-No Boy, who refuses to be drafted from the camp at Minidoka after the Selective Service classifies him not as a citizen but as an enemy alien.  

HIROSHI KASHIWAGI, who resists government pressure to sign a loyalty oath at Tule Lake, but yields to family pressure to renounce his U.S. citizenship, putting himself at risk of deportation.

MITSUYE ENDO, a reluctant recruit to a lawsuit contesting her imprisonment, who refuses a chance to leave the camp at Topaz so that her case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court. For the first time, we see Mitzi Endo as a person and not just a name on a legal brief.

Through these characters, we see the devastating impacts of mass incarceration based solely on race, reveal the depth and breadth of the long-suppressed story of camp resistance, and locate the government's wartime actions in the continuum of systemic exclusion of Asian Americans. Paper: 168 pp.

This project was funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

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